If you’re looking for advice on what supplements to use in martial arts, first figure out whether you should be using them at all. You should be able to get everything you need, especially if you’re young from a good diet plan. However, there are a few reasons people, myself included take supplements regularly as a part of their diet.
1. Meal replacement
I’m pretty busy day to day so it’s easier for me to throw some instant oats and some whey into a blender with a banana for breakfast than make an omeltte or porridge. This means they replace the meal with a quick and easy alternative and I get some good carbs, protein and micronutrients in early on.
If you’re living with your parents, you might not be able to buy all the food you want every day so making up for it with supplements is a possiblity. Same goes for if the shops close to you don’t sell food which fits your diet plan that well, the gap in macronutrients can be made up using supplements.
If you’re living in the U.K or northwards or in New Zealand, over winter you may want to look at taking vitamin D3 as you probably aren’t getting enough from sunlight because you’ll probably be more covered up, be inside longer and obviously, the sun goes down earlier. Lower vitamin D can lower your testosterone levels so keeping a good intake up can be beneficial.
Supplements which you should use (if you need to)
Main message here is keep it simple, supplement companies love to bombard you with ads and promises of better performance, but what they tend to do is mix a few simple things together and mark the price up.
If you’re eating brown rice, chicken and oats every day, liklihood is you’re not getting enough micronutrients (vitamines and minerals) in. Finding a good multi-vitamin can help a lot with loads of health aspects from sleep cycles to digestion. Be careful however, taking too much of certain vitamines like vitamin C it can lead to health risks (C particularly as some companies sell vit C pills with around 200% RDA).
Creatine works. It’s not a steroid and it’s not illegal to take for competition. It takes about 3 weeks to accumulate in your body to make a difference so don’t expect to be the hulk overnight. Again, the message with creatine is to keep it simple, companies sell all sorts of creatine, most of which haven’t been shown to be any better than regular creatine monohydrate.
As I mentioned before, I take these as a breakfast replacement. They’re a good source of carbs and can be quickly made in a shaker or a blender and mixed with other things too. Don’t try to cook them though, trust me, it doesn’t work.
This is a good quality source of protien. Ideally you should be consuming 1g of protein per lb of lean muscle mass (you’d need to calculate your body fat % to find this figure) so if you need more protein, it’s a good place to start. If you do get enough protein, no matter what the supplement companies say, more whey protein won’t really do anything. Check what you buy as well as some brands pack their whey protein with sugar in the flavourings. So if you need it, it’s good to take, if you don’t need it, don’t bother.
This is a great way to raise your vitamin D level back up to where they should be during winter months. As I said before, if your vitamin D levels drop, your testosterone can too so it’s worth taking duirng the darker, colder months.
There are a lot of supplements out there and a lot of rubbish too. Ideally, you’ll have enough of all your nutrition in your regular diet but the world isn’t ideal so supplementing can be necessary. If you do choose to buy, keep it simple and buy individual ingredients over big expensive stacks which have loads of stuff you don’t need.
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What supplements do you use? Comment below and like our facebook page for more posts on martial arts. Also check out these videos by Omar Isuf, an intelligent power-lifter, on this topic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axZGhPPp3k8 3 good health supplements
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYKKwWxT19w 3 overrated supplements
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4WvJSEGZr4 some good info on whey protein
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLRbUHAfkV0 some good info on creatine
Photo credits to pastorfit.com