I’m sure you’ve heard about supplements. They’re pretty hard to miss.
Products that promote an increase in muscle mass and help you burn fat pop up in websites and magazines. You read their claims and yes, you ARE interested and why yes, you WOULD like a free sample.
As tempting as these advertisements may sound, you have to look into what really goes into these products and how it could potentially affect your body.
Supplements in the Market
There have been numerous companies claiming to have products that will help you boost muscle growth, lose all that excess fat, and even help keep you energised as you pump iron.
Are Supplements Necessary?
To be honest, it depends who you’re talking to.
Many gym enthusiasts and bodybuilders claim to have been taking supplements to help muscle growth. They say that these supplements are the perfect package — an all-in-one product that promises to deliver results — as long as you continue taking them.
These claims and promises are enough to entice almost anyone to buy their products. If you are skeptical of how these may affect your fitness regimen, then we’ve broken down basic supplements that are readily available in the market for your use or consumption.
One of the most popular supplements being marketed today is creatine. Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, creatine is actually a naturally occurring enzyme that our bodies produce. It kickstarts the production of adenosine triphosphate (or ATP). ATP is responsible for helping stressed muscles to repair itself and (you guessed it) help it grow.
How does this affect your bodybuilding dreams?
As you exercise, your muscles pull and tug and eventually get stressed out. Your body’s natural response is to help it restore itself. With the help of creatine, not only are you getting its muscle repairing effect, but you are also given a boost of energy that enables you to do more during your workout.
More work = more stressed out muscles = more muscle growth.
Creatine found in the body supplements have already been manufactured or synthesised. However, creatine is also found in foods like meat, fish and eggs. Creatine can be bought in liquid or powdered form.
While your fitness regimen is an important factor in bodybuilding, many don’t realise that the post workout phase is as important as the exercise itself.
After all that lifting and straining, your body will naturally feel tired and your muscles will need to rest and repair itself. This is also when your body continues to burn body fat. A combination of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, BCAA is a hodgepodge of amino acids that also help your body heal and repair itself, much like creatine.
We don’t necessarily associate fish oil with bodybuilding. It’s been overlooked by many and quite frankly it is hard to see why.
It’s been touted to have omega-3, an anti-inflammatory compound. In numerous studies, it has been proven to have brain and heart benefits. For gym goers, fish oil is your key to a more fluid (and less painful) workout.
Fish oil can help decrease the likelihood of developing stiff joints and muscles. It can also help prevent you from experiencing excessive pain while you workout. Your body’s circulatory system will also function better, bringing essential oxygen to different parts. Your stamina and endurance will also improve overall.
Naturally, fish oil can be consumed by eating seafood but if you are not a fan of surf and turf meals, there are fish oil supplements available in the market.
Glutamine is like creatine: our bodies naturally produce this amino acid. It helps maintain muscle mass.
Here’s the thing though: when you work too hard, your body loses glutamine. It’s drawn out of the muscles whenever they get too stressed out.
This is why glutamine can be part of your diet through nuts and meat. However, due to their fat content, some people prefer buying glutamine in supplement stores to maintain their lean muscle mass.
Probably one of the most talked about supplement, whey protein can easily be found almost anywhere. Just like other supplements out there, whey protein promises to help you build muscle. Unlike other products though, whey protein must be consumed a few times a day (in the form of a milkshake) for you to be able to reap its benefits.
I bet you haven’t heard of this supplement.
This is also a naturally occurring amino acid in our bodies but has a limited quantity. Eventually you will need supplementing, especially if you exercise on the daily.
Beta-Alanine helps prevent muscle fatigue so if endurance is your main problem then it might be wise for you to check this supplement out. To work its magic, beta-alanine should be taken a few times a day.
Carbs have been getting a bad rap in the past few years, and unfairly so. Our bodies require carbohydrates for it to be able to function properly.
Carbohydrates give us energy and fuel our bodies. It keeps us going during activities and intense workout sessions. People who are on the move all the time, like athletes and soldiers, have a very carb-loaded diet because they need to fuel their bodies when they need it the most.
What makes carbohydrates “bad” are the additives that a lot of food companies include in their products. Additives like sugar and preservatives, in excessive amounts, can be quite harmful to the body.
While supplements work, you can easily source them from the food we eat everyday. It all boils down to how it is prepared. Added sugars and sodium can add unwanted pounds and bulge.
A healthy diet, along with a fitness regimen that suits your lifestyle, can be your best bet in building a strong and lean body. Rec Xpress is your partner in health and wellness. Drop by any of our five branches today and
ask about our $11 a week rate.