Top 10 sports supplements for those who want to be in shape

Top 10 sports supplements for those who want to be in shape

Sports nutrition in our time has become an integral part of active work on your own body. More and more men and women understand: to get the perfect figure, it is not enough to do sports. You also need special nutrition. For each task you set for yourself, there are appropriate types of functional supplements: some allow you to gain muscle mass, others - to get rid of excess fat reserves, and others - to recover from the strain.

Types of sports nutrition

Before buying sports nutrition (often not cheap), it is worth understanding what kinds are available in the market, their main differences, and what features are worth considering when choosing.

1. Protein

Protein is a food supplement with a high (70 to 95%) protein content, which helps athletes and bodybuilders gain muscle mass and achieve muscular definition. When digested, it breaks down into amino acids, from which the body synthesizes muscle tissue.

The most popular type of protein is whey protein, a whey-based product. Whey protein comes in two primary forms with different concentrations: whey protein concentrate has a protein content of 80%, while whey protein isolate has a protein content of 90-95%. Whey protein rapidly speeds up muscle metabolism, so you should take it immediately after training.

Another type of protein is casein. It is produced from milk by ultrafiltration. Casein is slowly digested and has a prolonged (up to 7-8 hours) effect of saturating muscles with amino acids. It is usually taken at bedtime.

Egg protein is made from natural egg protein. Egg protein is one of the first proteins ingested by bodybuilders. It does not contain carbohydrates, saturated fats, and cholesterol, which allows its use in various diets. Egg protein does not contain lactose, so it is suitable for those with a dairy sugar intolerance.

Meat Protein is a protein supplement based on beef protein, obtained by ultra-concentration, which removes most fat and cholesterol.

Soy protein is a vegetable protein that is well-balanced in its amino acid composition, making it possible to lower blood cholesterol levels. It is most often chosen by vegetarians and those with an intolerance to dairy protein.

Different types of proteins complement each other, and if you want to achieve effective muscle growth, just one of them won't be enough for you. The ideal is to combine them, use each protein at the right time and in the right amount, or choose multicomponent protein complexes - mixtures of casein, whey protein, protein isolate, egg, and soy protein in various combinations.

Amino Acids Balkan Pharmaceuticals

2. Amino Acids

Amino acids can be obtained not only from protein supplements but also directly. They participate in mass muscle growth, help the body produce valuable enzymes, and affect mood regulation, sleep, concentration, and sexual activity.

Amino acids are divided into substitutable and non-essential amino acids. Those that our body can synthesize on its own are called substitutable. Those that enter our body only from the outside, with food, are called essential. Also, allocate conditionally essential amino acids - those that our body produces in small quantities, and for the needs of an actively developing body, they may not be enough.

Let's list the main types of amino acids that can be useful to you:

  • Arginine is an amino acid that dilates blood vessels and speeds up blood flow, thereby speeding up the transport of oxygen and nutrients. By getting more nutrients, tissues grow faster and become more active.
  • Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, more than 60% of the total. Stimulates protein anabolism, repairs muscle tissue and supports the immune system.
  • Carnitine (aka L-carnitine) promotes burning fat cells, pushing the body to use them as an energy source during intense exercise. Taking carnitine is considered to be the safest way to lose weight.
  • Taurine is an amino acid that helps cells retain water molecules, increasing their volume. Increased hydration leads to accelerated protein synthesis. One significant consequence is the gain of muscle mass.
  • Tyrosine is an amino acid capable of reducing body fatigue. It is the basis for producing nerve impulse mediators: adrenaline, dopamine, and noradrenaline. After exercise, their levels decrease, and taking tyrosine helps raise them to normal levels. It prevents the effect of overtraining and helps you recover faster after the workout.
  • Complexes of Amino acids, which contain combinations of essential, non-essential, and substitutable amino acids, are also often commercially available. Such complexes are selected for a specific task and may be in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquids.



BCAA (branched-chain amino acids - a group of proteinogenic amino acids with a branched aliphatic side chain) complex consisting of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They account for about 40% of the total amount of essential amino acids found in muscle tissue. They are also the most depleted during severe physical exertion. BCAAs are present in any protein, but they are small and bound to other amino acids, so they need time to interact with digestive enzymes before they can enter the muscle, and be taken into the bloodstream. Although whey protein digests relatively quickly, it still takes several hours. BCAAs are digested and absorbed much faster.

Take a complex of BCAAs before a workout to build up a reserve and afterward to replenish losses.


4. Gainers

Gainers are high-calorie carbohydrate-protein blends for those who want to build muscle mass, boost strength, or gain weight. Gainers are based on high-quality carbohydrates and protein (building material for muscles). It may also include a variety of vitamins and creatine.

It is necessary to choose a supplement individually according to your objectives, workload, and metabolism. For example, for thin athletes with a fast metabolism who find it hard to gain muscle mass, a gainer with maximum carbohydrate content should help. And vice versa, those prone to rapid weight gain and fat deposition should focus on protein supplements.

Before buying a gainer, read its composition and determine what kind of carbohydrates it contains. If it includes a lot of so-called "simple" carbohydrates (sugar, fructose, corn, or potato starch), it will be digested quickly, and you will feel a short burst of energy, then a sharp decline. It would be best to use such a gainer only after a workout to restore strength.

If the gainer contains "complex" carbohydrates (oats, barley, or other cereals), which are absorbed more slowly, you can use it an hour and a half before training to improve its effectiveness.

Gainers are available in shake powder, capsules, and even flakes.

Fat Burners Balkan Pharmaceuticals

5. Fat Burners.

Fat burners are not just supplements that help you lose weight. Their peculiarity is that they burn only the lipid layer without reducing muscle mass. The mechanism of action of fat burners is based on stimulating metabolic processes, preventing the synthesis of fat, decreasing appetite, and removing fluid from the body.

There are several types of fat burners:

  • Thermogenics (or thermogenic) - increase body temperature and the rate of metabolic processes in the body. That is why there is an active burning of fat. Also, have the effect of reducing appetite. One of the components of any thermogenic is usually caffeine.
  • Lipotropics break down fat and remove excess water from the body. Their action is slower than thermogenic, but the effect lasts longer.
  • Blockers prevent the absorption of fats or carbohydrates.
  • Appetite suppressants are usually chromium picolinate or Garcinia extract based. They regulate the appetite and, at the same time, help to burn fat.


6. Creatine.

Creatine is a nitrogen-containing compound that fuels muscles with energy during intensive workouts. It supports the fast growth of muscle tissue, accelerates its recovery after intensive workouts, and inhibits lactic acid formation (the more of it, the more muscle fatigue is felt). In a typical diet, the sources of creatine are beef, tuna, salmon, and herring. For athletes that are actively building muscle mass, supplements with creatine are a powerful energy source. Most sports nutritionists offer creatine in a convenient single-ingestion capsule or powder form.

Vitamines Balkan Pharmaceuticals

7. Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and mineral complexes specially designed for athletes are recommended, especially during the fall and winter. They help absorb nutrients from food and repair damaged cells after physical exertion, and thus ultimately help build muscle mass.

Sports Bars

8. Sports bars

Sports (energy) bars are a way to supply your body with energy sources at the right time for your schedule. You may be unable to prepare a protein shake at work or in the car. A bar will help you replenish protein and carbohydrates. At the same time, unlike chocolate bars, their energy brethren have no sugar, fat, or other unhealthy components. But maybe present vitamins, fiber, and L-carnitine.

Energy Drinks

9. Energy drinks

Energy drinks can quickly boost muscle tone during a long workout or competition. A marathon, a bike ride, or climbing to the top can cause a significant drop in energy. An energy drink will relieve fatigue, improve circulation, and increase concentration. Most sports energy drinks contain guarana extract and caffeine, which are natural stimulants. Energy drinks and powders, as well as gels, are available.

Pre-workout complexes

10. Pre-workout complexes

As the name suggests, these supplements should be used before a workout - usually 30 minutes. They are complexes of amino acids, vitamins, and other components that add strength, increase endurance, speed up metabolism and help create a favorable hormonal background and the necessary emotional mood.

Effects of pre-workout products on the body

Taking preparations in this category has a positive effect on the function of the entire body, including:

  • Increases the production capacity during workouts;
  • Improves strength parameters;
  • Increases endurance levels;
  • Reduces the risk of muscle tissue injury during physical exercises;
  • Increases protein synthesis;
  • Improves concentration and attention;
  • Normalizes metabolism and contributes to their entire assimilation by the body;
  • Speeds up metabolic processes, due to which the fat layer is reduced more intensively;
  • Contributes to creating a favorable hormonal background.

Choose according to your goals and objectives.

There is no universal recommendation about which sports nutrition products to choose. You should select the supplements you need based on your overall training program and your goals. If you compile the program together with your coach, he will prompt the right kind of nutrition.

If you have to choose independently, rely on the sellers' experience. In proven stores are confirmed experts who will competently tell you about the differences between different forms of release and brands, help schedule the intake of drugs, and advise the subtleties of their use.


Sports nutrition is a powerful tool that influences metabolism in general. To avoid harming your health during its use, follow the safety precautions.

Sports nutrition is a specialized supplement to basic food. You can not build your diet only on them. Do not forget about a complete meal - you should eat protein products (meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese), vegetables, and cereals.

A single dose of any sports supplement is useless. For effect, count on a course of intake recommended by experts.

During the reception, carefully monitor your body's reaction (which is always individual). In case of any unhealthy response, you should reconsider the program, change the brand, or even wholly refuse this type of drug.

Each supplement has its contraindications. Be sure to study their list.

Some drugs you should take on an empty stomach. Others you should take before or after a workout. Strictly follow the manufacturer's instructions and the advice of your trainer.

When taking supplements, follow your diet and training regimen. Perhaps, this is the main advice that will allow you to benefit from sports nutrition.