Supplements

Whether you are trying to slim down or bulk up, supplements can play a key role in your success. Supplements are not meant to replace your normal diet, but is meant to supplement it and make sure your body is getting key nutrients. Below, are some of the most common types of supplements and why you might find them helpful.

Why You Need Supplements to Attain Your Goals

If you are looking to lose weight, protein powder and other supplements can help give you the energy you need and increase the amount of fat you burn. On the other hand, if you are looking to put on weight, supplements can also help build mass. Either way, protein plays a big role in achieving your goals, but sometimes it is hard to get all your protein from food, which is where supplements can come in. If your daily plan requires you to consume 75 grams of protein, you can use a protein shake to get a good chunk of that protein.

Other supplements, like vitamin based ones, can be powerful tools as well. Taking supplements with vitamins and minerals helps improve your body’s functions and makes any other supplements you take more effective. Supplements like this will also help you meet any vitamin and mineral intake requirements that you don’t get with your normal diet, which are necessary for your body to perform well.

Types of Supplements

Protein Powder

Protein powder is a powder mixture that you can add to milk or water to create smoothies, or mix it into your meals more creatively. Protein is necessary for muscle recovery and growth, which makes it a good post-workout drink. Protein powder provides high levels of protein and can be used to either gain or lose weight. If you are wanting to lose weight, you’ll want to pick a shake that is low in calories and carbs. Whereas, if you are trying to gain weight, you should look for a protein powder with more calories and carbs. Protein powder is extremely convenient and easy to use on the go, making it a popular choice among people who are serious about their goals. It also comes in a wide variety of flavors, so there is likely something out there that you would like. I would recommend finding a brand that suits all of your specific needs and then playing around with the flavors to see what you like.

Protein Bars

Protein bars tend to pack less protein than shakes, but more carbohydrates, making them a good choice for people who are looking to put on weight. Again, the protein that you get from this bar is great for repairing muscles and building muscle mass. Protein bars tend to make a better meal replacement than protein powder because they are more balanced and have more than just protein in them. Like powder, they come in a wide variety of flavors and can be picked up just about anywhere. Protein bars are not exclusive to health stores, most grocery stores have them as well. Since they are just small bars they’re also easy to take with you and eat just about anywhere. They even make a great snack between meals and will keep you fuller longer, which will help curb cravings and ultimately reach your fitness goals.

Creatine

Creatine has many devoted followers, but several skeptics as well. People tend to believe that creatine makes you retain more water, hindering weight loss goals, but it occurs naturally in the body so there really shouldn’t be any bloating. Creatine has several benefits and is one of my personal favorite workout supplements. It helps muscle cells produce more energy, increases muscle size, improves performance of high-intensity exercises, and can even improve brain function. Creatine may also help lower blood sugar levels, and research suggests that it may fight diabetes as well. If you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis, and you’re worried a new, active lifestyle may be hard on your bones, worry no longer. Creatine increases the formation of osteoblasts, which repair and strengthen bones, even reducing pain associated with osteoarthritis in women. Creatine has been shown to be totally safe and effective, despite some skepticism that persists. It usually comes in a powder form and is taken like protein powder, mixed into a drink.

BCAA

BCAA’s are a game changer when it comes to muscle recovery. Branched Chain Amino Acids are just 3 amino acids that make up about 35% of muscle proteins in the body, so they’re important when it comes to protein synthesis. BCAA supplements have been known to increase athletic performance, increase energy levels, increase lean mass, reduce post-workout soreness, and increases the amount of fat burned. There’s more though, they can also decrease pain, improve breathing, reduce perceived exertion (so it feels like you aren’t working as much), and may improve liver and kidney health. BCAA’s also come in powder form and can be taken at any time. However, I like to take mine while I am working out, that way I can feel the benefits while I’m still exercising and I get something yummy to sip on.

Diet Pills

Diet pills are not always as reliable as other supplements, partly because there are just so many of them out there. Diet pills like Phen375 are very trendy, so there are always new ones hitting the market that promise to give you unbelievable results. The downside to this is that they do not always live up to the hype, so be sure to do plenty of research before making a final decision on one. Diet pills should not be soon as an easy solution to weight loss. The truth is, diet pills alone will not do much, you must use them with a healthy diet and exercise plan. When used correctly, diet pills may increase energy, keep you more alert and focused, and increase the amount of fat that you burn. Diet pills should always be used responsibly and never mixed with other diet pills. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor before you start any new supplements, just to make sure it is safe for you.

Multivitamins

Last on our list of supplements are multivitamins. You may not have considered them to be supplements, but they are, and there is a good chance you are already taking them. Men and women should take multivitamins daily, regardless of their fitness goals. Multivitamins provide you with key micronutrients and minerals that can help boost your immune system and other important body functions. Multivitamins create a great foundation for other supplements and help make them even more effective. You can take whatever other supplements you’d like, but without a daily multivitamin, you won’t be getting everything you could be from your supplements. Luckily, multivitamins are also easy to take, all you have to do is swallow a pill first thing in the morning and you’re good for the entire day. Multivitamins are not something to be really picky about, just make sure you have a women’s daily multivitamin if you are a woman, and a men’s one if you are a man.

Conclusion

Supplements can be a good way to add to the nutrients you are already getting and get more from your workouts. They help you perform your best, usually giving you more energy, and reducing your recovery time. However, you should never misuse supplements and always follow the directions that come with them. Some supplements can become dangerous if you ingest too many, and you’ll end up doing way more harm than good. Still, it is worth considering adding at least one of these supplements to your daily routine in order to help you reach your fitness goals faster.

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