It seems that most people that exercise nowadays are taking some sort of supplements to 'supplement' ones diet to gain maximal results, which seems pretty reasonable right? I mean, if you aren't consuming all the right foods and getting enough of certain ingredients then it would seem logical to supplement? I would agree with this to some extent and this is because some of us are taking supplements and expecting amazing results without the effort. Are you taking the right supplements for you? Let's take a look into this to make sure you are doing everything you possibly can to see great results...
Your supplements should effectively supplement your diet when you can't get to a food source, for instance if you are travelling all day or if you are on the road in between staying at home and in hotels. The fact is some of us are using supplements as a means of living and this should only really be done if you can't eat food. Supplements should only make up 5-10% of your daily diet and the rest should come from food groups such as protein, carbohydrates and fats. Are you guilty however of missing meals and instead using supplements like regular protein shakes, with low carbs and very low calories? Do you use fat burners to drop body fat?
If you want to lose weight effectively the last thing you want to do is skip/miss meals and only use a protein shake. Your body still requires certain micro nutrients throughout the day to support what you are doing. Going completely zero carb is always a controversial matter so make sure you know why you are going zero carbohydrates and for how long to do this for. Using a meal replacement shake is far better for you as it still give you essential vitamins and minerals, protein, fats and carbohydrates that your body requires. Don't fall into the trap of thinking losing weight is just cutting everything out of your diet, sure you will lose weight but you won't lose body fat!
Protein shakes are great for everyone who is active no matter what type of sport you are doing. Any type of activity that puts your muscles under tension requires protein for them to recover. More importantly though is the amount of protein you have on a daily basis because too much that your body doesn't require stores as fat. However does it matter how intense your workouts are for you to give yourself a protein shake? I believe it does matter and this is why. Far too many times I will see people training and exercising only at 50% of their maximum. I gauge 50% because often they will be talking, on their mobile phones or checking out the other sex in the gym but as soon their session is up, it's straight to the water fountain to fill up a protein shake. Is this needed when not much work has been put in? It's almost like a the necessities of using a protein shake have gone out of the window and it's just the 'in thing' to do.
I think you should be using a protein shake post workout only if your body is in need of it. So if you are putting in half hearted sessions, taking protein and yet moaning you aren't seeing the results then you need to address how you are spending your time being active.
Branched Chain Amino Acids
An incredibly important supplement that aids in muscle repair and muscle growth that should be a staple if you exercise regularly. Amino acids are small building blocks of protein for your muscles that help within the recovery process after a workout. Branched chain amino acids typically are high in Leucine which is the main amino acid to give your body the results you want to see. These are a great supplement to have and come in powder or tablet form, definitely use them if you train intensely all year round.