Exercise enthusiasts are always looking to get a bit more of an edge for their workouts. Whether you’re a runner or a weightlifter, you always want to be able to get stronger and faster.
Part of that is being able to increase the intensity of your workouts to increase your overall gains. At some point, you may run into a natural wall where you just aren’t making any more gains. This is where supplements can help, but the world of exercise supplements can be difficult to navigate.
Part of the problem is that supplements are not a heavily regulated industry, and there is a low standard for companies when it comes to proving claims regarding their supplements. This can lead to a lot of uncertainty about whether your purchase can actually help you or not. This is why it’s a good idea to pay attention to the supplements that high level athletes use. Here are four natural supplements that can actually help.
1. Pure Maple Syrup
Long distance runners, cyclists, and other athletes will already be familiar with the importance of glucose. It is what your muscles rely on for energy. Most athletes already use what’s called energy gel, a simple sugar in gel-form to give an instant boost to the energy your muscles need, when they need it. Contrary to what many people think, protein and carbs aren’t what will actually give you immediate energy. They’re better for creating initial stores of energy, or to help your muscles recover from the workout.
Pure maple syrup is a great supplement for this. It is even more efficient at being absorbed into your body than simple sugar, and it is completely natural to boot. It also comes loaded with other natural minerals to help, such as electrolytes. If you’re training for a marathon, give pure maple syrup a try in the middle of your run to see how much more energy it gives you. This is a major reason why high level athletes who have long distance performances are turning to pure maple syrup for their energy gels.
2. Organic CBD
Pain and inflammation are two of the main things that can interrupt your exercise routine. It can be something as simple as soreness from your previous workout, but it can also be a more serious acute injury that keeps you home until you’ve recovered. Good quality and natural CBD can be found from reputable retailers such as zgorganics.com.
CBD has been shown to be an effective supplement to reduce the sensation of pain and inflammation. You can find products like protein bars or protein powder with CBD included as an active ingredient. The best method is to use it as a recovery tool to help you recover from any soreness or injury faster than you would otherwise, so you can stick to your exercise routine.
You can get CBD protein powder to make a smoothie after your workout to help your recovery. You can take a pre-performance or pre-workout CBD protein bar so the anti-inflammatory properties have already kicked in during your workout.
3. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a natural chemical found in fish. It’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a building block for healthy cells found in our muscles. You can get it naturally by eating fish as part of your diet, but you can also get it as a supplement to help with exercising. It has been found to help with bodybuilding, specifically to improve the quality of your workout and help your recovery.
You can take fish oil in pills directly in oil form. It can be used similar to CBD in this sense, as you can use it to help your exercise by improving your recovery so you maintain muscle mass better. You can always combine it with CBD in something like your post-workout smoothie, so you get the best of both worlds. You can also work on eating more fish in your diet, so you get the fish oil in its natural form from your meals.
Creatine is one of the most common supplements for exercise enthusiasts and athletes. It is a naturally occurring molecule that our bodies already produce to give energy to your muscles. You can also take creatine as a supplement to help increase how much creatine your muscles have access to, which can help you push yourself harder and gain more muscle mass.
Creatine has been found to increase the water contained by your muscles, which tricks your body into producing signals to increase muscle growth. It also seems to increase the amount of hormones produced that are necessary for muscle growth. Lastly, it helps decrease how much protein your muscles break down, so you save more to restore your muscles after a workout.
You will typically find creatine supplements either in the form of a capsule that you can swallow or a powder you can mix in with a smoothie. Capsules are quick and easy to take before a workout, but you may prefer to use the powder in a smoothie to recover from your exercise after the fact as well.
It’s important to manage your expectations when it comes to taking supplements. They will not improve your performance dramatically, and certainly not right away. You should take them as part of your routines so that you are better able to perform and recover from your workouts. The timing of it can help, but you still also need to follow the best strategies for exercising. Stretch, stay hydrated, and use proper form to avoid injury.
Supplements can help you improve your gains at a marginal level, on a long-term basis, whether it’s more energy, reduced soreness, or improved muscle mass. They help you recover from your workouts so you feel less pain and soreness the following day. That can help you have more workouts more regularly, which will help you make further gains. You can combine or mix them to get more results, but they still won’t achieve miracles.