When it comes to prioritizing your health, taking stock of several things will help you set your goals and stick to them. The first thing you need to do is evaluate what you are aiming to achieve. Men and women may have slightly different goals and whatever those are, keep them in mind when organizing your wants and needs to see a projected outcome.
So, how do we decide what our projected outcome should look like? Essentially this is, what do I want out of my body, long term? Once you have established where you want to be, finding a way to get there is the next step. Educating yourself on the ins and outs of health, wellness, fitness, exercise and supplements to make your fitness journey as smooth as possible, will be one of the keys to your success in attaining the version of ‘you’ that you are seeing in your mind’s eye.
For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on a specific demographic, just to give an idea of how best to jump start this health and fitness regimen, with a little more knowledge and hopefully as a result, a little less apprehension! So, for the men out there who are looking to lose weight and build muscle, a couple tips and suggestions will go a long way.
To start, figure out your goals and find a budget.
If you aren’t constrained by a low budget, that’s great. In addition to the backbone of supplements that every guy should have as the bare basics for body building in his cupboard, there are a couple extras that can really take your workout up a notch or two.
If you want great results on a mid-range budget, the following supplements should be considered staples plus some, in any workout regimen and diet and they won’t decimate your bank account either. By prioritizing and establishing what you can afford, you’ll be able to figure out if these supplements are going to be your go-to buddies as part of your health and fitness routine for the long haul.
Creatine – This supplement is great for muscle recovery during exercise, as well as increasing lean muscle mass and improving overall strength. Part of it’s popularity today can be attributed to the fact that it comes in a wealth of forms such as bars, powder, tablets and even drink mixes so you’re never short on options. A naturally occurring substance in the body, creatine is turned into creatine phosphate which in turn helps to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate) – the form of energy provided to the muscles. Including this on a supplement list would be beneficial for you and the bonus here is that it’s easy on the wallet.
Whey Protein – This form of protein has a wide range of amino acids, all of which are absorbed into the body rapidly. It is derived from the liquid part of milk that is present and occurs in the production of cheese. Proteins are the very basic building blocks of the human body, including the contractile parts of our muscles and as a fast digesting protein, whey is absorbed into the blood stream extremely quickly affording the muscles a huge boost in protein, even more so than soy or casein. On top of that, whey powder is convenient in terms of transportability and versatility. You can add it to smoothies, shakes, oatmeal, pancakes, homemade bars – really, your options for consumption are vast here. This is a definite must-have supplement on this kind of fat loss/muscle building fitness regimen.
BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) – Leucine, isoleucine and valine are three essential amino acids which make up almost 35% of muscle protein in the body. This is what BCAA’s are. They’re great because they can help to reduce muscle breakdown during workouts as well as actually fuel the muscles themselves.
Omega 3 EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) – EFAs are essential to the body because we cannot synthesize them on our own, which means that obtaining them from outside sources is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that not only are omega 3 fatty acids great for cardiovascular health, they are also a key component comprising cellular membranes. Furthermore, they play an integral role in many metabolic processes, supporting the data that shows just how any alteration to the body’s supply of lipids can have a major effect on the metabolic processes of skeletal muscle just FYI one of the best sources of omega 3’s is undoubtedly, fish oil.
Multivitamin – These provide the necessary vitamins and minerals required for keeping our body healthy and functioning optimally, even without exercise. By adding in the strain of breaking down muscle and utilizing copious amounts of energy in a fitness routine. This is an essential component of any healthy diet, particularly when replenishing depleted stores of electrolytes and water-soluble vitamins.
Magnesium – Magnesium plays a crucial role in the contraction of muscle fibers. It’s not surprising to know then, that this mineral has some serious performance enhancing effects. If affordable an organic version of the supplement, such as magnesium succinate or aspartate, should go a long way in your body building.
Casein – This milk protein is digested and absorbed more slowly than whey protein, which would make it an optimal choice before bedtime. Whey protein is great for short term, dramatic results in that it brings about a quick blood-amino acid rise. Micellar casein is thought to be the best form of the protein to take before bedtime as it is said to be able to supply muscles with amino acids for up to seven hours post workout.
There will always be different trains of thought as far as exercise goes; what works for some might not work as well for others and this is all dependent on individual physical needs, but the general consensus is the same: the trick to achieving great results with weight loss and muscle gain is, in fact, a combination of diet, workout routine and supplements. Yes, it’s a balancing act maintaining equilibrium between the three, and no small task either, but your body and mind will thank you for being good to it in the long run.