The most obvious staple supplement of any lifter is whey protein. Clearly a protein shakes after a workout is a great idea, but there are other times throughout day where it is beneficial to drink a shake. Drinking a shake before sleeping may help recover tissues faster by improving sleep quality. Another good time for a shake is first thing in the morning if you don't have time for a proper breakfast. A great way to take you protein is blending it up with darky leafy greens such as kale, spinach beet tops etc. So obviously a whey protein supplement is a good idea for any lifter, but what about supplements to improve performance during a workout?
This next supplement is quite complex in how it actually works, but its effects are quite profound. Choline is a nutrient that is similar in structure to the B-vitamin family. The body makes small amounts of naturally and there is some in meat and eggs, but not enough for maximum performance. Choline has many important functions in the body, but we will focus on its effects on neurochemistry. This nutrient makes the neurotransmitter 'acetylcholine' which is responsible for 2 very important functions in the nervous system. First, acetylcholine is the chemical messenger that passes the electrical signal from the nerve to the muscle fibre. This means that more nerves have the potential to be stimulated, and in turn, more muscle fibers can be stimulated. An increase in stimulated muscle fibres is something we all want considering it results in an increase strength, density and resting muscle tone. The second benefit is choline's effect on mental acuity. The previously mentioned neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, has many functions within the prefrontal cortex in the brain. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain responsible 'executive function' which involves attention, focus and execution of goal oriented tasks. Exactly what you need to get through a gruelling workout. Taking 300-600mg of Alpha GPC or choline bitartrate 1-2 hours before lifting can be the difference between getting that last few reps, and failing short of your goal. The next supplement will make you bigger and more vascular within minutes!