With all the fitness hype more and more people are taking supplements. People who want to lose weight quick are starving themselves and taking supplements. People who want to gain muscle are taking all types of supplements. While supplements may yield results, are they the right results?
You Don’t NEED Supplements
Supplements are named so for a reason. They are supplemental to your diet. Your diet can give you everything you need to lose weight while building muscle or to build mass. Whatever your diet and goals may be, you should not be dependent on supplements.
Most people feel like they need supplements because something is lacking. It could be from diet or exercise, but when it comes down to it, everything is on you. Your mom doesn’t care if you want 24 inch arms, she will love you either way. Same goes for all the people in your life. In order to reach your fitness goals, you have to put in the time and effort to get there.
Once you are discipline enough you can start to think about supplements. Still, supplements are not for everyone. An average gym goer does not need diet pills, pre-workout, and protein shakes. Rather, someone that works out intensely for most days out of the week would benefit from supplements. Perhaps you are this person, or someone who has been working out for some time and has reached a plateau. You might ask yourself, “What supplements should I take?”
The Only Supplements You Need
If you’re set on taking supplements, there is only three you should consider:
The most commonly used supplement, protein powder is safe and effective for anybody that’s into fitness. The best time to take protein is after a strenuous workout when your body needs to repair muscle. I would caution against taking protein powders too often (a scoop after workouts is enough) because they dehydrate you and force your kidneys to work harder.
The most studied supplement in the past 20 years. Why? After just a month of supplementing your diet with creatine, users can experience insane boosts in muscle mass. For example, an average weight lifter can increase their bench by up to 20 lbs in just the first month. Granted, the gains taper off after a couple months. This is why creatine is controversial and so widely studied. Although it is deemed safe by health professionals, it does act like a steroid and places an extra burden on your kidneys. This supplement is meant for more serious weight lifters who want to gain some serious muscle mass.
If you don’t take vitamins daily, you should start. Without proper nutrition of vitamins and minerals, your body and muscles just won’t operate as well. Start taking a multivitamin every day and make sure you eat foods that have a lot of vitamins and minerals. Older individuals should consult a doctor on what vitamins and minerals they are lacking and how to supplement them.
What About Other Supplements?
You really don’t need any other supplements than the ones mentioned above. Actually, vitamins and protein powder is all anyone really needs as creatine can be found naturally in meat. Fat-burners speed up your metabolism, but an intense workout that gets the heart rate up will do the same trick. Pre-workout also isn’t necessary (drink tea or a cup of coffee!). Also, branched chain amino acids aren’t necessary at all. The benefit is small and besides, you get all the types of protein you need from your post-workout shake.
Before you take a workout supplement, step back and think if you can fix your problem with natural solutions. Remember, if your diet isn’t on point, the supplements are not going to do anything. For a review on weight loss pills, how they work, and their effectiveness, check out this article about if weight loss pill are healthy.
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