Understanding workout supplements: Their purpose
Although tons of Supplements are complete nonsense, there are some that work. That is a topic for later.
Let’s try to understands supplements a little more. Supplements are substances produced with the purpose of providing more of a certain nutrient because one cannot get enough from eating foods they typically eat. They are created from natural sources, for example plants. What should be the ultimate purpose of a supplement? They should be used to achieve what is lacking from one’s diet or improve it based on the level of activities one partakes in (i.e. intense training).
Do you really need to make a run to the supplement store?
We see this all the time: beginners dumping tons of cash on supplements hoping they will get results. The problem here is that they are beginners. The word supplement means “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it”. Most likely, people in this scenario do not have a solid foundation; they do not understand how to eat or train properly. As a result, they are trying to boost their progress on a system that is not dialed in. It’s like building a nice house on sand.
What will ultimately happen is that they will see close to no results.
Before getting into supplementation, it is best to get the basics down. This is for three main reasons:
- You’ll save money
- You might not be committed to fitness long term
- You’ll get better results
It’s not worth investing so much into something that you are new at. It’s best to take a gradual approach and build yourself up.
What you need before taking supplements
If you’re new, you should first focus on applying fitness consistently to your lifestyle. Get on a training program that works and eat properly.
If you want to learn more about dieting and training, click here.
Supplementation is expensive, so it is best to go in having a game plan and knowing your lifestyle/goals. Having a solid diet and training program is key to fitness progress. You may even find yourself not needing to buy supplements.
If you’re more advanced and have the fundamentals down, supplements can help you. They can provide you the boost you need to maintain a high level of performance when just food isn’t enough.
Supplements that work and are recommended
Protein is the building block of muscle, and is also something people typically don’t get enough of in their diet. There are various types of protein powder, such as casein and soy, but the most popular type is whey. If you’re hitting the weights or partaking in any sort of training regularly, you should look into this. To build muscle (and recover faster), one must ingest a certain amount of protein to induce protein synthesis.
This is probably one of the most misunderstood performance supplements out there. First off, it’s nothing freakish or something to be scared about because your body already has it. It is also ingested when eating meat. There are various forms of creatine, but the most widely used and effective form of creatine is creatine monohydrate.
What does creatine do? To list a few functions, tt helps increase energy, muscle recovery, and muscle fullness.
In terms of side effects, there have been various claims that it is harmful, however continuing research have often disproved them. In fact, recent studies have showed no harmful side effects have been experienced by those who have taken 10 grams per day.
These are a great way to increase your micronutrient intake for those lacking in variety in their diets. They serve as a great “safety net”. With that being said, if you find yourself generally eating well and healthy, you might not benefit much.
BCAAs, also known as branch chain amino acids, are low in the totem pole but great to utilize if you’re struggling to eat enough protein and carbohydrates. Although it’s effects are still being studied, research has shown that it aids in aerobic exercises.
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