A Guide to Sports Supplements
And the quick answer is no.
If you’re not a professional athlete but workout regularly to stay fit and healthy, then you don’t need to take supplements.
As long as you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet.
However supplements can be a great way to help boost strength, performance and recovery time.
In addition to that healthy balanced diet.
If you’re thinking about taking supplements for any one (or all) of the benefits outlined above, we advise talking with an accredited sports dietician or registered nutritionist first, that way you’ll get thorough individualised guidance on what’s best for you.
So what kind of sports supplements are available?
1. Protein – Build muscle, helps diet
There are many different ways to up your protein intake, and it is in fact the number one thing you should do if you’re increasing your physical activity (which we’ll explain in a sec).
First off, here are the 2 most popular protein supplements:
- Whey protein
- Casein protein
Both for slightly different reasons.
Whey protein can be taken either before or after your workout and is ideal for those whose main goal is to lose weight, since it has fewer calories, has a quicker digestion rate and it can help to curb appetites.
Casein protein on the other hand is often found in meal replacements as it is a slow-releasing protein that will keep you fuller for longer. So this supplement is good if you can’t, or don’t, eat regular meals throughout the day as it ensures your body doesn’t go into ‘starvation mode’ from lack of food.
2. Performance enhancers – Improve strength & reduce acid build-up
Creatine and Beta Alanine are two of the most popular performance enhancers.
Many athletes and sports enthusiast take creatine as it helps increase muscle mass and power which in turn allows you to pump more iron, run faster, cycle further …
Whatever your goal is – whether cardio or strength – creatine will help enhance your performance levels.
Beta Alanine works in line with creatine as it helps reduce the build-up of lactic acid that can occur during exercise. This allows you to keep going for longer without fatigue setting in.
3. Fat burners – to burn fat faster
There are numerous tested and untested fat burning products on the market. Some work, some don’t.
Whilst not the miracle instant fat buster you may be hoping for, but one that has proven time and time again in clinical trials, is green tea extract.
The main active ingredient EGCG is known to increase metabolic rate. So when looking for the best green tea extract product, get one high in EGCG in order to consume 270 mg per day.
4. Amino Acids – to aid recovery
One of the most popular amino acids to help recover after a workout session is Glutamine.
Muscles get worn down during exercise, even more so if it’s a repetitive workout. For example continual running or weight lifting, where the muscles being used are concentrated for prolonged periods of time.
Glutamine has been proven to aid the recovery and repair of those muscles significantly.
Do you take sports supplements? If so, what ones and why?
Are you a sports nutritionist? What supplements would you recommend and why?