If you enjoy sports as much as we do, you might be wondering what supplements and vitamins can help you with recovery and performance. Though endurance supplements can’t replace a healthy diet, they can be key in improving physical performance during resistance training and help stimulate muscle growth.
Supplements and vitamins can also be key for sports recovery, especially if you perform high-intensity workouts regularly. Likewise, if you’re recovering from a sports injury, you can use supplements to aid your body to recover faster.
Whether you’re looking for endurance supplements to boost your performance or your muscle recovery, there are many options available for your personal goals.
See below the most commonly used supplements for both muscle recovery and muscle gain.
Best Supplements for Muscle Recovery
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to aid with recovery of muscular performance and reduction of soreness after exercise. Your body cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids on its own, making these an essential supplement to obtain from your diet.
Besides reducing muscle soreness and improving workout quality, omega-3 fish oil contributes to the normal functioning of the brain, vision, heart and blood pressure.
Fourfive’s Omega 3 Fish oil contains essential fatty acids that promote and maximise a nutritionally healthy lifestyle. Besides being customised for athletes and active people, our sustainably sourced fish oil comes already prepared in capsules for easy use and dosage.
Whey protein has emerged as one of the most popular sports supplements worldwide. Though most people regard this supplement as a muscle growth supplement, whey protein also aids with muscle recovery.
Whey protein contains branch chain amino acids (BCAA), which increase muscle protein synthesis. This helps to reduce muscle breakdown after intense exercise and stimulates muscle repair.
On the other hand, strength training can cause micro tears in muscle fibres, which triggers inflammation. The body’s immune system reacts to this inflammation, resulting in soreness and aches. Whey protein supplements can help to ease these symptoms and speed up recovery.
Probiotics are essential to maintain balance throughout the body. Essentially, probiotic supplements supply the gut with friendly bacteria necessary for digestion, absorption and immune function.
If your digestive system isn’t operating normally you won’t recover properly and it will slow down the repair process of muscle and tissue, leading to increased inflammation. Moreover, some of the most common health issues that affect athletes are upper gastrointestinal problems. These digestive issues usually lead to pauses in the athletes exercise routine, which can result in poorer performance in the long term.
Therefore, if you want to avoid digestive problems and optimise your muscle recovery time, probiotics can be a good solution to supplement your diet. Fourfive’s LGG Biotics are paramount for optimised digestive health. LGG is the world’s number 1 clinically studied probiotic strain and has shown many benefits for our general health.
Best Supplements for Muscle Gain
Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6 combination
The combination of Zinc, Magnesium Aspartate and Vitamin B6, often referred to as ZMA is used by many bodybuilders and athletes to help with muscle gain. Basically, hard-training athletes are often deficient in these vitamins and minerals, therefore a zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 supplement can be helpful to support your body in maintaining healthy levels of essential nutrients.
Another reason this endurance supplement can be used for muscle gain is because these minerals help maintain hormonal balance and aid with sleeping, which is essential for recovery and muscle growth.
At Fourfive, our male multivitamin supplement is athlete-customised and therefore it contains zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 to help maintain muscle strength. Besides this, our supplement is vegan and it comes in fast-absorbing capsules that contain bioactive ingredients for optimal absorption and bioavailability.
Creatine supplements are often used by strength athletes such as bodybuilders to boost muscle growth together with weights exercise. Though creatine is becoming one of the most popular supplements for athletes, there are still many misconceptions about this well-known ingredient.
Your own body produces creatine every time you eat protein by way of your kidney and liver. Creatine helps fuel our muscles, which is why some people take it as a supplement to boost their sports performance.
The process through which creatine helps to gain muscle is simple: this ingredient increases your energy production, which then reflects in boosted high intensity workout performance. This means that your body will be able to create more muscle fibre tears that your body can then repair and rebuild bigger and stronger after your workout.
Beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, commonly known as HMB, is naturally produced in the body when it processes the amino acid leucine. The consumption of HMB has similar effects to eating a diet rich in protein and leucine.
Even though HMB is produced naturally by your body, taking it as a supplement allows for higher levels and may benefit your muscles. To put it simply, HMB is believed to speed up the muscle regeneration process following high-intensity exercise and long-duration training. On top of this, this supplement can help reduce muscle protein breakdown, similarly to other protein supplements.
Nevertheless, the effects of this well-known muscle gain supplement appear to be more pronounced in those with less training experience. Therefore, if you’re an experienced athlete or bodybuilder this supplement won’t benefit you as much as other muscle growth supplements.
Wellbeing, Nutrition and Sports
Before you start looking into endurance supplements to aid with your sports performance and recovery, it is important to have a healthy, varied diet. Likewise, it is essential to keep an active lifestyle – when physically active, your body will use more energy (calories). This can not only help with weight control but also help with your mental health.
Physical activity has a huge potential to enhance our wellbeing. Even a short 10 minute walk increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. Therefore, if you have a balanced lifestyle with a good mix of physical activity and healthy diet, you’re more likely to have a positive headspace.
Supplementation should never replace any elements of a balanced diet. However, it can be a great help to support your active lifestyle and to help you achieve your sports goals in the medium and long terms.
Nutrition supplements like Omega 3 fish oil, LGG biotics and multivitamins are a great alternative to supplement your diet because they not only help with your muscle recovery and strength but they also provide you with greater benefits for your general health.