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Top 10 Safe Supplements You Can Take to Augment Your Training
Published on August 24, 2022 and last updated for accuracy on August 25, 2022
There are so many safe supplements for training available in the US today. Unfortunately, many supplements may carry with them undesired side effects. Some have warnings but others don’t. This is largely because, in many countries, supplements are not as heavily regulated as medicine.
This is the reason why many supplements were advertised as having “No Approved Therapeutic claims” despite being taken by people precisely for their possible therapeutic and beneficial effects.
Here are the top 10 safe supplements that you can take to help with your training. We have done all the research so that you won’t have to. We recommend them for multiple reasons, for their performance benefits, many of the supplements listed below have studies supporting their performance benefits, some offer benefits to your recovery, while others are recommended because of their simple way of making up for any vitamin, mineral or nutrient deficiencies you have.
1. Protein Powder
Whey is one of the most commonly used supplements in the exercise world. The most popular ones are whey and casein. Now it doesn’t matter if you use Whey Protein or Casein Protein Powders because there is no significant difference between the results produced. (1) The only difference so far is their absorption rates, Whey Protein is fast-absorbing while Casein is absorbed slowly by the body. (2) Protein Powder allows many to meet their protein needs without eating pounds upon pounds of protein-rich foods like chicken breast, steaks or tuna. There are also vegetable sources of protein powders for those who are staying vegan.
Protein powders also help with recovery and muscle growth. Protein consumption directly after resistance exercise is an effective way to promote positive muscle growth, it can also promote greater losses of fat mass and greater overall improvements in body composition. (3)
Many warn against excessive protein powder and creatine however, many studies suggest that there is actually a high protein intake. Protein intake under 2.8 g.kg does not impair renal function in well-trained athletes as indicated by the measures of renal function used in this study. (5)
This investigation showed that the chronic consumption of a high protein diet for an extended period of time had no harmful effects on kidney or liver function. (3)
2. Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine is found naturally in the body. It is also abundant in red meat and in seafood. It is popularly taken to improve exercise performance and muscle mass. (6) It is one of the most well-researched sports supplement investigating its safety and efficacy. It is also one of the most affordable supplements for what it does: it provides short-term energy and may help you gain lean muscle mass. (7)
In order for us to get the same amount of Creatine we would get from 1 teaspoon of creatine powder, we‘d have to eat a kilogram of raw beef. Because of this, supplementing with Creatine to get their benefits without having to suffer through eating so much meat is both a cost-effective and time-efficient option. It is unbeatable for its convenience and simplicity.
Creatine supplementation has been reported to increase lean body mass and improve performance in high intensity exercise, even on short-duration. (8)
Creatine is thought to provide short-term energy and increase and despite the many studies on it, the only side effect associated with creatine supplementation appears to be a small increase in body mass, which is due to either water retention or increased protein synthesis. (9)
Many warn against excessive protein powder and creatine however, many studies suggest that there is actually a high protein intake. Protein intake under 2.8 g.kg does not impair renal function in well-trained athletes as indicated by the measures of renal function used in this study. (10)
Creatine Monohydrate was recognized by international regulatory authorities as safe for use in dietary supplements. (11)
A growing number of studies are available that support the safety of creatine supplementation, unfortunately, most of these studies are done with adults.(12)
Creatine has been studied for the past 30 years, and the vast majority of them find that creatine poses no adverse health risks in healthy people and clinical populations across various life stages and conditions (13)
3. Citruline Malate
L-citrulline is a natural amino acid. It is also made in the body but in low amounts. The body turns the L-citrulline into another amino acid called L-arginine. It boosts nitric oxide synthesis in the body which we’ll show below which helps in vascular help (14)
L-citrulline isn’t used to make protein, but it helps other chemicals the body needs to make protein.
Some studies have found that The changes in muscle metabolism produced by Citruline Malate promote aerobic energy production. (15) The performance benefits of Citrulline Malate have been found to be useful to increase athletic performance in high-intensity anaerobic exercises with short rest times and to relieve postexercise muscle soreness. Thus, athletes undergoing endurance exercise performance or any intensive preparation involving a high level of training or in competitive events might benefit from Citrulline Malate. (16)
You can take Citruline Malate for its benefits to increase both your athletic performance and improve your vascularity. In fact, many pre-workouts contain Citrulline Malate for this very purpose.
No adverse effects have been found by those who supplement their diets with Citruline Malate (18)
4. Fish Oil and Other Omega-3 Supplements
Fish oil is one of the most commonly used supplements in the world. This supplement category, which encompasses fish oil and other omega-3 supplements, it ranked third place in a Consumerlab survey as one of the most purchased supplements, purchased by slightly over half of respondents. (19)
Fish oil provides many high-value nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Research supports the idea that it reduces the risk of coronary heart disease, and mild hypertension, helps prevent certain cardiac arrhythmias, lowers diabetes, and alleviates arthritis. (20) It also helped with the reduction of fasting blood Triglycerides. (21)
Not everybody gets to eat fish or seafood that is rich in omega 3 fatty acids every day, so supplementing with fish oil allows for you to easily and conveniently get your dose of omega 3 without making substantial changes to your existing diet.
Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids have been studied for more than 30 years. Despite recent concerns about mercury and environmental toxins that have clouded fish oil’s potential clinical benefits, it is still a safe supplement to take. Many studies have found that the consumption of fish oil in capsules, and canned cod liver is safe and healthy and should be encouraged. (22) (23)
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient that we can consume and a hormone that our bodies make when we are exposed to sunlight. Very few foods contain Vitamin D so the best way to get enough vitamin D is by taking a supplement. However many Multivitamins do not have nearly as much Vitamin D as our bodies need so Vitamin D supplementation can still be very beneficial to you.
Vitamin D can prevent and cure rickets in babies and children. Data suggests that it can help maintain skeletal health. Vitamin D deficiencies can have serious consequences so supplementation with a Vitamin D pill or capsule can be great to avoid this problem. (24)
More foods are now being fortified with vitamin D to avoid deficiencies, it has been approved in many countries for foods like bread or cereals to be fortified with Vitamin D however, the most consistent way to get a dose of vitamin D is through supplementation.(25) It is a cheap and safe way to improve your skeletal and muscular health. It benefits those are more seen in those who train and exercise, so it is recommended as a supplement for those who have healthy, active lifestyles that may not be able to get the Vitamin D consistently. (26)
This case report suggests omega-3 and vitamin D co-supplementation as a potential safe-effective therapeutic strategy to treat core symptoms of Autism. (27)
Taken in the recommended doses, vitamin D is generally considered safe. However, overdosing on vitamin D can be harmful. (28) Follow the recommended dosage to avoid any complications.
Multivitamins are the most popular supplement we take. Now, there is great variability in the market depending on which formulation or brand of multivitamin you take, but the intent is the same, to provide humans with enough of the essential vitamins and minerals we need to fill out the needs which are typically missed in the modern diet.
Despite the great availability of almost any kind of food today, not everyone gets all the nutrients they need through their diet. Multivitamin supplements are a great way to ensure that the body has all the nutrients and vitamins it needs in order to remain in the best possible condition. When combined with adequate exercise and a healthy diet, supplementation with multivitamins will help maintain good health for a long period of time. This prevents the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, which are some of the leading causes of death today.
Unless you have an aversion to multivitamins or would rather prefer to take in specific vitamins and mineral supplements to supplement your diet, it is far more convenient these days to “check all the boxes” when it comes to your nutritional needs simply by taking a multivitamin.
It is a medicinal herb used in the Indian folk medicinal tradition. More scientists have researched it more recently and found that Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen and anti-stress agent that could have some potential to improve physical performance.(31)
Its extract also has a beneficial effect in improving sleep in adults, this aids the recovery of individuals as having good sleep is considered essential both for physical and muscular recovery because the body needs rest in order to repair itself, but also for mental recovery and acuity. (32) It helps reduce anxiety, depression and schizophrenic symptoms. (33)
It was also found to have a muscle-building effect. (34) If you remember all those times that you felt tired even though you had just woken up, this most likely means you were not able to get a restful sleep. Though it does not actively improve performance, it allows for better rest and recovery for physical tasks, as well as mental work.
Ashwagandha supplementation was found to be safe and did not interfere with normal liver function and also had no effect on Thyroid hormone levels. (35)
Fiber is a nutrient that helps with your digestion and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. Isolated soluble fiber supplementation improves metabolism in overweight and obese adults.(36) It is also helpful in treating Irritable bowel Syndrome. (37)
If you choose to supplement yourself with Fiber, you may do so with Chia Seeds, Psyllium Husk or other sources of dietary fiber, since fiber occurs naturally, these supplements may benefit those who have meat or fish focus diets because vegan and vegetarian diets already eat many vegetables with fiber to begin with.
These supplements are mostly natural and come in capsule, tablet or powder form. Often to be diluted in a drink or taken in as a pill. Because fiber is highly satiating and fills your stomach, you may also notice feeling a little full in the stomach after taking them, which could help those trying to stay on a diet resist cravings.
Collagen is a kind of protein found in human and animal bodies. It is present in connective tissue, skin, tendons, bones, and cartilage. Collagen contains proteins and amino acids, which when digested, our bodies would use to form its own collagen. (38) Unfortunately our bodies produce less collagen as we age, worse yet, there are not many sources of collagen in our diet. This is where supplements come in to fill that deficiency.
Some experiments performed showed that collagen had a significant relieving effect on aging skin, where the researchers observed an improvement of skin antioxidant levels, as well as the inhibition of inflammation. The effect was positively correlated with the dose of collagen. There are also studies that suggest that collagen may be used as an anti-aging nutritional component. (39)(40) (41)
Collagen may help slow the aging of your skin by reducing your wrinkles and keeping your skin from drying. (42) Based on results, taking collagen supplements for 90 days is effective in reducing skin aging, as it reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity and hydration. (43)
Collagen products have been playing an important role in benefiting the health of the human body, especially for aging people helping with skin regeneration, bone health, sarcopenia, wound healing, and arthritis. (44)
Now there are many Oral Collagen supplements to choose from these days, To get the best results, adhere to the instructions regarding dosage on your particular brand.
10. Amino Acids
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are composed of three main essential amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Like Collagen, the concept of BCAA supplementation comes from the fact that essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be derived from food and diet. (45) Most people who do not get sufficient protein in their diet would need BCAA supplementation in order to benefit from it.
When used in conjunction with Whey protein, it leads to improvements in maximum strength performance in athletes during resistance training. (46)
There is evidence of the potential hypertrophic benefits of BCAA, leucine in particular, in older individuals. (47) It helps build muscle mass and reduce soreness after resistance training, (48) studies have shown that BCAAs are beneficial in heart failure (49) as well as in preventing liver disease. (50)
Just as with other supplements, it is recommended that you consult your physician and follow the recommended dosage listed on the labels.