People take supplements for a variety of reasons, usually to help them live a healthier lifestyle. There are supplements to help you hit your daily nutrients, to help you lose weight, gain muscle, workout harder; there's a ton of different options out there. But you need to have an understanding of how supplements work, and why people use them, to make a decision on which supplements are best for you.
Supplements give you results because they support your training and diet program. The key word there is "support". Supplements won't do anything for you if you're just going through the motions during a workout and following it up with some Twinkies. In order to get true results for whatever your goal may be, you need to know the benefits to understand why people take supplements.
Supplements To Enhance Performance
Here's a secret most supplement companies won't tell you. You don't NEED supplements to get results, and you can achieve your goals with a solid workout routine and diet. However, they do come in handy when it comes to accomplishing your goals faster. Supplements such as preworkout and creatine powders are good examples of sports performance supplements.
Do you want to see faster progression in the gym and lift heavier? Train longer and stay more focused during the workout so you can hit all the exercises you planned on? Then you’d probably want a supplement to go with your training program. A high stim preworkout is a great way to stay energized and focused during a workout, even if you just put in a long day of work.
Stim and Non-Stim Preworkout
The caffeine and other stimulant ingredients will get you up and out the door to pump some weights, and keep your mind focused on the training instead of feeling fatigued after 20 minutes of lifting. And a non-stimulant preworkout will assist with the blood flow, focus, and recovery aspects of your training. So if don't have any problems with your energy levels, that can be a great option.
Non-stimulant essentially means there’s no caffeine in the product, but they will generally contain pump and focus ingredients. They are called “pump” ingredients because they increase the nitric oxide levels in your body, which converts over to dilated blood vessels bringing more oxygen to your muscles.
This will assist with fighting off muscular fatigue and improve your recovery following the workout. Perfect for workouts close to the evening since you don’t want to be wired before bed.
People take creatine supplements when they are looking to improve their training as well. Creatine is already naturally found within your body, and consuming foods such as red meat will assist with improving their levels.
However, you won’t get 5 grams of ready to digest creatine from your steak, so most turn to creatine supplementation. Creatine increases the production of ATP that gets stored within your muscle cells. In short, ATP helps improve strength, power, and endurance.
Creatine is one of the most popular and widely studied supplement ingredients available. Studies even show that creatine does support lean muscle gain as well. Creatine is truly an affordable supplement to consume daily for direct results with your training program.
Fat burners are another widely purchased supplement. These can be found in stimulant and non-stimulant forms too. The purpose behind a fat burner is what the name says – burn fat. The truth is that you'll still need to keep up with your diet and exercise programs to see results. If a company selling a fat burner is promising something along the line os "weight loss without any work", don't believe them.
Some of the ingredients in a fat burner can help you accomplish your weight loss goals by speeding up your metabolism, destroying fat cells, suppressing your appetite, or simply heating up your body through thermogenesis.
Fat burners can be that slight edge and push you need to stay motivated to follow through with the workouts, and put in the time meal prepping in the kitchen. Taking a fat burner by itself without working out and eating healthy will be a waste of both your time and money.
Other Popular Supplements People Take
There’s more to supplements than just enhancing your workouts. People take supplements such as protein, multivitamins, greens powder, and even fish oil. Protein supplements being a common staple for many since consuming enough during the day becomes difficult.
Protein is basically the nutrient that helps your cells live, repair, and grow. The most specific cells being your muscles.
Based off of your body weight and activity level (there are calculators online you can use to find the right amount for you), you could need anywhere from 60 to 180 grams per day. For the more activie individuals, getting enough protein through food alone can be tricky. So they turn to protein powders to help them hit their recommended daily dose. Protein powders are usually made from milk in the form of whey or casein, but there are plant-based protein products also.
Do you hate eating your vegetables? Or do you think you don't consume enough each day? Well, you’re missing out on a lot of nutrients and benefits, so a greens powder might make sense for you. These products are becoming popular since they're a convenient way for people to hit their micronutrients each day. Although, they aren't a substitute for eating vegetables. They're a supplement to go along with a healthy diet, so don't throw out your broccoli yet!
Normally they contain other ingredients great for your health like spirulina or forms of mushroom powders. Multivitamin and fish oil supplements are taken daily too.
A multivitamin provides your body with all the smaller nutrients you may not be getting from your diet. Nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Potassium, etc.
They are a good backup plan regardless of how much you eat. Lastly, fish oils are routinely consumed by people for skin health, heart health, and to possibly reduce joint inflammation.
Supplements Are Not Required, But Often Desired
Various supplements can be the "icing on the cake" to help you get the most out of your workout and diet routine. They can help people get those extra health benefits they don’t get from their current lifestyle and diet. Supplements really do assist with a lot of different effects for the body.
There really is no "best" supplement to take since it depends on your goals, current workout routine, overall diet, and other factors. It's best to talk with your physician about what supplements they recommend you start taking.