Physique athletes are notorious for using a multitude of supplements, including illegal substances. It’s important to consult the research on what supplements can be of true benefit.
Below are some key supplements that may prove effective for the physique athlete: –
1. Green Tea – Fat Loss, Energy Production & Health Supplement
Green tea contains compounds called catehins, including EGCG, the primary active ingredient for its thermogenic properties. EGCG has the ability to inhibit an enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter involved in regulating metabolic rate and fat burning. Green tea also contains caffeine, which helps boost energy levels and provide further fat burning actions. It can also serve as a great anti oxidant, and may help reduce certain cancers and provide other health benefits such as improved joint healing.
How to take:
The research shows that for maximum fat burning and metabolic capacity from using this supplement, a high dosage of 400-500mg EGCG will be required daily. A green tea extract is therefore recommended to help you achieve this, as one cup of green tea will provide approximately only 50mg of EGCG equivalence. I suggest taking this alongside food, as some people can experience nausea after taking it on an empty stomach.
2. ZMA – Health, Strength, Muscle Builder & Fat Loss Supplement
This is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. Its benefits are supported by research as it has been shown that hard training individuals (people who sweat a lot) may be deficient in these important minerals. They will see improved hormone levels aiding better recovery, sleep and strength.
How to take:
For a hard training individual, a higher dosage of 25-45mg daily is ideal. If no training is taking place, 5-10mg is likely to be sufficient.
The type of magnesium is important. Citrate or other bio-available forms such Diglycinate or Gluconate are your best options to provide optimum absorption rates.
A daily dosage of between 200-450mg of magnesium is ideal.
3. Whey Protein – Mass Builder, Strength, Energy Production, Fat Loss, Health
Whey protein makes up to 20% of the protein in milk. Whey is an effective protein for increasing muscle protein synthesis, the process in muscle cells that results in muscle growth. There are numerous reasons why whey is so effective, such as its high content of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and its ability to boost blood flows to muscles. However, the most important characteristic of whey is its rapid rate of digestion. Whey protein is one of the fastest-digesting protein sources that you can get.
How to take
Typical recommendations are 20-40g first thing in the morning, within 30-60 minutes before workouts, within 30-60 minutes after workouts, and between meals as needed.
4. Creatine – Mass Builder, Strength, Energy Production
With regard to athletic performance, creatine has continually proved itself to be one of the most effective and safe nutritional supplements to increase strength, muscle mass and performance.
To date, there have been hundreds of studies conducted on creatine and they have included such areas as the ways to maximise creatine storage in muscle; which types of exercise may obtain the greatest benefit from supplementation; the potential medical uses of creatine; and the long term safety and efficiency of creatine supplementation.
How to Take:
Most of the studies on creatine supplementation were conducted using pharmaceutical creatine monohydrate in powder form, so this is what I’d suggest to use.
3-5g per day is the recommended dosage, and you shouldn’t need to cycle it using this amount. You should consume this alongside a meal, or at least some carbohydrates to maximize uptake by the muscle cells.
5. Multi-Vitamin – Health
Supplementing with a multivitamin/multimineral will help eliminate the possibility of deficiencies that often result from reduced dietary variety or calorie intake and increased loss through exercise.
How to take
Take this supplement once or twice daily with meals. Choose brands that provide 100% of the daily value of C, D, E and the most of the b-complex vitamins, as well as 100% of zinc, copper and chromium.
Many of us started improving our nutrition and training after being inspired by a competitive athlete or model. We wanted to look like them. Truth is, your nutrition is key to making this happen, along with a structured and intense training programme. You now have all the most important information you need to start eating like a physique athlete.