Are you looking to get a leg up on your 2020 workout routine? Would you like to see gains that maybe you haven’t seen in the past but know are possible? Here are the most popular supplements in the UK.
Sure, there are new workout routines, lifts, and exercises you can add to your workout, but if you want to maximize the time you spend in the gym you need to add in supplements. Supplementation is a great way to enhance your workouts, increase your reps, build stronger muscles and eventually reach your ultimate fitness goals.
Popular Supplements in the UK
Of course, your fitness goals are different from the next person so the exact supplements needed may shift a bit. Whatever your goals are, when looking at taking your personal fitness to the next level and you want to know what supplements UK has available, here is everything you need to know.
Some may not consider this a true “supplement” but instead tuck it under nutrition. Realistically you can place it under both categories. Protein is a fantastic source of low-calorie energy and it is the building block of your muscles.
But don’t worry, by simply consuming protein powder you’re not going to massively bulk up. There is a common misconception that protein automatically leads to bulk. That’s not the case. It comes down to how much of it you consume.
First, let’s look at why protein is a valuable nutritional addition to your diet.
According to the Cleveland Clinic (2019) each gram of fat yields a total of nine calories. However, carbs and protein yield only four calories per gram. This means by consuming either carbs or protein you will be able to eat more while taking on fewer calories. This allows you to burn off more excess weight during your workout routine.
Carbs are great for sustained energy. However, the carbs you consume will retain water (depending on how your body functions you may retain up to four grams of water per one gram of carbs).
Protein goes directly to fueling your workout and it helps rebuild your muscles after a workout.
If you want to build larger muscles you will need to increase your protein intake. So if this is your set fitness goal for 2020 make sure to focus on protein.
Different researchers recommend different amounts of protein for your body in order to build muscle. According to Healthline (2018)there are several numbers floating around. The Dietary Reference Intake suggests 0.36 grams of protein per pound to at least maintain your current muscle mass. Other researchers suggest consuming one gram of protein per pound.
Realistically for your own health you should not jump up to the level of one gram per pound right away. Your body will not be able to process this amount of protein instantly.
You’ll want to slowly work up. So start at the 0.36 grams and begin increasing the protein slowly. When you start to see muscle mass gains level off at that amount. Then, if the gains stop, consider slowly increasing again.
However, don’t go too much further over one gram. Unless you are a serious body builder (think The Rock sized individual) you will almost never need more than one gram per pound.
Back in the early 2000s if you uttered the word “creatine” people simply connected the supplement with a steroid.
After all, it helps you pump out more reps, so it must be a steroid and therefor bad for your body, right?
Not at all. In fact, your body naturally produces creatine. It is an energy source produced within your muscles used for an explosive move along with the quick twitch muscle fibers in your body. When you pump out a set to exhaustion you have fully tired out your muscles and you have no more creatine in your muscles for energy.
As you rest between sets your body rushes to produce more, but you’ve already tapped out the muscles. So the next set you perform you won’t be able to perform as many reps.
When you add a creatine supplement to your diet in the UK you’ll help add more creatine into your muscles. This means your muscles will have a bit more of the energy source to pull from. With the added energy you might be able to squeeze out one or two more reps.
It might not sound like much up front, but one or two more reps will help you strengthen up faster, which helps you burn more calories, get stronger, and larger (depending on your personal goals).
According to WebMD (2019), creatine is not only used for individuals workout out at the gym. It can also help maintain sprints longer and swim for greater distances. Basically anything that relies on quick twitch muscle movements will see an improvement with creatine.
In fact, you’re now seeing traditional energy drinks sold with added creatine. While the added creatine won’t do much for video gamers who might consume the energy drink with creatine, it will help improve your workout.
Yup, good old fashion fish oil. It’s the supplement your grandmother has been taking for her entire life and probably tried to get you to take during family visits. Well, you should listen to your grandmother more often and add fish oil to your daily supplement regiment.
Fish oil has a number of benefits.
In terms of fitness it helps with reducing inflammation. After you workout (specifically with weights) your muscles will be inflamed as the body begins to repair the torn and damaged muscle tissue. According to the May Clinic (2017) fish oil helps reduce the inflammation, which means you can recover faster. The faster you recover the more work you can get done at the gym. All of this goes a long way in enhancing your physical fitness.
Fish oil also helps with cell growth (again a fantastic perk when you want to repair damaged muscle tissue), improves the health of your heart, helps reduce high blood pressure, cut down on high cholesterol, and it even assists with reducing pain associated with arthritis (again, the cutting down on inflammation goes a long way).
So if you haven’t picked up fish oil yet, you need to.
Branch Chain Amino Acids
You will see this on supplements often listed as BCAAs. These branch chain amino acids will help your body recover faster by expediting the process of delivering the necessary protein, blood and oxygen to the damaged muscle tissue. If you’re looking to put on any kind of muscle mass this supplement is a must.
Over time you may discover your body struggles to build more muscle.
No matter how hard you workout in the gym or what kind of protein level you take your body just won’t budge. Everyone has their natural tipping point, but it doesn’t mean you can’t push through the plateau and continue upward with your muscle growth trajectory.
Eventually your body will become accustomed to how it processes protein and how it is used. With BCAAs your body will pick up the recovery pace as more of the essential muscle building blocks are delivered.
When paired with fish oil this can make a solid one-two punch for muscle recovery and growth. Now, you will find some protein powders already include BCAAs.
Typically, this is more for show or a sales point. While there are some BCAAs included you will want to invest in a stand alone BCAA supplement. The amount added to your protein powder isn’t enough to truly enhance your workout. So while it doesn’t hurt to have some in the protein, look at BCAA specific supplement.
Yup. Nothing like caffeine to help perk up your mind and body for your workout. Of course, you don’t want to take the caffeine a few hours prior to your workout, otherwise you might be right in the middle of the crash phase when you hit the gym.
There are a number of caffeinated options for you to pick from. When just starting out you may want to go with straight black coffee. It’s a solid pick-me-up during the day and it’s the cheapest option on the list. It won’t have some of the other benefits as other supplements, but if you’re just getting into adding caffeine to your pre-workout routine you can’t go wrong with black coffee.
Just make sure to avoid adding in cream or sugar. If you do you’ll end up spending most of your time at the gym burning off the calories from what you just added to the coffee.
If black coffee is too harsh on your stomach (go with a mild roast to help with this) consider adding cinnamon to your coffee. Cinnamon is great for boosting your metabolic rate (meaning you’ll burn more calories when at the gym) and it will help sweeting the drink without adding calories.
You can go with an energy drink when you’re in a pinch. Some energy drinks now contain creatine, so this can be helpful as well. However, it’s probably not something you want to get into a regular routine with (diet carbinated beverages often have undesirable ingredients, not to mention all the carbination is not always great for your teeth).
There are pre-workout powders and supplements. These are cost effective ways to help you get the most out of your workout. Make sure to look at the ingredients labels though.
Some of these will have not only caffeine, but additional ingredients to boost your metabolism, creatine, and BCAAs. You don’t want to pick up a pre-workout supplement and then add caffeine, creatine, and BCAAs on top of it.
This is far too much caffeine for your system all at once (and some of the ingredients you might overdo and your body will simply pass it through, meaning it’s just a waste of money).
Always read the ingredients label prior to buying anything.
Here’s a newer “supplement” you might want to consider adding. Now, you probably just saw that word and thought “what does a skincare product have to do with fitness routine supplementation?” Well, a lot actually.
Collagen is found in more than just the skin. It is found in your bones, muscles, and tendons. Basically if there is something in your body holding it together there’s likely collagen in it.
However, as you age collagen production will begin to decline. This is why not only do you begin to develop wrinkles but your joints will begin to ache.
According to Healthline (2018) in order to help reduce and even improve on pains in your tendons and joints you will want to add collagen to your workout routine. And, of course, it can also help with your overall skin as well. Basically it’s a two-for-one. Who doesn’t like the sound of that?
You can find collagen not just in the beauty section of your store but also in the supplements section as well. There are collagen powders you can add to a glass of water.
There are even collagen protein powders. While these protein powders will not pack the same kind of whallop with 30 grams of protein per serving, it is a nice addition to your workout.
There’s no shortage to the kinds of available supplements UK has available throughout the country. None of these supplements are illegal and none of them contain steroids.
Now, if you are part of a sports league it is a good idea to go over if there are any banned substances. None of these will likely be on the list but it is always a good idea to check.
Likewise, before starting any new workout routine that relies heavily on supplements you should consult your doctor ahead of time.
Some of these supplements will elevate your heart rate, which if you suffer from some cardiovascular diseases this might not be desirable. But as long as you’re in good health and ready to tackle your fitness goals in 2020, all of these supplements can help.