The Ultimate Supplement Guide
Supplements are the most common tool that people with fitness goals will go to for help. However, the role of supplements is largely overrated as many people think that supplements are a way to fix mistakes or compensate for some the important fitness habits. Let’s dive into the world of supplements and how they can help us achieve our goals in fitness and health.
There Are Many Different Supplements:
The supplement industry is valued at over 100 billion dollars and it’s still growing. That said, there are so many types of supplements for each person and their goals. Here are five types of supplements.
The most common type of supplement you will find is one that promises an increase in muscle mass. Muscle protein synthesis is when the muscles recover and incorporate amino acids as building blocks for the muscle. The most common types of muscle-building supplements are protein powders. These are typically whey proteins but they can be made from egg whites, slower digesting whey protein (casein), and even plant-based protein such as rice protein powder. BCAAs also help build some muscle but as long as you get what you need from protein then you’re good to go.
Another common supplement used is strength. Creatine monohydrate is the king of all strength supplements as it increases the amount of ATP in the muscle which helps boost energy production and recovery. Moreover, it increases water weight in the muscle which is why creatine is seen as both a strength-building and muscle-building supplement. Luckily, creatine is the most heavily researched supplement out there proven to be safe and effective for active healthy individuals.
Adequate vitamin and mineral intake is necessary for health. However, it can be hard to get all of your vitamins from the foods we eat every day which is why it’s a good idea to supplement with some vitamins. It’s always good to check if you need to take any supplements in the first place through blood work.
For Immune System:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, then you might be interested in improving your immune function. Protecting yourself from germs and viruses as well as being fast and efficient in dealing with them is a sign of good immunity. There are some supplements that can help your immune system such as vitamin D, zinc, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B are all known to help optimize your immune system.
For The Brain:
Nootropics are known as smart drugs and they are a type of supplement. They can help with cognitive function as well as memory enhancement. Though their effects are not as drastic as many put them out to be, their use can be quite significant according to many. L-theanine for instance is a supplement that is used to reduce anxiety, improve focus, and help with sleep. Moreover, there is proof that some of these supplements may slow down or even prevent dementia or brain-related issues.
Popular Supplements In Fitness:
The vast majority of people who take supplements take multi-vitamins. They give you a little bit of everything in terms of what the average person needs.
- Easy to take
- Has a lot of vitamins
- Small percentage of the daily recommended value
- Too many vitamins
- Vitamins compete for absorption
The most common muscle-building supplement out there is popular for a reason since it’s in every fitness enthusiast’s kitchen. However, it’s not immune from criticism.
- Has a very high concentration of protein
- Increased muscle synthesis
- Very convenient
- It can be expensive
- Some people have lactose intolerance
The king of all supplements for building strength is consistent in showing improved performance in the gym. It’s the go-to for many people as it has a significant boost.
- Increased muscle mass
- Increased strength output
- Better endurance in the gym
- Can cause some bloating
This supplement should be taken by pretty anyone since it has a lot of benefits that go beyond just muscle building or fat loss. It’s a good idea to get all of your omegas balanced if your diet does not allow it
- Improved heart health
- May boost brain function
- Helps with sleep
- Possible gastrointestinal issues
- Fishy aftertaste
How To Use Supplements Effectively:
While supplements are effective, they should not be used as a crutch. The most important things in fitness and health are your diet, training, sleep, recovery, and mental health. If you must rely on supplements, then you might want to reconsider how you use your supplements. Take only what you need and don’t overdose on your supplements in hopes of getting better effects as it may only increase the side effects.