There are numerous myths and confusion around the subject of fitness supplements.
Some men presume that they need to guzzle countless protein shakes a day if they want to have a hope of building up any muscle mass, while others think that taking a plethora of vitamins and minerals will automatically make them fit and healthy.
The truth is that eating a balanced and varied diet is the best way to give our bodies what they need to train and recover effectively. Supplements are simply a way of evening out any deficiencies or areas where your diet isn’t meeting your specific needs.
The best supplements you should take also vary according to what your goals are.
Some are better for weight loss, some are more beneficial for weight training, and some bring greater benefits for older men.
So, keep reading for everything you need to know about the best supplements for men who train.
Supplements for strength training
If you’re looking to build a strong, muscular physique, the below will accelerate your progress:
Protein Powder (Whey or plant based)
Protein is perhaps one of the most commonly used buzzwords when it comes to healthy eating and supplements, and you need to be wary of some misleading and sugar-heavy products that claim to be ‘packed with protein’.
However, there are hundreds of quality protein powder supplements out there on the market. They’re a great way of upping your protein intake and absorbing more amino acids, which also help the body to build protein.
Easy to take post workout or at a time that suits you, they come in several different forms. Whey protein is perhaps the most popular, however there are now also several vegan-friendly options available such as pea, soy and rice protein. Don’t replace a meal with a protein shake, but simply use it to add an extra boost of muscle-building protein to your day-to-day diet.
This molecule is produced by amino acids, and it stores high-energy phosphate groups that the body uses to convert to energy. Studies have shown that it helps provide the sudden bursts of energy required to lift heavy weights during strength training sessions, and it’s also known to help runners perform at their best too.
Creatine monohydrate is one of the most cost-effective forms of this supplement, and its widely regarded as one of the best supplements for men who train.
Supplements for men’s weight loss
If you’re on a mission to shed unwanted pounds and slim down, these will help you reach your goal weight:
Dietary fibre is essential for regular bodily functions. It’s found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, but on those days when you haven’t quite managed to meet your five-a-day, taking a fibre supplement can be beneficial.
There are two main types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fibre, and both are needed to normalise bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar, and, perhaps most importantly for those who are looking to get trim, achieve a healthy weight.
Fibre supplements come in a capsule or powder form, with men under 50 recommended to take 38 grams a day, and over 50 recommended to take 30 grams.
Another mineral with wide-ranging health benefits for all men who train, Magnesium helps us get a good night’s sleep (essential for muscle recovery), reduces stress levels and encourages the removal of stubborn ‘belly fat’.
Not getting enough magnesium can negatively impact your body’s ability to tolerate sugars and prevent sugars from being stored in fat cells.
Magnesium helps keep your bones and muscles functioning healthily. It also aids your workouts by reducing tiredness and fatigue, leaving you with more energy to burn unwanted calories and create the body of your dreams.
Supplements for beginner weight training
If you’re just starting out with strength training, then you’re probably discovering aches and muscles that you never knew you had. The below are the best supplements for beginner weight training:
Electrolytes contain electric charge and they regulate muscle contractions and fluid balance within the body. For this reason, they are very important for all men who train, including those who have just started going to the gym for the first time.
Lost through sweat, you might need to top up your electrolyte levels if you sweat a lot, you are a ‘salty’ sweater or do a lot of workouts in a hot and humid climate (such as the UAE).
The electrolytes that are lost through sweat include sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium, so it can be useful to find out what your personal ‘sweat rate’ is before choosing an electrolyte supplement.
Omega-3 fish oil (EPA/DHA)
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids, with the most important ones for bodily health being eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Known to reduce inflammation, boost heart health and improve joint health by easing morning stiffness and improving range of motion, they bring a wealth of benefits for established gym goers and those who are new to exercise.
In fact, many studies suggest that increasing Omega 3 intake is the single most important dietary change that can ever be made.
Best supplements for men over 30
Reaching 30 is hardly ‘getting old’ but it might cause you to consider taking a few extra supplements…
There are countless reasons for anyone to take Vitamin D, and since the pandemic began its health benefits have become even more widely promoted.
With UV rays from the sun stimulating Vitamin D production, you’d think that residents of the sun-kissed UAE would have no issues with Vitamin D deficiencies. However, with searingly hot summers limiting the amount of time that we can spend outdoors, supplementing with Vitamin D is still vital for many residents.
The benefits that Vitamin D brings to heart and bone health is thought to be particularly important for older men. Alongside your supplements, it’s also a great idea to have at least 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure a day to encourage the natural synthesisation of Vitamin D.
The benefits of Vitamin D include:
- Increased muscle strength
- Improvements in body composition
- Reduced likelihood of obesity
- Improved blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity
- Prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, MS and high blood pressure
- Improved brain health
Zinc is one of the most essential minerals found in the human body and when men don’t have enough of it, their testosterone and insulin sensitivity levels can dip. Lost through sweat along with electrolytes, many men who train may need to take zinc capsules to keep their levels high enough.
Bringing many benefits to men over and under 30, zinc is known to help battle common colds that can hinder training routines, so it’s a particularly useful supplement in the winter season.
- Helps prevent cancer
- Is important for maintaining a good immune system
- Regulates hormone levels
- Helps athletes reach peak physical performance
- Aids with the development of new muscle
If you need more guidance on training and nutrition, get in touch with our personal training team to help you with your body transformation goals.