With 2017 well underway, its time to turn your new fitness regime up a level. At the start of each year I like to set out a few fitness plan to work towards and get into shape in time for the summer. For 2017 I have decided to focus on burning some body fat and toning up. With less body fat you can create the appearance of larger, more defined muscles as the skin around them is tighter. As with all fitness plans, I hope to see the results by sticking to the plan for the next few months and adapting it when I need to get the most out of it.
At the start of each year I like to try a variety of new supplements that I can incorporate into my workouts & diet. Supplements allow you to maximise the benefits of your workout and see greater gains when compared to not using supplements. I always use a whey protein powder for after my workouts as it is a perfect fast way to get protein to the muscles when they need it most. With a new fitness plan I like to try some supplements that I have not tried before. The below list contains the supplements that I will be trying in 2017 and actually incorporating into my fitness plan.
Despite always using protein shakes, I have rarely used protein bars. In the past I have focused on high protein meals and never looked for more protein from snack bars. However with my new aim of trying to tone up I am trying to eat smaller & more regular meals. This stops your metabolism from slowing throughout the day when you have not eaten for a while. Protein bars are perfect for me to include as a convenient afternoon meal during the day. They allow me to get plenty of protein with the convenience of not having to prepare any food in advance. I can easily take them with me in a bag to consume on the go.
The High Protein Bar from MyProtein makes a great choice. Each bar has a huge 30g of protein which is often higher than many protein shakes. What I really like about this bar is that is contains a blend of both fast and slow releasing proteins. this is ideal for when it is going to be several hours until your next meal as you can keep your muscles primed with protein. These bars also contain over 23g of carbohydrates, giving your muscles the energy they need to build and repair.
I have also tried the Vegan Protein Bar from my protein and can honestly say I really enjoyed it. The bar itself is smaller at 50g but still contains 13g per serving. If you are starting a vegan diet this year, these bars could make a great alternative. I tried the “Choc chop, nut & vanilla flavour” and I can say I really enjoyed the taste of the bar.
One of the supplements I had not tried before but I am not incorporating into my fitness plan is CLA. Conjugated Linoleic Acid is a naturally occurring fatty acid and is actually one of the most popular supplements on the market. Yes, you can get CLA naturally in your diet from meats and dairy. However, just like creatine, the amounts in your diet are minimal compared to the doses available in supplement form. CLA supposedly helps to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle. With my fitness aims in mind, I am trying this supplement to see how I get on and the results it gives me.
I am using the CLA from MyProtein. This can be purchased for £7.99 for a pot of 60 capsules. The soft-gel capsules make it easy to consume without any fuss.
Branched-chain amino acids are one of the most popular supplements on the market and definitely one you should be trying in 2017. As well as building muscle, BCAAs are great for preventing muscle loss when you are on a diet. During a calorie deficit your body can turn to muscle stores for energy as it tried harder to hold onto its fat stores. This allows the body to break down protein and use the amino acids for energy. BCAAs help to stimulate protein synthesis but will also slow down the rate that your body tries to burn muscle and therefore protects your lean mass while you are on a calorie restricted diet.
I often find BCAA supplements help reduce muscle aches the next day after a heavy weights session. I have recently been using BCAA Plus from MyProtein. I find the capsules very convenient to consume whenever; they are slightly large though. You can also get BCAAs in a variety of powers. Check out our Top 10 BCAA supplements.
As important as vitamins and minerals are, I often find it hard to get enough of them naturally in my diet when I am busy. Multi vitamin tablets allow you to get a huge range of vitamins and minerals in a convenient tablet form. I find this a lot easier than having to plan my diet every single day. Since the start of the year I have been using Alpha Men from MyProtein. It is recommended to take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. However I just take 2 in the morning and find I feel less sluggish and better throughout the day.
There is a huge choice of multi vitamins available for both men and women so it is important to choose the right one for you if you want to see the maximum benefits.
When a lot of people think of protein they are often thinking about Whey Protein. This fast releasing protein is perfect for after the gym when your muscles need protein the most. Micellar Casein however is a slow release protein that feeds your muscles slowly. This makes it the perfect choice for before bed or when you are going to go without protein for a long period. If you are really looking to maximise on those weights exercise in the gym, Micellar Casein is a great idea for before bed to keep your muscles replenished as they repair throughout the night. I sometimes even like to mix a bit with a whey protein shake to provide my muscles with different sources of protein.
There are a lot of good Micellar casein powders around which you can check out in our 10 top favourite casein powders post.
There you have it, five supplements I recommend trying this year. What ones will you be using ? let us know in the comments.