High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is one of the most efficient ways to get fit and reach your athletic and aesthetic goals. It’s an amazing way to work both strength and cardio, to build muscle and lose fat.
But the reason it’s so effective is because it’s hard. HIIT workouts are taxing on the body, and it can be tough to keep up a regular workout schedule if you’re struggling to recover in between training days.
Luckily, there are a few supplements out there that are perfect for anyone struggling with the “intensity” part of High Intensity Interval Training, or who just want to get a little bit more benefit out of their workouts. Stick around and we’ll share the top five supplements to use in combination with HIIT.
BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are a group of three “essential” amino acids, which the body can’t produce on its own and need to be acquired from external food sources.
These three amino acids (leucine, Isoleucine and valine) offer a number of benefits to boost performance and recovery. As with other amino acids, BCAAs are building blocks for protein and muscle. The body uses these building blocks to rebuild torn muscle fibers, helping you recover and helping prevent muscle breakdown after strenuous exercise.
BCAAs are also believed to boost energy production and reduce mental and physical fatigue during exercise, helping you push through the wall and get through those tough HIIT workouts.
Creatine is another popular workout supplement, with possibly more extensive research and testing done on this supplement than any other in the health and fitness industry.
The main benefit of creatine is increasing the production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is a molecule that’s responsible for the body’s energy production. The more ATP you can produce, the more energy available to the muscles.
Creatine helps boost ATP levels, and provides a ton of other benefits. Along with increased energy production, creatine helps boost power output, muscle growth, recovery, muscular endurance, and even benefits brain health.
Creatine is a natural compound that we get from food sources, but taking it in supplement form can be beneficial for athletes who need to boost their creatine levels higher than they can manage from diet alone.
High-output workouts like HIIT put a lot of strain on your muscles, which can result in soreness that lasts for days.
This soreness is due to tiny tears in muscle fibers, which the body uses protein to repair, kind of like the cement in a brick wall.
You can leave the body to repair itself normally, but this will take time. To speed up the process, supply your body with more protein.
Getting a high level of protein in and around your workout timing will drastically improve recovery, boosting muscle growth in the process. A protein supplement is perfect for this, such as a shark made from whey protein powder.
Another feature of HIIT workouts is sweat. You sweat a lot with high-intensity workouts like these, and when you sweat, your body loses a lot of vitamins and minerals, particularly electrolytes.
Common electrolytes include sodium, magnesium, potassium, calcium and chloride. When our levels of these substances become depleted, we get tired, fatigued, and struggle to maintain performance. We lose them via bodily fluids, such as sweat.
Proper hydration is vital when working out, but not just water, we need to replenish electrolytes as well. Sports drinks or other rehydration solutions with electrolytes like sodium, magnesium and potassium are a great way to do this.
For our final HIIT supplement, you need something to get your motor running and give you the energy you need to start off your workout.
For that, a pre workout supplement can help. Pre workouts are designed to deliver a quick boost of energy, along with boosting mental and physical performance during your workout. They give you a temporary kick that you can use to increase your output, and get more from your workout.
Pre workouts carry kind of a bad rap, and that’s due to some products that rely on artificial ingredients and unsafe stimulants. But there are many supplements out there that don’t use any unsafe ingredients, and contain only clean, natural, beneficial compounds.
As long as you get a pre workout from a reputable brand, this can be a great way to get going at the start of your workout, particularly on those days where you’re feeling shot.
Combine pre workout with good hydration, protein and amino acids, and a high creatine intake, to perform at a higher level in your HIIT workouts, speed up recovery, and accelerate the path towards your fitness goals.