peak to me for a prolonged period of time about fitness and you’ll no doubt hear the phrase ‘hierarchy of importance’. This is a vital concept that puts things into perspective; for example beetroot has been shown to have some cardiovascular benefits, but who cares. Worrying about meal timings before you’ve addressed calorie intake is a recipe for failure, and too many people sweat the small stuff. The picture above highlights what’s important and in what order when it comes to nutrition, everything else doesn’t work, has not been proven to work or its effects are marginal at best. Over the next few newsletters I will be discussing the topics that make up the hierarchy starting with the least important – supplements.
Creatine is a compound found in the body responsible for energy production predominantly stored in the muscles. Creatine is probably one of the most researched supplements in the health and fitness industry. To cut a long story short Creatine works, it has been shown to help with strength and overall energy output. Making this bad boy one of my favourite sups but be careful of going all gooey eyed over the latest and greatest do it all formulas. Creatine monohydrate is the cheapest and most effective version and you don’t need to pay over the odds for this, 5mg a day will be enough for most although some people like to do a loading phase of 20mg for 7 days and then 5 mg there after, this may saturate the muscle quicker but is by no mean essential.
Caffeine is another well-researched and effective supplement with proven improvements in energy, focus and performance it’s a must pre workout ingredient. Anything from 5mg plus has been shown to help, although your body can be desensitised to caffeine so only take it when needed.
Protein is arguably the most important macronutrient, without it good luck gaining muscle or recovering from sessions or even losing fat (as your muscle mass makes up a large chunk of your daily energy expenditure). Although unnecessary to supplement if you’re eating enough, in this hard and fast world we live in that’s not always easy and if you’re serious about making progress 1 gram per pound is going to be your bench mark. So whey protein supplement might have to be a main stay in your supplement draw.
These three supplements are tried and tested and will hold you in good steed.