Posted by Bulk Nutrients in Health / Nutrition
Estimated reading time: 14mins
Of course, supplements are just that – a supplement. You only need supplements if you’re not getting all of the nutrients you need from your diet, that said they can definitely help on days when you’re busy, travelling or you just can’t get all the nutrients you need from the food you’re eating.
And if you haven’t heard these sayings yet, you will soon: “You can’t out-train a bad diet” and “Abs are made in the kitchen”. The point is that it’s what you’re eating that has a big impact on how your body responds. Simply adding supplements to a poor diet won’t change the way your body looks.
Another key factor is ensuring you get enough proper rest too. Make time for sleep and ensure you’re adequately hydrated. Plain water is always the best for hydration.
Finally, no supplement can replace the benefits of working out, whether it’s in your backyard, at the park or in the gym. Resistance work, whether bodyweight work or using weights, and raising your heart rate with cardio, has so many benefits for the way your body feels and for your mood, too. No supplement can replicate those benefits alone and you should be wary of any company that makes those sorts of outrageous claims.
All of the supplements we’re going to talk about below should be consumed alongside a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Instead, think of supplements as something that can support you, no matter whether you’re an experienced lifter who knows their Romanian deadlifts from their goblet squats to someone lacing up their sneakers for the first time in a while.
As with any change to your diet or exercise, you should talk to your doctor or health practitioner before making these changes.
So let’s take a look at some supps for support when you’re just starting.
You can take every supplement on this list if you wish but you don’t need to. This blog will explain what each supplement does, the best time to take it and the benefits you can expect.
Getting adequate protein as part of your diet is really important, especially when you’re working out. Your body will have consumed proteins during your workout and needs to source more protein and amino acids (which aren’t produced by the body) to build new muscle, according to an article in Healthline. The general recommendation is to consume between 20g and 40 g within one hour to four hours of completing your workout, according to an article in the peer-reviewed 2018 article in journal Frontiers in Nutrition.
Remember that it’s the protein you consume as part of your total daily calorie intake that matters. Consuming protein within that hour of working out won’t fix a poor diet across the rest of your day.
However, given that protein powder is stable, doesn’t need refrigerating and easily mixes with water, into a smoothie or yoghurt, it’s great to have at home, in your bag or in your desk drawers when you’re craving something sweet. Rather than reaching for the empty calories of a chocolate bar or bag of lollies, a quick protein shake can sate your appetite and slay your sweet cravings, too.
There are several protein sources to choose from, including:
WPC is the most popular protein powder out there, and for good reason! If you don’t have any allergies or intolerances, and no dietary reasons (eg vegan) to prevent you from consuming dairy, Whey Protein Concentrate is the most economical choice for a protein supplement. Our Whey Protein Concentrate tastes great and we have a range of flavours so you’ll never get bored.
Plus, as you can read in our deep-dive into Whey Protein Concentrate, it also has a range of health benefits as discovered from research by the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, sports nutrition expert Marie Spano and Healthline.
The health benefits of consuming whey protein include:
If you find you’re sensitive to lactose, you may wish to try Whey Protein Isolate. This is an exceptionally pure form of whey, with most of the lactose (milk sugar, which is a carbohydrate) and fat filtered out. Bulk Nutrients Whey Protein Isolate is 91 per cent protein, compared with the protein range of 70 per cent to 80 per cent for our Whey Protein Concentrate.
Bulk Nutrients offers plenty more choices when it comes to whey protein supplements, including Thermowhey, a protein powder with added ingredients to support weight loss and high-protein milk Casein to help you feel fuller for longer, or Protein Matrix with high-quality protein and added amino acid Glutamine for recovery. You can try these with a free sample or just start with Whey Protein Concentrate or Whey Protein Isolate.
For vegans, or anyone looking to cut back on dairy and add more plant-based ingredients to their diet, there are several plant-based proteins to choose from. Plus, plant-based proteins can offer a range of extra health benefits, like added fibre, Omega 3 and 6 fats and low-allergen offerings.
Healthline recommends consuming a range of plant-based protein powders, rather than relying on one source, so you can maximise your nutritional intake. You may wish to buy a couple of different plant-based proteins to mix up your sources regularly.
Our deep-dive on vegan protein powders is here if you’d like to know more, but, at a glance:
Soy Protein became available as a food-grade protein isolate in 1959 and it’s one of the most popular vegan protein powders on the market. As reported in Healthline, it’s a complete protein with plenty of amino acids to help with recovery.
A 2003 study published in the Journal of Perinatal Education found soy protein is particularly good for women.
Soy protein can:
A blend of rice protein isolate and pea protein isolate, Earth Protein is unique to Bulk Nutrients and particularly good for amino acid absorption. Pea protein on its own is low in its low in amino acid methionine, which you can source by eating poultry, pork, fish or beef, or, if vegetarian, eggs, or, if vegan, brown rice. Earth Protein combines brown rice protein isolate with pea protein for a pleasant texture and nutritional value.
Finally, if you don’t like the taste of creamy plant-based proteins, our Future Whey powder is pure protein and amino acids in a refreshing taste of Cola or Lemonade. Future Whey contains amino acids, is 89 per cent protein with zero carbohydrate and zero fats. It allows for muscle recovery after a workout and it’s 100 per cent vegan.
We could all do with adding more leafy green vegetables to our diet. In fact, one or two generous handfuls of baby spinach in your protein smoothie won’t alter the taste and will give you a great dose of green veg! Just check your teeth afterwards...
However, in addition to making sure there’s an extra salad or steamed greens on your plate, it’s great to add Green Fusion to your supplement arsenal.
Green Fusion is created with superhero ingredient spirulina, which this 2010 study found to have anti-inflammatory properties and even anticancer, antiviral and antiallergic effects. Spirulina is the name for several types of algae that grow in fresh and saltwater and which is known as a superfood for its “vitamins, especially B12 and provitamin A, and minerals, especially iron. It’s also easily digested”.
Green Fusion also contains B-vitamins and minerals and another super-algae, chlorella (for its key vitamins and trace elements). Healthline confirms Chlorella contains many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fats.
The final tenet of a healthier lifestyle, once exercise and nutrition have been sorted is sleep. Good, restful sleep is when your body recovers and prepares for the next day. A good night’s sleep is also crucial for supporting good mental health. ZMA support your muscle recovery and better sleep, too.
Research from 1999 by Lorrie Brilla, PhD, a sports performance researcher at Western Washington University, has shown who took a ZMA supplement over 12 weeks doubled their functional power gains and had a 2.5 times improvement in muscle power.
Zinc and magnesium have been proven to lift the mood and reduce depressive symptoms, going hand-in-hand with the natural mood lifter that endorphins from exercise can supply. Of course, as with all supplements, you should never swap out a supplement for prescribed medication without talking to your doctor first and you should also check with your doctor or pharmacist that supplements won’t interfere with any medication you’re currently taking.
Finally, magnesium is proven to help you sleep, as it supports the body and brain to relax.
Finally, you may wish to consider adding a multivitamin and probiotics to your diet to support digestive health and immune function. Bulk Nutrients has created Proviotic, which contains one-quarter of your daily requirements of Zinc, Iodine, Iron, Magnesium, Folate, Calcium and Potassium. You’ll also find Vitamins A, C, D and E as well as a full array of B Vitamins.
Proviotic also contains a 5 billion CFU dose of Bacillus Subtilis, a strain of healthy bacteria patented by Bulk Nutrients to support your gut as well as recovery after exercise, body composition, performance, strength and muscle gains.
Remember, no supplement can beat eating more whole, unprocessed foods, drinking plenty of water, exercise you enjoy and can stick with and getting enough sleep. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices out there, this guide can help you on the right path to feeling even better and supporting the healthy choices you’re making.
And, we can’t stress this enough: before starting any new diet or exercise plan, you should always consult your doctor and check with your doctor or pharmacist that any supplements you’d like to introduce will not interfere with any of your prescribed medications.