Days are getting longer and longer each day and summer is approaching by the minute. The days are sunny and warm, the shorts and dresses are pulled out of the closet and most of the time you would just want to spend it at the beach relaxing. If you want your summer body; it’s time to get started now!
On the goal of losing fat and gaining lean muscle mass or as some may call it “toning up”, many people commit themselves to strict meal plans in order reduce or alter the amount of nutrients they consume in order to help them achieve their desirable body shape.
And while it is still possible to attain a lower percentage of fat and gain lean muscle mass with a detailed and sometimes strict nutrition plan, at times it can also be inconvenient, especially for people that are always on the go.
This is one the main reasons why supplements have gained so much popularity over the years; because having the correct supplementation to fill in your nutritional gaps maximizes your results in achieving your body and fitness goals – of course followed with an exercise regimen.
There are many supplements in the market now a days, but one of the best ones that have helped my clients and myself when burning fat, preserving and building lean muscle mass are: Protein(specifically whey), Amino Acids, and Creatine.
Whey protein is by far one of the most popular supplements in the market and the reason behind it; is that it works great to help the body to either lose fat or gain muscle or both at the same time when incorporating strength training.
Whey Protein supplements come in the forms of powder and snack bars, it aids in muscle growth and recovery specifically after training. Its job is to feed muscle cells after your workouts (as Whey is a fast digesting protein) to help you achieve more progress in building muscle and properly recover for your next workout.
Protein Bars are also a great way to replace those unhealthy snack choices that we all get from time to time or for meal replacements for individuals that are always on the go.
Tip: When looking for a protein powder make sure to always read the labels so that the first ingredient is actually whey protein and that the amounts of sugars it contains are on the lower side.
Amino Acids are most popular in the form of powder, both flavoured and unflavoured. Aminos play an essential role in helping your muscles develop and recover after your workouts at the gym. For example, when losing weight or fat many people do “fasted cardio”, which is indeed a great method to target a bigger fat burn especially since the body has not ingested many calories for the previous hours.
And while fasted cardio is good for burning fat, it may not be as favourable in preserving your lean muscle mass as it may lead to a bigger breakdown of your muscles; therefore, it is important to intake some aminos before and while doing your fasted cardio to avoid the further break down of muscle and rather to target that stubborn fat.
Aminos are also a great way to keep yourself well hydrated throughout your day, on your intense cardio or strength training sessions or even to reduce craving of sweets or sugary drinks throughout your day.
Creatine is naturally produced in our system and it helps replenish our bodies with energy to keep us going with our daily activities. Although creatine is naturally produced in body, we deplete lots of it through urine.
To replenish your levels of creatine you can take creatine as supplementation, especially if you are trying to gain or retain lean muscle mass. When using creatine, one should follow consumption instructions to optimize results.
For example; when you begin taking creatine you begin with the “loading phase”, which is where you take a certain amount of grams daily based on your body weight for the first week or so, and after that first week you start reducing your daily intake. Again, the amount you would take would be based on your body weight.
The purpose of ingesting creatine is to provide the body with more strength and stamina throughout your workouts which in the end can lead to a bigger increase of muscle mass.
In conclusion, whatever the reason for losing fat and building muscle may be, make a commitment with yourself to eat better, give your best effort in every workout and also take your rest days to let your body recover and relax.
Like most things in life, losing fat and building muscle takes guidance, effort and patience, but with the right supplementation you can help your body achieve more results and recover faster so that you are ready to tackle a brand new day or workout.
Whatever your goal is, if you find yourself in need of any help with nutrition, training or helping your muscles recover, do not hesitate to come visit me at Steve Nash Kingsway location in Burnaby.