To Supplement Or Not To Supplement
Dietry Supplements are a common feature in daily lives. Did you know that more than half of the population of the US use dietry supplements? Annual sales of sport nutrition products in the US is over 2.7 billion dollars!
Bodybuilding supplements are dietary supplements commonly used by those involved in bodybuilding and athletics. Bodybuilding supplements may be used to replace meals, enhance weight gain, promote weight loss or improve athletic performance. Among the most widely used are vitamin supplements, protein, branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), glutamine, essential fatty acids, meal replacement products, creatine, weight loss products and testosterone boosters.
Some trainers and gym enthusiasts swear by them, others don't go near them. Some recomend one type of brand and some just have no idea where to start.
The best way to make your mind up is to try them and see if you notice any difference.
When i started out i never used any sort of supplement to help me out. However after a number of months i had to give it a go and since then i swear by them. I take a protein shake supplement, a pre workout supplement to give me the energy needed to start using the gym, and a mid-workout shake to give me a boost of carbohydrates to keep the body working at an optimum level.
I adivse everyone to try it out as long as you are medically able to. Always consult your doctor if you are unsure. Why do i suggest people to give it a go? Firstly it depends on your fitness and nutritional goal which is if you want to get results as soon as possible then supplements are your thing. Secondly it makes scientific sense. Remember the body requires protein to break down and to create new muscle and your body needs enough of it. Dietry and body building supplements also help fuel your creatine-phosphate system for the explosive energy people need (great for sports conditioning and weight loss). In most protein supplements you would have to eat two massive slabs of cod in order to get the equivalent protein intake of a single protein shake.
In The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, 2nd ed., author Arnold Schwarzenegger states:
"Creatine monohydrate is regarded as a necessity by most bodybuilders. Creatine monohydrate is the most cost-effective dietary supplement in terms of muscle size and strength gains. … There is no preferred creatine supplement, but it is believed that creatine works best when it is consumed with simple carbohydrates. This can be accomplished by mixing powdered creatine with grape juice, lemonade, or many high glycemic index drinks."
Of course never replace a balanced and healthy diet with supplements but rather think of it as going that extra mile. Rememeber that achieving your fitness goal is 40% gym and 60% nutrition. Supplements will help that 60%.
Give it a go. There are always places on the internet you can find to get your supplements at a not-so-expensive price. If you feel you are not progressing, you are plateauing or you want to get results quicker then why not try and see how it goes? If you would like advice on what supplements we recomend then do get in touch.
-Tony of TDL Fitness