Sports supplements may well be one of the most highly researched topics within the industry. No longer something you buy from that one shop in the quiet alley, sports supplements are on the up. Major super market chains now stock big brands alongside their own products. However, which sports supplement should you be using?

I have already posted a list of Sports Supplements for Performance – Strength, Endurance & Health. In this post i wanted to look a little bit more into what they are and why!


Supplements That Seem To Increase Training Capacity

  • Caffeine
  • Bicarbonate
  • Creatine
  • Nitrates (Beetroot)

Supplements To Increase Protein Synthesis

  • BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids)
  • Essential Amino Acids
  • Leucine

I don’t want to just throw a load of information in here that doesn’t make sense and you may not read! I have chosen two and will hopefully answer some questions!



I think an important thing to note is that creatine is naturally occurring within the body and some foods we eat. You will use creatine during anaerobic metabolism, within the ATP-PC System. Because of this, athletes often use it to  increase power output and lean mass. The most common and effective form you may see is, creatine monohydrate. suggests the following loading protocol

“To start loading, take 0.3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day for 5–7 days, then follow with at least 0.03 g/kg/day either for three weeks (if cycling) or indefinitely (without additional loading phases).

It is important to stay hydrated when consuming creatine. reports of stomach cramps and restlessness have been reported when taken with insufficient fluid.

The research suggests there is no risk associated with taking creatine, provided you dose sensibly. If you are looking to improve your power, try the loading protocol and take note of your results. You will want to ensure you complete at least a month of supplementation to allow for saturation.



Branch Chain Amino Acids refer to leucine, isoleucine and valine. All 3 can be found in dietary protein and aid protein synthesis and muscle growth. During exercise there is a  serum decrease in BCAA’s within the body, which can lead to fatigue. Correct supplementation can prevent this from occurring. However, many protein sources such as meat and eggs, already provide BCAAs. It may be unnecessary to take them if you already have high protein intake, (1-1.5g per kg of bodyweight a day or more). suggests the following loading protocol

“The standard dosage for isoleucine is 48-72mg per kilogram of bodyweight, assuming a non-obese person. The standard leucine dosage is between 2-10g. A combination dose is 20g, with a balanced ratio of leucine and isoleucine.”

The most important thing to take away is that you may already be getting enough in your diet. Try breaking down your current intake to see if you already take enough protein on board.


Final Note

Personal Training In Richmond, London, means that I get asked a lot about sports supplements. While my go to answer will probably be, make sure your diet is right first! I understand that many people will, of course, benefit from supplementation. I Always make sure to read into a supplement before giving out any advise. A good source of information is If you would like to discuss sports supplements in more detail, please do get in touch.