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5 Supplements You Can’t Train Without

Author: Rudy Mawer Contributing Author

When it comes to pre-workout mixes there are a lot of useless combos and ingredients, with either no research supporting them or crazy doses that simply won’t work.

However, here at KAGED MUSCLE you know we do things a little differently, using only the research-proven and benefit supplements. By taking these specific ingredients, you can quickly improve your performance, fat burning ability and overall results.

Best of all, it’s not going to take weeks, some of these ingredients even work from the very FIRST use. Talk about fast results!

Here are 5 research-proven supplements you simply can’t train without (if you want to maximize your results, that is)…

Creatine

As it’s the world’s number 1 muscle building supplement, we really had to make this supplement number 1 on your list.
Creatine is definitely a no-brainer when it comes to any high intensity athlete, bodybuilder or gym-goer. There’s over 500 studies proving its benefits and dozens of studies show it to be extremely safe for normal use - there is really no reason someone wouldn’t be using creatine.

In addition, it’s now being used to treat brain disease, improve general health and even help control blood sugar and carbohydrate tolerance. Combined with the fact it is relatively cheap to buy, compared to most other supplements, you would be almost crazy not to use it.

In one study, they tested the use of creatine in weightlifters and monitored their exercise performance. Specifically, they looked at peak power (i.e. strength or how much they could lift) and also the amount of reps per set. For a bodybuilder, these are the two most fundamental principles. If you want to grow, you need to lift heavier and for more reps… giving you more total work volume.

As shown below, the creatine group (in the hashed bars or 3rd column) performed a higher amount of reps on every set during a 5 set bench press test. Although those changes may look small, it added about 15% extra work volume, which is very significant.

For peak power, they saw even greater benefit, especially as the sets went on (i.e. set 4 and 5) and fatigue started to occur.

If you’re not using the PRE, IN and RE KAGED stack already, which contains a high quality and concentrated form, Creatine HCI, then either add that into your routine or, simply get some KAGED MUSCLE Creatine HCI and add in 1 serving pre or post workout.

Caffeine

Caffeine is closely following creatine as one of the world’s best supplements for exercise performance. For slightly longer events, fat loss and general energy, caffeine actually excels and is probably the best legal supplement around for boosting these areas.

The combination of creatine and caffeine combined is a perfect mix, pretty much covering every aspect of performance and physique enhancement imaginable.

If you’re trying to gain large amounts of muscle, creatine will certainly be best; however, the addition of caffeine will help you shred fat and improve your overall workouts, helping you grow lean muscle and ultimately, a lean yet muscular physique.

Caffeine actually works via numerous mechanisms, stimulating your whole body via the brain and central nervous system. This basically excites your brain and muscles, putting them into turbo mode and helping you blast through even the toughest of Kris’s DTP sets!
It also enhances fat loss, teaching your body to use more of the fat stores for energy during your workout, helping preserve muscle and delaying the time to fatigue. On a daily basis, caffeine is actually used as a popular fat burner, because it not only helps burn more fat but can also reduce food and therefore calorie intake.

This is also included in PRE and IN KAGED, using the advanced patented version, PurCaf to maximize absorption and its effects. You can also purchase this separately, if you want to add it to CLEANBURN during the day for the ultimate fat loss stack!

Beta Alanine

Beta alanine is another key supplement and likely falls 3rd in the list. It provides the unique benefit of boosting muscle and whole body carnosine stores.

Carnosine is an important compound that works to buffer the acidic metabolites which build up during exercise. When you train, you’ve probably felt the intense burn in your muscle, which many people associate with lactic acid. This burn is actually caused by an increase in a molecule known as “hydrogen ions”, which change the acidity of your muscle.

When it becomes more acidic, your muscle will become fatigued and basically burn out (as I’m sure you know). By taking muscle extra beta alanine, you will increase your carnosine stores to fight this build up and therefore, be able to maintain performance for longer.
Day to day, this means you'll get more reps out on that same weight, or, be able to sprint for longer etc. Whether it’s on the field for sport, or, in the gym lifting weights, beta alanine has been repeatedly proven to help!

It works best for your higher rep work, lasting 30 seconds or more, which causes a lot of acid build up and fatigue. This makes it perfect for any type of training above 10 reps, or using advance techniques such as DTP, drop sets, supersets or more circuit based training.

As this is another key ingredient, you can find it included in PRE and IN KAGED, giving you the patented version (Carnosyn) that is proven to work in all the research studies. As you well know, KAGED MUSCLE also provide the exact dose you need, while many other companies only provide half or even 1/4 of the research proven dose!

Betaine

Betaine is a newer supplement to hit the market but has actually played a part in our diet for decades. Obtained primarily from the purple vegetable beetroot, scientists have recently found it can boost exercise performance and has some unique properties.

While it may be hard to obtain the required dose from the vegetable alone, as you would need to eat 6-7 ‘beets’, it has been concentrated into a supplement with lots of studies proving its effectiveness.

In one new study, they measured bench press training volume similar to the study discussed above on creatine. As you can see, there were drastic changes in the bench press volume at week 1-2 and 5-6. Interestingly, there was a big jump for the non-supplement group in week 3-4, but it is unclear if this was just a random effect.

In a second study, using a similar protocol, they too found noticeable improvements for the amount of squats performed in the betaine supplement group.

Although it’s great news for your gym performance, betaine can actually improve your health and reduce disease risk, which is probably even more important than adding a few reps to your bench or squat.

Protein

While there are still a few other ingredients I would have liked to include, such as citrulline, protein is making number 5 on this list.

Protein is obviously extremely important around the training window, with studies showing it can enhance recovery, reduce muscle soreness and of course, increase the amount of muscle growth.

Although most people think straight to the magical post workout window, protein also plays a very important role before the workout. If you’ve not eaten recently, a protein dose before you train is likely even more important than after, helping you reduce muscle protein breakdown and stimulating greater growth from that session.

Within protein itself, we are actually talking about a few different supplements, including:

  1. Complete whey protein, such as that found in RE-KAGED,
  2. BCAA, found in PRE-KAGED or IN-KAGED, or, just separate BCAA powder / capsules,
  3. Leucine, the key amino acid responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

Depending on your preference and when you last ate, you may opt for one of the 3. If you’ve not eaten for a while, a complete protein such as RE-KAGED and the BCAA in PRE-KAGED may actually be best.

If you’ve had a protein-based meal within an hour or two, a smaller amount of BCAA before or during the workout will be sufficient. While BCAA contain leucine, you may choose to use extra leucine if you are vegetarian or didn’t eat meat/fish/eggs, as most vegetarian protein sources are low in leucine.

Along with stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis, reducing protein breakdown, aiding in recovery and helping you grow, the benefits don't stop there! That’s right… protein around the workout can actually have some benefits to fatigue and performance.

While that may sound strange, there’s plenty of science to back it up. This occurs as the BCAA levels will increase within the blood and help reduce a hormone called tryptophan. As we exercise and tryptophan builds up, it will travel into the brain, increasing another ‘sleep’-related hormone known as 5-HTP (you may know the supplement, which people use before bed).

As you may have guessed, increases in 5-HTP signal the brain and central nervous system to relax and slow down. While this is great before bed, it’s not so good when you’re facing your last set of DTP Squats! Therefore, BCAA basically block some of this increase, helping to reduce fatigue and keep you focused.

References

Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Boetes, M., Incledon, T., Clark, K. L., & Lynch, J. M. (1997). Creatine supplementation enhances muscular performance during high-intensity resistance exercise. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 97(7), 765-770.

Baguet, A., Bourgois, J., Vanhee, L., Achten, E., & Derave, W. (2010). Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(4), 1096-1101.

Ivy, J. L., Res, P. T., Sprague, R. C., & Widzer, M. O. (2003). Effect of a carbohydrate-protein supplement on endurance performance during exercise of varying intensity. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 13, 382-395.

Beck, T. W., Housh, T. J., Schmidt, R. J., Johnson, G. O., Housh, D. J., Coburn, J. W., & Malek, M. H. (2006). The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on strength, muscular endurance, and anaerobic capabilities. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 20(3), 506-510.

Warren, G. L., Park, N. D., Maresca, R. D., McKibans, K. I., & Millard-Stafford, M. L. (2010). Effect of caffeine ingestion on muscular strength and endurance: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc42(7), 1375-87.

Cholewa, J. M., Wyszczelska-Rokiel, M., Glowacki, R., Jakubowski, H., Matthews, T., Wood, R., ... & Paolone, V. (2013). Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 1.

Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Kang, J., Rashti, S. L., & Faigenbaum, A. D. (2009). Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6(1), 1.

Artioli, G. G., Gualano, B., Smith, A., Stout, J., & Lancha Jr, A. H. (2010). Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 42(6), 1162-1173.

Smith, A. E., Walter, A. A., Graef, J. L., Kendall, K. L., Moon, J. R., Lockwood, C. M., ... & Stout, J. R. (2009). Effects of β-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6(1), 1.


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