It’s no wonder the supplement industry is worth millions. The idea of a pill or powder that can make you skinny, or build muscle or make you stronger just by washing it down with your organic fermented ox piss sounds too good to be true. And guess what? That’s because it is too good to be true. No pill, powder or potion beats hard work and solid nutrition.
But as long as training and nutrition are in place, there are some supplements that will accelerate your progress. Here’s a list of our faves.
Best For …All Round Usefulness
Whey barely qualifies as a supplement to be honest, it’s pretty much just food. The benefit over chicken or any other protein source is that it’s quick and easy, portable and tastes good. There is evidence that consuming protein in the half hour window after training is more effective for recovery, so keeping a shake handy for after training is a no brainer.
Best For … Building Muscle
This is the granddaddy of supplements with a wealth of positive research stretching back to the early 80’s (a long time in supplement research terms). The thing about muscle building supplements is that they are like the Wild West- completely lawless, unregulated and possibly full of sand. But among those dodgy powders, creatine is one that actually delivers what it says on the tin. Don’t fall for the expensive brands with fancy names, bog standard creatine monohydrate is super cheap and that’s all you need.
Best For … General Health
Greens Powder – (we recommend Pro Greens)
Again, greens powder is barely even a supplement, it’s closer to food, it just comes in a ridiculously convenient powder that you can mix in with water or smoothies. Obviously you could just eat an entire plate of broccoli, but it can be tough to fit that much food in, so when looking to really optimise health this is a great option.
Best For … Fat Loss
Green Tea Extract
Again, lots of products claim fat loss benefits with little evidence in their corner. Most are glorified caffeine supplements that – while they will boost your metabolism – can also leave you wired.
Green Tea increases energy expenditure and is probably the most well-proven fat burning beverage that you can consume, but it also contains something called l-Theanine which counteracts the caffeine jitters. Weight loss without the caffeine jitters is what science calls a ‘double win’.