There is a lot of debate in the sports world regarding which workout supplement is considered the “best”. Is it Creatine? Protein? Glutamine? Nitric Oxide? Something else entirely? If you ask ten different athletes, you’ll likely get ten different answers.
So which one is truly the best? In reality, there is no real definitive answer. Everyone’s bodies are different. We all have different workout routines, different goals, and different diets. Depending on what your body is deficient in, the supplement that has the biggest effect on you will be totally different than someone elses.
Key Supplements for Athletes to Use
While there may not be a “best” supplement for everyone, there are some supplements that normally have the biggest effects, and every athlete should consider implementing them into their mix:
Protein: Protein is by far the most popular supplement on the market, and for good reason. Many people have a hard time eating a high enough ratio of protein, and Whey protein powder (as well as other proteins) is a great way to fix that problem. Protein can provide the building blocks for muscle growth and is a fantastic energy source. It is normally consumed by mixing the powder with water, milk, or another liquid, or into a smoothie with fruits. It is especially important for athletes to get plenty of protein post workout.
Glutamine: Seeing as this site is all about the benefits of glutamine, it should come as no surprise that I think that it is one of the best supplements for athletes to use. L-Glutamine is a non essential amino acid that makes up somewhere around 60% of your tissue. Although your body can make glutamine on its own if necessary, athletes who put their muscles under stress should supplement with either glutamine powder or pills in order to help build muscle. Glutamine also has many other positive benefits, and little to no side effects. Here is a great video of a bodybuilding legend explaining glutamine:
Creatine: Creatine has long been considered one of the standard supplements for bodybuilders and athletes to use for building muscle mass, and for good reason. Creatine can seriously help build muscle mass. Creatine Monohydrate powders can easily be mixed into the same drink as your protein shake if you want.
Adding Supplements to Your Life
If you are going to start adding supplements to your diet, don’t go too crazy too fast. Instead of buying every bottle you see at your local Walmart and pounding them down one after the other, start slow. Protein is probably the best place to start. From there, move on to glutamine or creatine. If you aren’t reaching your goals with those three supplements, it likely isn’t the supplements that are failing you.
Remember, They’re Just Supplements
At the end of the day, it is important to remember that supplements are just that: supplements. You won’t take a pill or drink a protein shake and get ripped instantaneously. Building muscle and becoming a better athlete has nothing to do with what bottled powder you choose to use. Your success will be in large part determined by your workout routine and your diet. If you aren’t hitting your goals, try adjusting those first, you likely are falling short.
With that said, supplements can make a difference. While it may be small, sometimes that small effect can make the difference for an athlete, especially in a close competition. While only a few percentage points of your success can be credited to supplements, those small successes make a big impact in the life of an athlete.
So to answer the question that the title poses: Is glutamine the best workout supplement for an athlete to use? Maybe. Depending on the athlete, glutamine supplements may make the difference that defines their success in a very competitive sport.
And lastly, here is another great video on the subject: