If you’re determined to get the most out of your workouts, it’s important to find the supplements that make sense for you. Doing so will help you shed unwanted fat, build muscle, recover faster, and, ultimately, lead a healthier life.
Creatine is one of the best-researched supplements in sports nutrition. This compound, made up of the amino acids L-arginine, L-methionine and glycine, is naturally produced in the body and is also found in meat, fish and eggs. In studies, it’s been shown to build muscle, improve strength, enhance endurance and speed muscle recovery.
Beta-alanine, a nonessential amino acid, is combined in the body with the amino acid L-histidine to form carnosine. Carnosine is then stored in the muscles and helps the body buffer the effects of acidic compounds that accumulate during intense training, which ultimately leads to fatigue. Studies show beta-alanine improves performance and endurance and delays fatigue during high-intensity training. In one study, beta-alanine supplementation improved running times and reduced lactate in runners doing a 10K. In another study, beta-alanine improved performance in recreational club runners. A few studies also suggest that beta-alanine may enhance muscle growth.
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Turmeric contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory that can offset inflammatory compounds produced during high-intensity exercise. A number of studies show curcumin helps reduce inflammation, relieve sore muscles, ease joint pain and enhance recovery after training. In one study, curcumin helped improve recovery, reduce muscle damage and improve soreness after exercising. In another study, curcumin was as effective as ibuprofen in relieving joint pain and stiffness in knee osteoarthritis.