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Best Fitness Supplements

Athletes and bodybuilders benefit from the top health supplements like anyone else, however they also require specialized supplements catered to their physically demanding lifestyle. Certain fitness supplements are designed especially for these physically active individuals, offering enhanced endurance and muscular strength while minimizing muscle repair time and oxidative damage brought on through physical exertion.

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The Best Fitness Supplement List

This in depth list highlights the fitness benefits of some of the most popular fitness supplements. Placing an emphasis on neutralizing free radical damage brought on by intense workouts, muscle building and energy enhancement to improve endurance.

GSH Gold – Energize and Recover

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Rapidly gaining popularity in fitness and bodybuilding circles, Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that can help optimize physical performance through cellular repair.

The mitochondria is responsible for the creation of energy within each of our cells, essentially a mini power plant. Alpha lipoic acid is thought to repair damage done to the mitochondria and help improve its energy producing capabilities. This has profound benefits for energy production, cellular health and total body health.

Take Alpha Lipoic Acid to help with skeletal muscle repair and improve fat loss. [1,2]

Beta Alanine

A relatively new addition to the list of top fitness supplements, Beta Alanine is quickly making a name for itself among athletes and bodybuilders. It has been shown to increase the carnosine content in our muscles, subsequently improving exercise capacity. [3]

One study found that Beta Alanine can improve upper-body intermittent performance and enhance intensity in well trained athletes. [4]

There are many claims that Beta Alanine can enhance performance, intensity and endurance by outlandish amounts. While the benefits are indisputable and in some cases rather significant, many of these claims are over exaggerated and unsubstantiated.

Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)

These three essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine were named after the appearance of their chemical structure. Each has an outcropping that resembles a tree branch.

Branch Chain Amino Acids or BCAA’s are useful both during a workout, acting as a fuel source for your muscles, and afterwards to help build muscle tissue. One study found that when trained lifters supplemented BCAA around workouts for 8 weeks, they gained about twice as much muscle and strength as lifters who didn’t have additional BCAA’s in their whey protein. [5]

Studies have found that BCAA not only improves muscle gain and strength, but improves fat loss as well. It is truly a profoundly beneficial addition to your fitness supplement routine.

best-fitness-supplements-for-athletes

Caffeine

Improve physical performance in all manners of sport, delay mental fatigue, decrease the perception of fatigue and muscle pain. This sounds like it may have been conceived in the dreams of a bodybuilder or pro athlete. In fact, they are the astounding characteristics of the single most popular psychoactive stimulant, caffeine.

If we talk about fitness supplement superstars, we are talking about caffeine. Since the ban on caffeine was lifted in 2004 by the World Anti-Doping Agency, upwards of three quarters of elite athletes test positive for caffeine during competitions.

Some fitness benefits of supplementing with caffeine include: increased mental alertness, improved focus, improved mood, increased pain tolerance, enhanced fat burning and the ability to work out harder, for longer. [6,7]

CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is an important enzyme for our heart health and muscular endurance. [8] Our CoQ10 levels deplete as we age or if the body is battling a chronic disease, some prescription medications have also been found to deplete CoQ10 levels.

Supplementing coenzyme Q10 levels has numerous benefits for athletic individuals. One study showed that it could help reduce the frequency of exercise induced muscular injury in athletes. [9] CoQ10 should be every athletes best friend due to its ability to reduce lipid peroxidation during bursts of intense exercise. [10]

Free radical damage is a massive concern for individuals who physically exert themselves often. Straining the muscles releases a flood of free radicals which damage our cells and DNA function. Ridding the body of these harmful free radicals is of paramount importance for overall health and improving the rate of repair for our muscle tissue.

Creatine

A staple in the supplement cabinet of every fitness enthusiast, bodybuilder and athlete. Creatine is easily one of the most popular fitness supplements on the market, with most major brands offering their own creatine powder.

Creatine is such a popular fitness supplement because it can help improve physical performance and increase muscle gain during resistance training. [11,12] One study even found a benefit for decreasing inflammatory markers tumor necrosis factor alpha following acute exercise. [13]

If there were a “starter kit” for fitness supplements, it would most definitely include a high quality whey protein and a quality creatine.

Glutamine

Another popular supplement that most fitness enthusiasts have already heard of. Glutamine is renowned for its ability to promote muscle growth and reduce muscle breakdown. When combined with Creatine, one study found that it could significantly increase lean body boss. [14]

After an intense workout your body can lose a huge portion of its Glutamine reserves. When the body becomes glutamine deficient, the first stores to be drawn from are the muscle’s glutamine reserves. This is thought to stall muscular development and even reverse muscle gains. This puts Glutamine high on the list of beneficial fitness supplements.

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Glutathione

Here is a health supplement that may hit fitness enthusiasts by surprise. Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant, essential for our cellular health, detoxifying our body and neutralizing free radical damage. It is essential for other antioxidants to perform their functions, Vitamins C and E would be virtually useless without glutathione.

Glutathione is an important addition to your fitness supplement routine to help your body cope with the flood of free radicals brought on through intense training. By neutralizing these free radicals and preventing oxidative damage, your body is more capable of repairing muscle tissue and maintaining energy levels. [15]

The increase in free radical damage among athletes is only one reason to ensure optimal GSH levels. One study found that the characteristics of long-lived women were high glutathione levels combined with physical and mental health. [16]

L-Carnitine

Known as metabolic rocket fuel in some circles, L-Carnitine offers profound cellular energy benefits.This increase in cellular energy translates into both physical and mental performance, reducing fatigue and promoting activity. [17,18]

This increase in energy and reduction in fatigue are no doubt responsible for the rapid ascension of L-Carnitine as a must have fitness supplement (since 1905). It is widely believed to enhance endurance, burn fat faster and shorten the post-workout recovery times. Making it extremely alluring to fitness fanatics wanting to maximize their workouts and minimize their recovery times.

Magnesium

A remarkably beneficial mineral, magnesium plays an integral role in some of body’s most important and complex structures. Crucial for the health of our bones, especially as we age, magnesium is also vital for our teeth and cellular walls. Many health professionals are now realizing that magnesium plays a more pivotal role in the health and maintenance of our bones than calcium.

Studies show the benefits of magnesium for athletic performance range from improving bone mineral density to improving overall performance. [19,20]

Selenium

A base element, much like iron, zinc and chromium, Selenium is essential for our health. However too much Selenium can be harmful to your health, ensuring you are taking the right amount is critical.

The benefits of Selenium range far, due to its ability to raise our Glutathione levels. [21] Supplementing Selenium has shown benefits for blood pressure, lipid peroxidation and improved physical performance in postmenopausal women. [22,23,24]

B Vitamins

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin B9 (Folate)

  • Vitamin B12

Vitamin B comes in many forms, when supplemented correctly it is able to regulate the methylation cycle. Responsible for the transformation of homocysteine into glutathione and hundreds of other cellular processes. This makes Vitamin B a hugely important supplement when it comes to health, athletic performance and cellular longevity. [25]

Individuals with a genetic dysfunction known as MTHFR must avoid folic acid, a form of Vitamin B9. It is thought that approximately half the population has a form of this genetic dysfunction, leaving them incapable of processing folic acid properly which can cause harm to the body.

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Vitamin D

The sunshine vitamin, aptly named because our body can naturally synthesize Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately about one third of us are still not getting enough of this bone fortifying vitamin, making it important to supplement with Vitamin D3. [26]

Adequate Vitamin D levels are thought to benefit a massive range of health disorders, it has also been studied with regard to athletic performance. One study shows that inadequate Vitamin D levels can be detrimental to the musculoskeletal performance of athletes. [27]

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D3 has been raised in the past few years. A decade ago it was only a few hundred IU’s, today it is about 1000 IU daily. With many health practitioners pushing for even higher daily allowances, upwards of 10,000 IU per day in some cases.

Vitamin E

Acting as a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E is especially important for individuals who are physically active. Vitamin E can help reduce lipid peroxidation while improving antioxidant levels, in conjunction with Vitamin C. [28] It has also been shown to reduce oxidative damage caused by physical activity. [29]

Vitamin E also plays a role in the health and maintenance of our bones. Used both as a preventative treatment for osteoporosis and to hasten the recovery of patients who undergo bone surgery. [30,31]

Supplement Vitamin E to help prevent damage caused by free radicals and fight signs of aging.

Vitamin K

When we think bone health, most people think calcium. However without vitamins D3 and K2, calcium would have little effect on our bone density and health. [32] Vitamin K is necessary for our bone health and cardiovascular health. [33,34]

Improving the ability for calcium to reach the bone, Vitamin K2 helps prevent calcification in the arteries and vascular system. Excess calcium that isn’t properly absorbed can become extremely harmful to our health, supplement with Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D3 in order to help prevent this calcification.

Zinc

Involved in the production of proteins and DNA within the body, zinc is a building block of our body. Zinc is required by the immune system in order to fend off viruses and bacterial infections. [35]

Zincs close relationship to our cellular health and tissue development makes it an extremely important element in anyone’s supplement routine. Ensuring you get enough zinc will help set your body up for great health and big gains. Like selenium, work with a health professional to establish a safe dosage, too much zinc is harmful.

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