With health and fitness becoming a mainstream part of life for many Americans, the decision of whether to use supplements is one that faces every athlete. Ranging from pre-workout powders that provide an energy boost and set your muscles up for success to protein powders which provide the amino acids your muscles need to thrive, the intelligent use of supplements can kickstart your journey to a fitter, stronger body.
The Wild, Unregulated World of Fitness Supplements
Supplements remain controversial for many people, and their unregulated nature is a major part of that. Those who are extremely careful with what they put in their bodies may frown at the proprietary blends and difficult to pronounce ingredients found in many supplements. But for those who take the time to learn what actually works, this exploration of supplements can give you an undeniable edge in your workouts.
How to Find the Highest Quality Supplements
Since there’s little to no regulation of major supplements, some people are so skeptical about trying new products that they swear off them altogether. While it’s true that the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, there are certain ways to tell which ones are high-quality and which are based on substandard ingredients and hype.
Trust the Fitness Experts
When assessing whether a supplement is of high quality or not, it’s worthwhile to trust the people who are experts on the subject. For example, visitingBodybuilding.com allows you to peruse reviews and articles on their hundreds of featured supplements. Even large shopping sites such as Amazon.com have detailed reviews that can give you an idea of what to expect from a particular supplement.
Which Supplements Do You Need?
Before buying any fitness supplement, it’s important that you thoroughly know what your goals are. This is because the processes of bulking up with muscle, cutting weight, and maintaining general fitness can be benefitted by very different supplements. Once you’re confident that you know what your goals are, you can begin to add supplements to your routine that will be a help, not a hindrance, to reaching them.
Are your Supplements Keto-Friendly?
Checking to see if your favorite supplements are suitable for the keto diet is as simple as checking the nutrition label. Much like with foods you’re checking for keto compatibility, the main things we’re scanning the label for are sugar, carbohydrates, and fiber. Since the most high-quality protein products are made with little to no sugar, it shouldn’t be hard for those on keto to find the right fitness supplements that won’t kick them out of ketosis.
3 Types of Supplements for Building Muscle On the Keto Diet
If you’ve never tried any supplements but always had a curiosity about how they could help you, then this list of recommended supplements will shed light on popular types you can use on the keto diet.
Protein powders vary greatly in flavor, mixability, and where the protein actually comes from. Popular sources of protein include everything from rice and soy to whey and egg proteins. As long as the sugar content and net carbs are low, then you’ll easily be able to integrate protein shakes into your ketogenic diet.
Tip for Using Protein Powder
Remember that the potential of your smoothies is only limited by your creativity. If you’re on keto, fruits are a no-go, but your favorite veggies, oils, and dairy ingredients can turn your shake into a drinkable superfood.
Example of Keto-friendly Protein Powder:Nitro-Tech 100% Whey
If you’re looking for an effective protein powder with very little sugar,Nitro-Tech 100% Whey is a prime choice. With only 2 grams of sugar and a remarkable 24 grams of protein per scoop, this whey protein gives you the amino acids you need to grow muscle without all the keto-killing sugar.
Pre-workout supplements are designed for one main thing: Get you pumped up for your workout. Often containing 300 or more grams of caffeine in addition to other stimulants, going to the gym after drinking a pre-workout is sure to put you in beast mode. Although available in numerous flavors, pre-workouts rarely contain a lot of sugar and many of them will be suitable for use with keto.
Tip for Using Pre-workout Supplements
Note that pre-workouts must be used properly or they can have consequences for your body, heart, and liver. This isn’t to scare people away from them, but just know that if you use a pre-workout, their labels typically warn you not to have caffeine for the rest of the day.
Example of Keto-friendly Pre-workout Supplement:EndoRush by BSN
With no carbs whatsoever, you can useEndoRush without fear of jeopardizing your keto diet. Three distinct blends make EndoRush a potent choice for a pre-workout. Their Performance Composite boosts the rate of absorption and maximizes the use of the other ingredients. Second, their Pump Matrix includes vital amino acids and minerals that set your muscles up for success during your workout. Finally, an Energy and Focus Blend packs a punch with stimulants like Yohimbe, taurine, and caffeine.
BCAA Energy Blends
Another type of supplement that’s useful for those who are trying to build muscle is BCAA Energy Blends. These types of supplements often have few calories and no protein, but they’re packed with crucial amino acids that facilitate muscle growth. Furthermore, many of these are combined with a moderate energy boost, and while it’s not as powerful as a pre-workout, it’s still a welcome enhancement for getting the most out of your workout.
Tip for Using BCAA Energy Supplements
BCAA’s is a term you should know if you’re building muscle. It refers to branched-chain amino acids, which are essentially the fundamental building blocks of muscle. Note that supplementing your workouts with BCAAs is likely to lead to noticeably more muscle growth and more intense workouts.
Example of Keto-friendly BCAA Energy Blend:Evlution BCAA Energy
Ready to add amino acids to your workout routine? If so, theBCAA Energy blend by Evlution is among the very best. Available in 15 flavors including Furious Grape and Vanilla Latte, simply add one to four scoops of BCAA’s to your water, shake it up, and notice the difference as amino acids like L-leucine, L-valine, and taurine work to help you retain and maximize muscle.
Pro-tip: Stacking Supplements with Similar Functions and Flavors
Once you’ve delved into the world of dietary supplements, it doesn’t take long before combining them becomes a tempting option. When combining supplements, it’s vital to make sure you’re not overdosing on something that can harm your liver or leave you not feeling yourself. For example, you can mix protein powder with a BCAA Energy Blend, but don’t mix a BCAA blend with a pre-workout, since both products contain significant doses of caffeine.
Choosing Similar Flavors When Combining Supplements
When you’re clear on the types of supplements that are ideal for stacking, then another concern is to make the combination taste as good as possible. In general, this can be done by keeping supplements separated based on two categories: Fruit-flavors and mocha flavors. For example, watermelon and vanilla latte might be a weird tasting combo, but a chocolate cake batter flavored protein powder will taste excellent when combined with a vanilla latte flavored pre-workout.
Examples of Compatible Supplement Combinations for Muscle Growth
As long as you’re not overloading on stimulants or getting too much of the same ingredients, then stacking multiple supplements in the same protein shake is a convenient and effective approach. Consider these combinations which perfectly take advantage of each supplement’s strengths to enhance your muscle growth while working out.
- Protein Powder + BCAA Energy
- Protein Powder + Pre-workout
- Protein Powder + Creatine
- BCAA Energy + Creatine
Ready to Take Your Training to the Next Level?
Supplements can seem like the wild, wild west when it comes to their legitimacy, but for those who find the right products to help them reach their goals, the difference is indisputable. Making the choice to explore these supplements and discovering the ones that are optimal for you is a decision to shift your fitness journey into fifth gear, maximizing your progress. Why hesitate another day when supplements that can give you a legitimate edge are widely available, and compatible with the ketogenic diet?