- Coach Tom (Head of S&C)
Supplementation for training and to sustain healthy function requires analyzing each individual on a personalized level. There are numerous supplements on the market that are positioned as a “necessity” but depending on one’s sleep, diet and other lifestyle factors, supplementation might not be required. If you have a medical condition that requires you to supplement with something in particular then seek professional advice from a Dietician or qualified Nutritionist. If you’ve had a blood test that shows you are lacking in some vital areas for function and performance then do the same.
If you know you would benefit from supplementation whether due to high training intensities, time constraints with work to consume enough food or just looking for a general boost, here are some suggestions:
Others like Vit D or Vit B12 would depend on your levels
When it comes to supplements for pre training, you can’t go past caffeine. It has been extensively researched for its ability to boost performance when taken at the right dosages. This can be taken in the form of an espresso shot, regular coffee, caffeine tablets or even gum. If those aren’t for you then there are some pre workouts which provide the same boost. Look for pre workouts that include caffeine, beta-alanine and citrulline malate.
Intra training supplements can also be utilised but the duration, intensity and type of training would need to be determined. If you are in the gym for a 60min strength or bodybuilding routine then little to no supplementation would be required. If your session lasted 2+ hours and involved high levels of intensity then a supplement that contained carbohydrates would be most effective. For example, if you are cycling for 2-3 hours you may require a glucose supplement to keep your energy topped up.
Post training supplements are the most common people are aware of. Supplements like creatine monohydrate have gone through rigorous research studies and shown to aid in recovery and increase performance when supplementation protocols are followed. Protein powder is another common post workout supplement that is a readily available source of food and fuel post workout. If you can consume the appropriate amount of protein required for you throughout the day then a shake might not necessarily be needed. But if you are someone who struggles to consume enough during the day or can’t stomach a meal straight after training, then protein powder might be for you.