Have your gains over the last few months taken more of a dive than Obama’s approval rating? Before you try doing more, it may be time to actually do less. That’s because overtraining, a clinical condition that causes fatigue, poor performance, and even depression may be what’s ailing you.
While rest will always be step numero uno to get part a bout of overtraining, a number of supplements can help your body rest, recover, and get back into the gym faster.
Multivitamin: Bodybuilding magazines may have you believe that the only nutrients the human body needs to function is protein and creatine, but that’s far from reality. For muscles to contract and recover, they need no less than two dozen nutrients. While it’s challenging to get all of these nutrients from diet alone, a standard multivitamin will have you easily covered.
Taking a multivitamin when in an over trained state is especially important because you’re providing your tired body the building blocks it needs to bounce back.
Melatonin: One of the most noted symptoms of overtraining is disturbed sleep patterns. Poor sleep actually results in a vicious cycle as it worsens overtraining, which in turn worsens sleep etc.
Metlatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that’s available in supplement form. A 2003 study in the Journal Psychiatry Neuroscience found that melatonin helped people get to sleep easier. Other studies suggest that melatonin can help promote deeper, more restful sleep.
BCAAs: BCAAs, consisting of leucine, isoleucine, and valine are used up big-time during long periods of exercise without rest. Over the long term, these BCAAs are used up for energy. Unfortunately, unless you supplement, your body takes these amino acids from your precious muscles.
However, taking BCAAs everyday can help preserve muscle and promote new muscle synthesis –just what the doctor ordered for the over trained lifter.
Fish Oil: When the body is stressed, inflammation skyrockets. While a little inflammation is actually helpful, if it gets out of control, it can actually impair recovery and damage cells.
There’s no better supplement out there for decreasing inflammation than fish oil. The omega-3s in fish oil will fight inflammation while you rest, which may accelerate the recovery process.
While you’re vegging out on the couch counting the days until you can hit the weights again, make sure you’re properly supplementing with the aids mentioned above, getting plenty of sleep, and eating well.