A Brief Review of Cheap and Effective Supplements

Over the years various supplements have been advertised to drastically improve gym performance or accelerate fat loss at an unnatural rate. However, very few of these supplements have been scientifically proven to be successful. I am going to highlight three of the main supplements I would personally recommend based on a broad range of published scientific literature.

The first supplement I would recommend is Whey Protein, it’s highly beneficial if you struggle to consume a sufficient amount of protein. Consuming an adequate amount of protein will aid the growth and repair of the muscle tissue which correlates to an increase in strength performance. Morton et al, (2017) found that ~1.6g/kg of lean body mass is the recommended amount of protein to increase muscle growth.

The other two supplements are Creatine and Caffeine. These are two of substances that have consistently been found to enhance training performance. Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in the cells of the muscle. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Taking creatine as a supplement is very popular among athletes and bodybuilders in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance. During consumption, you increase your stores of phosphocreatine, this is a form of stored energy in the cells and helps your body produce more of a high-energy molecule called ATP. ATP is often called the body's energy currency. When you have more ATP, your body can perform better during high-intensity exercise (Buford et al, 2007). Creatine also alters several cellular processes that lead to increased muscle mass, strength and recovery (Kreider, 2003). Consuming ~3-5g of Creatine Monohydrate has been found to be a sufficient amount to aid these benefits.

Last of all is Caffeine, this powerful supplement is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, and blood levels peak after 90-100 minutes. Caffeine levels remain high for 3–4 hours, and then start to drop (Spriet et al, 1992, Graham & Spriet, 1995). Unlike most supplements, caffeine can affect cells throughout the body, including muscle cells and brain function (Fredholm et al, 1999). A single dose of caffeine has been found to significantly enhance exercise performance, fat burning and concentration. Focusing on exercise performance, a large base of literature has reported that following caffeine consumption, an enhancement in endurance performance, high intensity exercise and even strength performance has been found. ~3mg/kg body weight of caffeine 30-45 minutes prior to training is recommended (Grogic et al, 2019).