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The 10 best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals

The 10 best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals

Would you like to improve your training in the gym and achieve your goals faster and more efficiently? If so, you may have considered taking a supplement to help boost your performance, recovery, and results. But do you know what supplements are and what they are for? Do you know which are the best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals? Do you know how to choose the right supplement for you and how to take it safely and efficiently?

In this article we are going to answer all these questions and we are going to present you with the 10 best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals, whether they are to gain muscle mass, lose fat, increase strength, endurance or health. We’ll explain what supplements are, what types there are, what benefits they have, what precautions and contraindications to keep in mind, and how to choose the right supplement for you. In addition, we will show you the 10 best supplements you can take to improve your workout and results, based on scientific evidence, popularity, and expert opinion.

So if you want to know more about supplements and how they can help you train better and achieve your goals, read on and find out everything you need to know about this topic.

What are supplements and what are they for?

Supplements are products that contain one or more nutrients, substances or compounds that aim to complement the diet and provide health, performance or aesthetic benefits. Supplements are not medicines nor are they a substitute for a balanced diet, but are used as extra support to cover nutritional needs or improve a specific aspect.

Types of Supplements According to Their Function

There are many types of supplements, but we can classify them according to their function into four main groups:

  • Energy supplements: these are those that provide energy to the body, either in the form of carbohydrates, fats or proteins. Examples include gels, bars, smoothies, or isotonic drinks.
  • Protein supplements: these are those that provide proteins or amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscles and other tissues. Examples include whey protein, casein, BCAAs, glutamine, or creatine.
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements: these are those that provide vitamins and minerals, which are essential micronutrients for the functioning of the body. Examples include multivitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, or selenium.
  • Ergogenic supplements: these are those that provide substances or compounds that improve physical or mental performance, either by increasing strength, endurance, concentration, motivation or recovery. Examples include caffeine, beta-alanine, L-carnitine, omega-3, ginseng, or melatonin.

Benefits of Workout Supplements

Supplements can have several benefits for training, depending on the type and function they have. Some of the most common benefits are:

  • Boost energy: Energy supplements can help maintain blood glucose levels, prevent fatigue, and improve performance during exercise.
  • Increase muscle mass: Protein supplements can help stimulate protein synthesis, promote muscle growth, and prevent catabolism or loss of muscle mass.
  • Improve health: Vitamin and mineral supplements can help prevent or correct nutritional deficiencies, strengthen the immune system, protect cells from oxidative stress, and regulate metabolism.
  • Improve performance: Ergogenic supplements can help improve physical or mental capacity, increasing strength, endurance, concentration, motivation, or recovery.

Precautions and Contraindications of Supplements

While supplements can have benefits for training, there are also some precautions and contraindications to keep in mind when taking them. Some of the most important are:

  • Consult with a professional: Before taking any supplement, it is advisable to consult with a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer, who can assess the need, dosage, frequency, and compatibility with other supplements or medications.
  • Read the label: It is important to read the label of the supplement, which indicates the composition, ingredients, nutritional information, how to use, warnings, and possible interactions or side effects.
  • Follow the instructions: it is essential to follow the instructions of the manufacturer or the professional who recommends the supplement, respecting the dosage, schedule, duration and form of consumption.
  • Do not abuse: It is essential not to abuse supplements, as they can have adverse effects, such as poisoning, overdose, nutritional imbalances, hormonal alterations or health problems.
  • Do not substitute: it is essential not to replace supplements with a balanced, varied and healthy diet, as supplements are not food and do not cover all nutritional needs.

The 10 best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals

Now that you know what supplements are and what they are for, let’s see what are the 10 best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals, whether they are to gain muscle mass, lose fat, increase strength, endurance or health. Here are the supplements we’ve selected, based on scientific evidence, popularity, and expert opinion:

1. Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of the most consumed and most studied supplements, as it has multiple benefits for training. Whey protein is obtained from cow’s milk, and is characterized by having a high biological value, rapid absorption and a high content of essential amino acids, especially branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).

Whey protein can help increase muscle mass by stimulating protein synthesis and promoting anabolism. It can also help with fat loss as it increases energy expenditure, reduces appetite, and improves body composition. In addition, it can help improve health, as it strengthens the immune system, prevents bone loss, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The recommended dose of whey protein varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general it is usually taken between 20 and 40 grams per day, spread over several doses, preferably post-workout. Whey protein can be mixed with water, milk, or juice, and can be combined with other supplements, such as creatine, BCAAs, or glutamine.

2. Creatine

Creatine is another of the most popular and most researched supplements, as it has a great effect on physical performance. Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscle tissue and in some foods, such as red meat or fish. Creatine is responsible for forming creatine phosphate, which is a molecule used to regenerate ATP, which is the main source of energy for cells.

Creatine can help increase strength, power, and endurance by allowing for more reps, more weight, and more intensity in training. It can also help increase muscle mass, as it supports cellular hydration, protein synthesis, and the expression of growth-related genes. In addition, it can help improve recovery by speeding up creatine phosphate resynthesis, reducing muscle damage and inflammation, and improving neuromuscular function.

The recommended dose of creatine varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general it is usually taken between 3 and 5 grams per day, after an initial loading phase of 20 grams per day for 5 days. Creatine can be mixed with water, juice, or any carbohydrate-containing beverage, and can be combined with other supplements, such as whey protein, BCAAs, or glutamine.

3. BCAAs

BCAAs are the branched-chain amino acids, which are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are essential, which means that they cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplements. BCAAs are the most abundant amino acids in muscle tissue and play a key role in regulating protein synthesis and degradation.

BCAAs can help increase muscle mass, as leucine activates the mTOR pathway, which is responsible for initiating protein synthesis. They can also help prevent muscle loss, as isoleucine and valine inhibit the FOXO pathway, which is responsible for triggering protein breakdown. In addition, they can help improve performance by reducing core fatigue, muscle soreness, and oxidative stress.

The recommended dose of BCAAs varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general it is usually taken between 5 and 10 grams per day, spread over several doses, preferably before, during, and after training. BCAAs can be mixed with water or any isotonic drink, and can be combined with other supplements, such as whey protein, creatine, or glutamine.

4. Glutamine

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in plasma and muscle tissue, and has multiple functions in the body. Glutamine is considered a conditionally essential amino acid, which means that in stressful situations, such as intense exercise, glutamine demand can exceed the ability to synthesize and a deficit can occur.

Glutamine can help improve recovery by supporting glycogen resynthesis, cellular hydration, pH regulation, and immune function. It can also help prevent catabolism or loss of muscle mass, as it prevents the activation of proteolysis or protein degradation. In addition, it can help improve gut health, as it is the main fuel for gut cells and contributes to maintaining the integrity of the mucosa.

The recommended dose of glutamine varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general it is usually taken between 5 and 10 grams per day, spread over several doses, preferably after training and before sleeping. Glutamine can be mixed with water or any carbohydrate-containing beverage, and it can be combined with other supplements, such as whey protein, creatine, or BCAAs.

5. Caffeine

Caffeine is a substance found naturally in coffee, tea, cocoa, mate or guarana, which has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. Caffeine is one of the most widely used and effective ergogenic supplements, as it has a great impact on physical and mental performance.

Caffeine can help improve performance as it increases alertness, concentration, motivation, coordination, and resistance to pain. It can also help with fat loss as it increases metabolism, lipolysis or fatty acid mobilization, and thermogenesis or heat production. In addition, it can help improve recovery by reducing the perception of fatigue, muscle soreness, and inflammation.

The recommended dose of caffeine varies depending on weight, tolerance level, and type of exercise, but in general you take between 3 and 6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, 30 to 60 minutes before training. Caffeine can be consumed in the form of capsules, powders, beverages, or foods that contain caffeine, and can be combined with other supplements, such as creatine, beta-alanine, or L-carnitine.

6. Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid found naturally in some foods, such as meat, fish, or chicken. Beta-alanine is responsible for forming carnosine, which is a molecule that is stored in skeletal muscle and has the ability to buffer lactic acid, which is produced during anaerobic exercise and causes muscle fatigue.

Beta-alanine can help improve performance by increasing muscle work capacity, power, and endurance, especially in high-intensity, short-duration exercises, such as sprinting, weightlifting, or CrossFit. It can also help increase muscle mass as it promotes protein synthesis and anabolism. In addition, it can help improve health as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The recommended dose of beta-alanine varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general, it is usually taken between 4 and 6 grams a day, spread over several doses, for at least 4 weeks to reap the benefits. Beta-alanine can be consumed in capsule or powder form, and can be combined with other supplements, such as creatine, caffeine, or L-carnitine.

7. L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is a substance that is synthesized from the amino acids lysine and methionine, and is found naturally in some foods, such as red meat, fish or dairy. L-carnitine is responsible for transporting long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria, which are the energy plants of cells, where they are oxidized and converted into energy.

L-carnitine can help with fat loss as it facilitates the use of fatty acids as an energy source, reducing adipose tissue and improving body composition. It can also help improve performance by increasing aerobic capacity, endurance, and recovery, reducing glycogen consumption and oxidative stress. In addition, it can help improve health as it protects the cardiovascular system, brain, and liver, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

The recommended dose of L-carnitine varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general it is usually taken between 1 and 3 grams per day, preferably before training. L-carnitine can be consumed in capsule, liquid, or powder form, and can be combined with other supplements, such as creatine, caffeine, or beta-alanine.

8. Omega-3

Omega-3 is a type of essential fatty acid found naturally in some foods, such as oily fish, walnuts, or flaxseeds. Omega-3 is made up of two main fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have important functions in the body.

Omega-3 can help improve health, as it has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, brain, vision, skin, and joints. It can also help improve performance as it improves endothelial function, vasodilation, blood flow, and the transport of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. In addition, it can help improve recovery as it reduces inflammation, muscle soreness, and oxidative stress.

The recommended dose of omega-3 varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general it is usually taken between 1 and 3 grams a day, spread over several doses, preferably with meals. Omega-3 can be consumed in capsule, liquid, or powder form, and can be combined with other supplements, such as whey protein, creatine, or L-carnitine.

9. Multivitamins

Multivitamins are supplements that contain a combination of vitamins and minerals, which are essential micronutrients for the body’s function. Multivitamins are used to prevent or correct potential nutritional deficiencies that can occur due to an improper diet, increased needs, or poor absorption.

Multivitamins can help improve health by contributing to the maintenance of vital functions, such as metabolism, the immune system, the nervous system, the hormonal system, the skeletal system, or the visual system. They can also help improve performance, as they are involved in energy production, protein synthesis, muscle contraction, oxygenation, and hydration. In addition, they can help improve recovery by protecting cells from oxidative stress, inflammation, and muscle damage.

The recommended dose of multivitamins varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general, one capsule or tablet is usually taken daily, preferably with breakfast. Multivitamins can be combined with other supplements, such as whey protein, creatine, or omega-3s.

10. ZMA

ZMA is a supplement that contains a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, which are micronutrients that play an important role in the body. ZMA is used to improve sleep quality, recovery, and the production of anabolic hormones, such as testosterone and growth hormone.

ZMA can help improve recovery by supporting deep, restful sleep, which is when most of the muscle regeneration and anabolic hormone release occurs. It can also help increase muscle mass by stimulating protein synthesis, anabolism, and strength. In addition, it can help improve health as it strengthens the immune system, nervous system, skeletal system, and reproductive system.

The recommended dose of ZMA varies depending on each person’s weight, activity level, and goals, but in general, you take 20 to 30 milligrams of zinc, 400 to 500 milligrams of magnesium, and 5 to 10 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily, preferably before bed and on an empty stomach. ZMA can be combined with other supplements, such as whey protein, creatine, or omega-3.

How to Choose the Right Supplement for You

As you have seen, there are many types of supplements and each has its own characteristics, benefits, dosages, and ways of use. That’s why not all supplements are suitable for everyone, or for all goals. To choose the right supplement for you, there are several factors to consider, such as:

Factors to Consider When Buying a Supplement

  • Your goal: The first thing you should be clear about is what you want to achieve with the supplement, whether it’s increasing muscle mass, losing fat, improving performance, recovery or health. Depending on your goal, you can choose the supplement that best suits your needs and expectations.
  • Your diet: the second thing you should analyze is your diet, as supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet, but a complement. If your diet is deficient in any nutrient, substance, or compound, you can opt for a supplement to help you fill that gap. If your diet is sufficient and varied, you can opt for a supplement that gives you an extra benefit.
  • Your activity level: The third thing to assess is your activity level, as supplements can have different effects depending on the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise you do. If your activity level is high, you can opt for a supplement that will help you improve your performance, recovery, and results. If your activity level is low, you can opt for a supplement that will help improve your health and well-being.
  • Your budget: the fourth thing you should consider is your budget, as supplements can have very varied prices depending on the brand, quality, quantity, and form of presentation. If your budget is high, you can opt for a high-end supplement, which guarantees you good quality, a good quantity and a good way of presentation. If your budget is low, you can opt for a mid-range or low-end supplement, which offers you acceptable quality, sufficient quantity, and a practical form of presentation.

Dosage recommendations and consumption schedules

Once you have chosen the right supplement for you, you should follow some recommendations for dosages and consumption schedules, to make the most of its benefits and avoid possible side effects. Here are some general recommendations to keep in mind:

  • Consult with a professional: Before taking any supplement, consult with a doctor, a nutritionist or a personal trainer, who can evaluate your particular case and recommend the dosage, schedule, duration and form of consumption that is most suitable for you.
  • Read the label: Read the label of the supplement, which lists the supplement’s composition, ingredients, nutritional information, how to use, warnings, and potential interactions or side effects. Follow the instructions of the manufacturer or the professional who recommends the supplement, respecting the dosage, schedule, duration and form of consumption.
  • Adjust the dosage: Adjust the dosage of the supplement based on your weight, activity level, and goals, without exceeding the maximum recommended amount. Start with a low dose and work your way up to the optimal dose for you. If you notice any side effects, reduce or stop the dose.
  • Choose the schedule: Choose the schedule of consumption of the supplement according to the type, function, and purpose of the supplement. Some supplements should be taken before, during, or after training, to improve performance, recovery, or results. Other supplements should be taken with meals, to improve absorption or health. Other supplements should be taken before bed, to improve sleep or hormone production.
  • Vary the form: Vary the way you consume the supplement depending on your preference, your convenience, and your availability. Some supplements can be consumed in capsule, liquid, or powder form, and can be mixed with water, milk, juice, or any drink that contains carbohydrates. Other supplements can be consumed in the form of bars, gels, or foods that contain them.

How to Combine Different Supplements

Another issue you need to consider is how to combine different supplements, as some may have synergistic effects, i.e. they potentiate each other, while others may have antagonistic effects, i.e. they inhibit each other. Here are some of the most common combinations and their effects:

  • Whey Protein + Creatine: This combination can improve muscle mass gain, strength, and recovery, as whey protein stimulates protein synthesis and creatine increases muscle work capacity.
  • BCAAs + Glutamine: This combination can improve muscle loss prevention, recovery, and health, as BCAAs inhibit protein degradation and glutamine supports glycogen resynthesis and immune function.
  • Caffeine + beta-alanine: This combination can improve performance, endurance, and recovery, as caffeine increases alertness, motivation, and resistance to pain and beta-alanine buffers lactic acid and reduces muscle fatigue.
  • L-carnitine + omega-3: This combination can improve fat loss, health, and performance, as L-carnitine facilitates the utilization of fatty acids as an energy source and omega-3 improves endothelial function, vasodilation, and blood flow.
  • Multivitamins + ZMA: This combination can improve health, recovery, and the production of anabolic hormones, as multivitamins provide the micronutrients essential for the functioning of the body and ZMA improves the quality of sleep and the release of testosterone and growth hormone.

Conclusion

In conclusion, supplements are products that can help you train better and achieve your goals, as long as you choose, take, and combine them properly and safely. Supplements are not a magic bullet or a substitute for a balanced diet, but a supplement that can provide you with health, performance or aesthetic benefits.

In this article we have presented you with the 10 best supplements to train in the gym and achieve your goals, whether they are to gain muscle mass, lose fat, increase strength, endurance or health. We’ve explained what they are, what types there are, what benefits they have, what precautions and contraindications to keep in mind, and how to choose, take, and combine the right supplements for you.

We hope you found this article useful and interesting, and that you are encouraged to try one of these supplements to improve your training and your results. If you have any questions, queries or suggestions, do not hesitate to leave us a comment or contact us by email. We will be happy to assist and help you.

And if you liked this article, share it with your friends and family, so they too can benefit from supplements and achieve their goals. Thank you very much for your attention and see you next time!

Frequently asked questions

Are supplements necessary to train in the gym?

No, supplements are not necessary to train in the gym, as you can achieve good food and nutrition through a balanced, varied and healthy diet. However, supplements can be an extra support for improving performance, recovery, and results, as long as they are chosen, taken, and combined properly and safely.

Do supplements have side effects?

It depends, some supplements can have side effects if taken in excess, if combined improperly or if you have allergies, intolerances or previous diseases. Therefore, it is important to consult with a professional, read the label, follow the instructions, adjust the dosage, and choose the schedule of consumption of the supplement. Some of the most common side effects are: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, nervousness, insomnia, tachycardia, hypertension, dehydration, cramps, irritation, rashes, or allergic reactions.

Can supplements be taken without a prescription?

Yes, supplements can be taken without a prescription, as they are not medicines and do not require a prescription. However, it is advisable to consult with a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer, who can assess the need, dosage, frequency, and compatibility with other supplements or medications. In addition, it is important to buy supplements from licensed establishments, which guarantee the quality, safety and legality of the products.

Do supplements expire or lose effectiveness?

Yes, supplements expire or lose effectiveness over time, as the nutrients, substances, or compounds they contain can be degraded or altered by factors such as temperature, humidity, light, or oxygen. Therefore, it is important to store supplements in a cool, dry, dark and tightly closed place, and respect the expiration or best-before date indicated by the manufacturer. If the supplement has changes in color, smell, taste, or texture, it is best not to consume it and discard it.