3 Supplements for Beginner Lifters
Have you started taking the first steps in your weight lifting goals? Those first few weeks and months can be some of the most rewarding you'll encounter throughout your weightlifting journey. Everything is new to your body, so it generally will quickly adapt to the training and you can experience what many call “rookie gains.”
In this beginner phase, you can get great benefits from your training. Your body responds with increases in strength and possible visible changes in muscle appearance.
Although everyone's beginner phase is a little different due to training history, genetics, and many other factors, we all have the potential to benefit from this phase.
When weightlifters look back on their first year at the gym, there are many things that they did correctly, and alternatively, many things they did incorrectly.
The most common mistake many beginning lifters make is blindly purchasing supplements without knowing how and why they can affect their bodies, and their overall performance.
At the very start of their journey, beginner lifters do not need supplements to make gains. However, if you are really into weight lifting training, and want to make the most out of it, then these are the three essential supplements to invest in.
Let's dig deeper and talk about why these supplements can contribute to your training, how to take them, and what other supplements to consider as you move forward in your personal weight training experience.
Whether your goal is to build muscle, reduce body fat, or simply be healthier in the weight room, consuming the recommended daily intake of protein can be a great way to make sure you help your body recover and perform at its best.
Of all the macronutrients, protein is arguably the most important for achieving various training goals, as it plays a direct role in repairing and building new muscle.
When beginners start weight lifting, they often increase their daily protein intake. However, many novice lifters don't realize that reaching their protein goals with traditional foods and their regular eating habits may be more difficult than they think.
Protein powder is an excellent tool to help lifters of all types reach their protein intake goals. You can find a plethora of protein powders on the market, so whether you consume non-dairy, plant-based, or vegan, you can find a protein powder for your needs. And most protein powders include all the essential amino acids, making them complete protein sources.
Taking protein powder is quick and convenient, and can be done at any time of the day. The following are some of professional weight lifters' favorite ways to consume protein powder:
Post-workout shake: this is perhaps the easiest way to enjoy protein powder, as you just make a shake and consume it after your workout.
Protein Oatmeal: mix protein powder with your oatmeal in the morning. Add cinnamon and fruit for a dose of flavor, more fiber, and more antioxidants.
Smoothies: Protein powder helps make a delicious and nutritious smoothie. Include nut butter, your favorite fruit, and yogurt for a tasty smoothie.
How Much Protein Should I Take?
As a beginner lifter, you need between 0.8 and 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight daily. Keep in mind that this target includes both proteins from a supplement powder and protein from the food you eat.
Creatine is a proven and affordable supplement. Of all the supplements on the market, few have been studied as much as creatine. Some refer to creatine as the number one supplement for improving athletic performance.
Creatine can provide several benefits, including aiding recovery, increasing lean muscle mass, supporting energy production, and promoting performance during high-intensity exercise.
Creatine is useful for athletes of all levels, from those just starting weight lifting to experienced lifters who have been training for years.
How Much Creatine Should I Take?
Creatine is available in several forms. Start with 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day and monitor your progress. On the other hand, some lifters prefer "creatine loading" and take larger doses of creatine several times a day to quickly build up muscles, but that is a more advanced technique for more advanced users.
Consuming creatine after training can aid recovery. Nevertheless, some prefer to take creatine before training to boost their performance.
As a beginner, try not to stress too much about these details. Stick to set a goal of consuming creatine daily. Creatine is tasteless, so it is safe to consume with a glass of water.
Another wonderful supplement that is often overlooked by beginner, intermediate and advanced athletes is magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that plays a role in hundreds of processes in the body.
Magnesium is known as a calming supplement because of its ability to help the nervous system calm down and relax after busy days. As for weight lifters, magnesium can improve energy levels, nervous system health, muscle function, and sleep.
How Much Magnesium Should I Take?
The recommended daily intake (RDA) of magnesium is 400 to 420 mg for adult men and 310 to 320 mg for adult women. Pregnant women need 350 to 360 mg of magnesium.
Research shows that most people do not reach the recommended magnesium intake through food consumption alone, so most of us should consider taking a supplement of this essential mineral. We recommend that you take your magnesium supplement in the evening, about 30 minutes before bedtime.
High doses of magnesium supplements can cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal discomfort, so consult your nutritionist or other qualified medical professionals to determine the appropriate dosage for you.
Beyond these three primary supplements for beginner lifters, you may want to research a few others if you want to optimize your training.
This vitamin, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is an important supplement during the winter months when you may not receive adequate levels of sun exposure.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the body and can help improve your workout.
If you are an athlete who focuses on endurance and weight lifting, beet juice may be another fantastic option to explore. This supplement can help promote blood flow.
The best way to get multivitamins is through a balanced diet. However, if you know that you do not consume a sufficient amount of whole foods daily, a multivitamin complex can help you fill in the gaps and ensure that you are consuming enough nutrients.
Vitamin complexes are not a substitute for a nutrient-rich diet, but they make sure you meet all your needs, especially when you don't have time to eat healthy food.
Other Tips for Beginning Lifters
The following are other helpful tips that can help boost your progress as you begin your weight training experience. These are things that we believe all lifters and coaches prioritize at the beginning of their training careers, and that you should prioritize as well if you want to maximize your success.
Get enough sleep
Create a bedtime routine and make sure getting enough sleep is a priority in your life. You can't overcome poor recovery, and sleep is the best natural recovery tool.
Stick to a consistent training plan and try not to change it or skip gym sessions. Many times, beginners skip the program and forget to master the fundamentals. By being consistent,
you have better chances to succeed throughout your lifting career.
Train with a coach
Work with a trainer or fitness coach if possible. In the beginning, it's always helpful to have someone else to monitor your training, nutrition, and recovery. A coach or trainer can also help you identify your blind spots.
Monitor your daily hydration levels. Avoid being thirsty - if you get thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Some people find it helpful to carry a full water bottle and set timers throughout the day to remind them to drink.
Before starting any new supplements, consult with a nutritionist or other qualified medical professional to ensure that you are taking the right supplements at the right doses for your individual needs.