Whether you are a professional athlete or you are doing workouts to keep yourself in good shape, sports supplements became a must nowadays, and it is even impossible to do any exercises without proper supplementation. Hence, it is important to know the best sports supplements to keep the body well-nurtured.
Ways to Building Muscles
Building muscle mass is a common aspiration for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to take their performance to the next level. A well-designed training program and a balanced diet are crucial components in achieving this goal. Besides this, sports supplements can also be a valuable aid. Still, with so many muscle gain supplements available on the market, it’s essential to recognize that not all of them are equally effective or safe. Therefore, it’s essential to know which supplements are the best for gaining muscle mass. By understanding and utilizing the most effective sports supplements, athletes and fitness enthusiasts can make informed decisions to help them reach their fitness goals.
Why are the Sports Supplements Important?
Why are supplements important? Many athletes lack awareness regarding the effects of the supplements they consume, with only 50% aware of their potential impacts . Therefore, it is crucial to familiarize oneself with supplements’ actual and potential benefits and risks. Some athletes may require supplements in their diet for justified reasons. Nonetheless, athletes and sports experts often rely on unproven supplements that lack scientific evidence. This is making them unable to confirm their ability to improve performance and sports success . The “tell-tell” method and various anecdotal stories may lead to poor choices and unrealistic expectations. Nowadays, there is often a problem distinguishing reliable and verified information from false information.
The Top Four Reasons Why Athletes Use Supplements
⦁ For health reasons
⦁ To make it easier to introduce nutritional ingredients, particularly when proper nutrition may not be feasible, with the aim of improving training and recovery
⦁ To improve athletic performance
⦁ Because they believe other athletes use them
Disadvantages of Supplementation
Some downsides of supplementing include possible doping, replacing supplementation for the correct diet, training adaptations, and combining numerous supplements. This may limit the effectiveness of the supplements taken . One of the concerns with supplements is a lack of proper quality control methods. Hence, supplement contamination with steroids or hormones might occur. It is especially frequent in supplements that lack scientific proof and have not been shown to be useful in enhancing their benefits and increasing sales. We should not anticipate supplements to be magical potions that can make us indestructible. Nor to help us lose weight, or boost our aerobic capacity and fitness without any effort. A decent and quality exercise regimen, adequate diet, and supplements, when utilized right, can help us perform even better. Supplements are here to help us, not to solve our problems instead of us.
Proteins – One of the Most Used Sports Supplements
On the market, protein supplements are quite popular. Proteins are made up of amino acids, 20 of which the human body recognizes. Some of these amino acids are necessary and must be obtained from our food. Others are non-essential and may be produced in adequate quantities by our bodies. These amino acids may be found in a variety of meals, ranging from vegetables to meat. Meat and eggs, for instance, are called complete protein sources because they include all required amino acids. Whereas vegetables only contain a portion of them. This is not to say that vegans cannot take adequate protein; rather, they must blend several veggies to do so.
Why Protein Supplements?
So, why should you use protein supplements? Our muscles require recovery after exercise, particularly resistance training. It is sometimes simpler to take protein supplements, which are immediately transported to the muscles. They assist in protein synthesis, muscular development, and recovery as well.
There is a lot of contradicting evidence about protein supplementation and its impact on muscle growth, strength, and aerobic and anaerobic power. Further, a group of scientists from the United States published an excellent study in Sports Medicine. The supreme publication in sports science, a few years ago threw some light on this problem .
Research Study Results
So, what did they discover? To begin, they observed that protein supplementation has no effect on increases in lean mass and muscular strength during the first weeks of resistance exercise in untrained people. In other words, if you’re just getting started with weightlifting or other types of strength exercise, using protein supplements is unlikely to help. As you gain expertise and increase the duration and frequency of your resistance exercise, the tale changes. Protein supplementation can stimulate larger improvements in lean mass and muscular strength in both trained and untrained people. This implies that if you’re serious about gaining muscle and boosting your strength, protein supplements might be beneficial – but they’re not a magic bullet, and you still need to exercise.
What about aerobic and anaerobic strength? The researchers discovered some evidence that protein supplementation can boost improvements in both forms of power during the early phases of training. But the processes underlying these advances are not fully known, so there is still some uncertainty.
When it comes to protein supplements, there isn’t much of a difference between whey, isolate, concentrate, and other types. So, based on your specific tastes and needs, it appears that any of these solutions can bring benefits.
Overall, protein supplementation may be an effective tool for increasing muscle growth, especially if you’re already prepared and putting in the effort.
What exactly is CreGAAtine? It is a novel compound that combines creatine and guanidino acetic acid (GAA). CreGAAtine itself is not widely studied, but its constituents are. Given that GAA is what makes this supplement so intriguing, we have included in the table below all human research that investigated the influence of this supplement on numerous biological parameters.
Table 1. Studies evaluated GAA and GAA/creatine combination on performance and safety
Legend: tHcy- total homocysteine; ↑- increased; ↔ no change; gr/d- grams per day; Asterix a, b, c, d – represents different study groups.
A number of investigations have been conducted to examine the effect of GAA on exercise performance (studies are included in Table 1). The Applied Bioenergetics lab, led by Prof. Sergej Ostojic produced the first pioneering study that examined GAA efficacy on exercise performance. The research findings have been positive. Indeed, the Ostojic-led study found that GAA, alone or in combination with creatine, may dramatically raise total creatine and GAA levels while enhancing strength . Furthermore, the GAA-creatine combination was found to be more effective than creatine alone in enhancing strength and power in muscle regions with lower beginning strength levels.
Another notable benefit of combining GAA with creatine is that it leads to less weight gain than creatine treatment alone. Creatine has been linked to weight gain owing to osmosis, which is generally seen as a negative side effect. The GAA-creatine combination, on the other hand, appears to knock off this impact. Although no precise mechanism has been identified, extra GAA may have less water-binding capability due to GAA molecules’ poorer polarizability when compared to creatine .
Furthermore, six weeks of GAA supplementation has been shown to increase grip strength and upper-body muscular endurance. This indicates that these specific muscle areas may preferentially absorb GAA . While no dose-response associations between GAA administration and exercise performance have been discovered, GAA does increase isometric and dynamic exercise performance [7,10]. These talents may be incredibly useful in a variety of sports and can considerably improve normal training routines .
Finally, the combination of GAA and creatine (CreGAAtine) surpasses both GAA and creatine alone. The synergistic effects give several benefits, including higher creatine levels in the brain, minimal weight gain, and no requirement for a loading period . Overall, these data point to GAA’s potential as a beneficial supplement for anyone looking to boost their exercise performance and muscle mass.
CreGAAtine vs Creatine
For starters, there is no competition between creatine and CreGAAtine because these two components function in tandem to maximize advantages. The question now is which is superior. Creatine is the most well-known and extensively investigated product on the market. Several studies are showing its benefits on physical performance, muscular endurance, and muscle hypertrophy [11,12]. CreGAAtine, on the other hand, is a newer sports supplement with only a few trials examining its benefits. Nonetheless, based on what we know, CreGAAtine has significant benefits over creatine. This is mostly due to CreGAAtine’s greater ability to permeate and enter muscle cells than creatine. This can aid in muscle synthesis and may stimulate a better hormonal response to exercise, so boosting body composition and performance. Regardless of which of these sports supplements you choose, it is important to consume CreGAAtine to optimize your outcomes.