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My Top 4 Supplements For Performance Training

By Robert Gray

Before we begin, lets just get this out of the way. The supplements you take will be a waste of your money if you are not getting adequate sleep, not eating enough/the right type of calories, not drinking enough water, or some combination of the three. Doing these things consistently well are the first "supplements" you should add to your training program. So, assuming you are sleeping enough, eating with your performance in mind, and staying hydrated, here are my top 4 supplement recommendation for athletes and individuals focused on their performance.

  1. Protein

For the majority of the last 12 years I have used Dymatize Whey Protein (or a similar product) daily. In the morning, after a workout, right before bed, or between meals as a snack. Protein drinks are an easy and effective way to help you meet your daily protein needs. Whether your goal is to build more muscle or to lose body fat, protein consumption will be a key factor in your success. For those of you wanting to lose body fat or lose weight, protein is more satiating than carbs. This means if you eat equal calorie amounts of protein and carbs, you will feel fuller for longer from the protein calories compared to the carb calories.

2. Creatine

Similar to protein, I have taken creatine on or off since I was 18 years old. My personal favorite creatine is EFX Kre-Alkalyn but there are a number of quality products on the market. Creatine is extremely well researched and has been found time and time again to help with maximal and repeated strength/power efforts. When taken consistently over time in conjunction with consistent training, creatine is a safe and effective supplement that doesn't break the bank.

3. BCAA's (Branch Chain Amino Acids)

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) are the building blocks of protein. There are 21 amino acids that when combined make up the different proteins our bodies need to recover and rebuild from training, among a wide variety of other roles in the body. The primary benefit BCAA supplementation provides is reduced soreness from training. Soreness can decrease performance for competitive athletes and reduce the desire to train for the general population athlete. I have been using Xtend BCAA's for the last 6 months or so and I definitely notice the difference in my soreness as the week goes on. Like the previous two supplements, there are plenty of quality BCAA products on the market so find the one that works for you. Lastly, if BCAA's aren't in your budget, eating fruit immediately following training (specifically fruits high in antioxidants) can reduce training induced soreness.

4. Karbolyn / Sports Drinks

Individuals engaging in a training session lasting longer than 45 minutes need to ingest carbohydrate to maintain performance. The reason while is simple, carbohydrates are our bodies preferred fuel source during moderate-intense exercise. Once our glycogen stores are depleted to a certain point, fatigue begins to set in and your performance suffers. Adding in a supplement like Karbolyn or drinking gatorade or other sports drinks with carbohydrates in them can help you continue to train with higher intensities, longer.

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