Nutrition | Training Tips
Overall, dietary supplements are known to help improve total health and wellness. They provide the vitamins and minerals lacking or deficient in a person’s diet. This enables the body to function at a more optimal level.
One survey found that 77 percent of Americans take some type of dietary supplement. A multivitamin is taken most often (58 percent). This is followed by vitamin D (31 percent) and vitamin C (28 percent). Other top dietary supplements include calcium, vitamin B, magnesium, and iron.
Fitness supplements can also help boost health. However, these nutrients are more appealing to active individuals for the way they can enhance a workout regimen. They’re also fairly common. Approximately 28 percent of those surveyed reportedly take a sports nutrition supplement.
Certain supplements help promote the growth of lean muscle. Protein is perhaps the most well-known for this purpose. Many bodybuilders end a grueling resistance routine with a muscle-building protein shake.
Protein is a basic building block for muscle. It also has other positive effects for active individuals. This includes reducing food cravings, strengthening bones, and boosting metabolism.
Whey is a common protein supplement. This protein powder is often preferred because it is a ‘complete protein.’ This means that it contains all nine essential amino acids. It also has a lower amount of lactose than some other protein supplements.
In addition to muscle growth, whey protein offers other workout benefits as well. One study involved consuming 25 grams of whey protein following resistance training. Participants noticed improvements in post-workout performance.
Research reveals that additional workout supplements promote muscle growth by impacting protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis refers to the process in which protein is made in the cells. Supplements that fall into this category are:
The Office of Dietary Supplements reports that elite athletes often use supplements to boost athletic performance. Additionally, their usage rates are higher than those at lower levels of sport. This may be, in part, due to the duration and intensity of their training sessions.
Supplements found to potentially help improve performance include:
Taking a supplement after your workout can also help your muscles recover. This recovery may be by reducing muscle soreness. It can also take the form of muscle repair, giving the damaged tissue the protein it needs to build and grow.
Here are a few of the supplements helpful to the body after intense workout sessions:
Some athletes take workout supplements in an attempt to speed up fat loss. They want a substance that boosts their metabolism, reduces appetite, or otherwise hastens their ability to lose weight.
One of the most common ingredients in weight loss supplements is caffeine. Not only does caffeine help supply enough energy to make it through a workout, but drinking coffee can aid in the fat metabolism process.
Green tea extract is also found in a lot of weight loss aids. It works by speeding up your metabolism. As a catechin, it helps the body break down your excess fat, using it as energy to fuel your workout sessions.
All of these can be good reasons to add a supplement to your exercise regimen. But that doesn’t make them the right choice for everyone.
There are some cases in which a workout supplement may not be the best decision for you. One is if you are sensitive to caffeine. Many products contain this ingredient. Avoiding a supplement with caffeine may also be necessary if you already get enough. Adding more caffeine may make you feel jittery and unable to focus.
It’s also important to pay attention to your weight if you are taking a pre-workout or post-workout supplement. For example, if you find that drinking a protein shake after every exercise session is making the number on the scale go up, you might want to cut back.
If, after talking with your doctor, you decide to start a supplemental program, here are a few tips for adding them to your training regimen.