Strength training is a great way to build muscles and maintain physical health. Although most of your strength training regimen usually takes place inside a gym, adding supplements to your diet and daily routine may help enhance the overall performance and results.
Made from dehydrated and filtered protein extracted from whey, soy, and other sources, protein powder is an easy and tasty way to replenish or increase your protein intake, which is recommended when you’re trying to build more muscle or recovering from intense training sessions.
A 2008 study* published in Nutrition Journal researched the effects of protein powder on subjects who regularly engaged in strength training. The study, conducted over an eight-week period, found that participants who incorporated whey or rice protein powder into their daily exercise routine increased lean muscle mass and lost more body fat than those who did not consume protein powder in conjunction with their workout routine.
An amino acid naturally produced in the body, creatine may be a useful supplement to include in your strength training as it can aid in the building and repairing of muscle tissue. Available over the counter in powder or capsule forms, creatine may help increase lean muscle mass, as was found in a 2013 study* conducted on male bodybuilders who consumed creatine either before or after their workout.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Consisting of three of the nine essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), BCAAs help build muscle mass and can be beneficial in reducing feelings of fatigue and maximizing endurance and strength during your workouts. BCAAs are found in all animal-based proteins, such as meat and diary products.
In a study published by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition,* subjects who engaged in strength training for at least two years and supplemented their exercise with an intake of BCAAs gained more muscle mass and lost more body fat than subjects who only drank sports drinks or consumed whey protein.
Supplementing Your Strength Training
Supplements can be a great addition to your strength training. When considering any nutritional, dietary, or physical changes to your routine, please consult your primary caregiver to ensure the best course of action customized to your needs.
*Studies mentioned in this article were performed on people age of 18 or over. All supplements referenced may affect children and teenagers differently from adults and are not suitable for anyone under the age of 18 without physician approval.