You probably know by now that when it comes to changing your body shape in the long term, the key ingredients are building lean muscle, shedding fat, and maintaining those changes through strength training.

In addition to the training itself, nutritional supplements can help you to recover faster from training, have more energy, and build muscle faster and more easily. However, there is a vast range of products available, and many beginners find it difficult to work out which ones are right for them.

If you’re looking for a basic supplementation regime to fit your training, we want to cut through the extreme claims and nonsense to give you the information that you need.

What supplement do I need?

When it comes to training recovery, we think that a good-quality whey protein isolate (often shortened to ‘WPI’) is important. Shake UP sessions are all about breaking up muscle tissue and causing it to rebuild stronger – which improves body shape and strength. Using a good whey protein isolate supplement will provide your body with the essential nutrients to recover from Shake UP sessions quickly, and promote the building of muscle and burning of fat.

These supplements are pre-digested, which means they get to muscle tissue faster and begin the recovery process much more instantly than it could if you ate a steak and veggies after a workout. Note: whole foods are certainly the foundation of a good nutritional plan. Supplementation simply adds to the plan and fast-tracks the process of recovery.

What should I look for in a whey protein isolate powder?

There is a lot of unnecessary junk that some manufacturers put into their powders to bulk them out and/or make them taste more appealing. Generally speaking, the cheaper it is, the less likely it will be to sufficiently meet your training needs. However, that doesn’t mean that all higher-priced supplements are good quality, either – some of them are just highly-priced junk.

You might need to compare different brands to find the best option for your budget. Typically, you’ll want to look at the ingredients list and check for:

  • As few ingredients as possible. Protein powders don’t need to be complicated – they just have to provide protein to your body in an easily-digestible form. The more ingredients, the greater the chance that it’s full of fillers.
  • The sweetener(s) used. Sweeteners are handy for most people, as straight protein powder doesn’t taste particularly nice. However, if your protein powder is loaded with sugar, you’ll undo half of your good work when you drink it. Look for plant-based sugar alternatives like stevia or xylitol.
  • You’re looking for high protein:carbohydrate ratios.
  • Standard filler ingredients. Thickeners, additives and gums are all filler ingredients that provide little to no benefit to you.

It also pays to find a protein powder in a flavour that you actually like. Not only will this make you more inclined to actually use it, but it can turn a training method into a regular treat.

We like Punish National Nutrition branded products. They’re Australian-made, and they come in a wide variety of flavours.

When should I take it?

The optimal time to take your whey protein isolate powder is within 45 minutes of your Shake Up session. This ensures that your body has protein easily available to it as soon as it begins the task of rebuilding your muscles.

Are there any reasons to be wary of supplements?

If you have any ongoing health problems – for example, diabetes, heart or kidney disease – then we strongly recommend that you talk to your GP or specialist before you start on any supplements.