As a fitness instructor I often get asked, do sports nutrition supplements work? A supplement is defined as “Something added to complete a thing, make up for a deficiency, or extend or strengthen the whole.”
Many people are now supplementing their diet in order to provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities their diet. This is supplementation which fills a gap caused by the difficult for us to obtain what we require for optimum health from what we are eating.
As a fitness instructor, and somebody who has a passion for lifting weights, supplementation has been important to me for a long time. It is something I have had to advise people on for almost as long as well.
I’m not talking about supplementing using pharmaceutical drugs which would get me kicked out of the Tour de France. This is something I have no time for and have long frowned on the use of steroids by guys trying to build muscle. The long term consequences of this on their own make it a fool’s choice.
What I’m talking about is supplements that aid in motivation, exercise performance, recovery and repair of muscle, and the provision of adequate nutrients. .
The best supplements are made up of quality ingredients based on things found in food in concentrated amounts for peak performance. The main two supplements I have taken myself are Creatine and Protein both very supportive to muscle growth.
Creatine is used to improve performance. It is naturally manufactured by the body in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas, and it occurs naturally in foods such as meat and fish. If a person takes Creatine supplements, this additional Creatine is stored in the muscles, and it can give an energy boost during workouts. Creatine is very popular supplement used by athletes looking for improved strength, explosive power and recovery, as well as those looking to gain weight through increasing muscle volume.
Protein powder provides high quality proteins such as whey, casein and egg whites for muscle building. Protein supplements are convenient and more easily digested than whole foods such as chicken, beef and fish. Protein supplements are frequently used as meal replacements to increase the amount of calories being taken in per day. Adding one to three protein shakes between meals can help you get the needed nutrition to gain muscle mass. Protein powders also make effective post-workout shakes.
Both these supplements have helped me considerably over time produce outstanding results from my workout program. I would recommend taking any of the quality products out there if you yourself want to get the best from your training regime.
Other supplements I can vouch for are those associated with boosting performance or recovery to aid in your efforts to gain muscle. The one thing that must not be forgotten is the fact that muscle growth has a direct relationship to training. If you don’t workout correctly and sufficiently nothing that you take as supplementation is going to help you.
Having returned to weight training recently, with my body certainly out of condition, I have found that Supplementation has helped me cope with the physiological stress associated with returning to exercise. Recovery enhancing L-carnitine L-tartrate has supported me big time making my after training recovery time more palatable. By that I mean my muscles didn’t totally kill me afterwards.
Supplements can accelerate and increase your bodybuilding and fitness progress particularly when supporting proper diet and exercise. If results are important to you, then you have to get everything in order.
Supplements are not just beneficial to those doing strength training. Each individual sport has its own particular requirements in terms of training and dietary needs, but one thing is always needed whatever your sport and that is the need to recover. The quicker you recover the more able to train at your best, so supplements being incorporated into your diet will prove of great benefit.
Having a huge amount of supplements to choose from can often be confusing, time consuming and more hassle than it’s worth! But there are good quality supplements available which can be beneficial to you whatever your sport.