A basic guide to supplements - Part 1 - Result Fitness Durham

A basic guide to supplements – Part 1

Are you confused about supplements? Are you wondering what these different supplements actually do, when to take them or if you even need to?

Choosing the right supplement for you and your needs can be hard; Especially with a wide range of products and brands. We have put together a quick guide to the most common supplements that are out there, what the advantages are, who might benefit from incorporating them, and when to take them.

Before you go and buy any supplements, you should make sure that you do not have any health problems or medical issues that could make it difficult for your body to, for example, digest your supplement (e.g. liver / kidney dysfunction). Additionally, do your research or ask an instructor so you know you are choosing a high-quality brand and are not wasting your money.

This is the first part of the supplement guide, the second coming out next Sunday.

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Protein powder

  • What is it?
    Protein powders come in many different forms. The three most popular types are whey, soy and casein protein. Whey protein is the most commonly bought protein and is made by separating the two proteins that you find in milk; whey and casein.
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  • What are the advantages?
    Protein will aid muscle recovery, can help you increase muscle mass and may also be useful if you are looking to lose weight or body fat percentage. Protein powders contain all nine of the amino acids necessary for human dietary needs and is therefore a complete protein source. It is possible to get sufficient protein through a normal diet without having to spend money on protein powders, but for some people it might be more convenient, practical and less stressful to incorporate protein powders.
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  • Who might benefit from it?
    If you are training regularly, a higher intake of protein will benefit your training and your progress.
    Athletes who are recovering from an injury frequently need more protein to help them heal.
    If you are changing to a vegan or vegetarian diet you eliminate some of the most common sources of protein in a normal diet. A vegan or vegetarian protein powder might be beneficial.
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  • Timing:
    Can be taken at any point during the day, but will be especially beneficial to time it before or after resistance training.
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    Take-home points: A protein powder is a convenient and easy way of upping your overall protein intake, or to refuel your body after a training session. It is versatile and can promote both weight loss and increase muscle mass, and will help your muscles recover after a session. Make sure you choose a product that reflects your training goals.

Protein powder Image: http://optimalperformance.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Depositphotos_66953141_original.jpg

 

 

Creatine

  • What is it?
    Creatine is produced from amino acids and is naturally produced in your body as well as being found in protein-rich foods. However, since you would have to eat a lot of these foods before your body obtains an appreciable amount of creatine, taking a supplement is an efficient way to increase your creatine intake.
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  • What are the advantages?
    Creatine can increase muscle strength, size and power output through regenerating a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is your body’s main source of energy. Creatine increases the available fuel to power ATP, which increases production of ATP and increases your energy. By helping to replenish the fuel (ATP) within the muscle cells it can allow your muscles work harder and improve performance, muscle strength and size.

    Image:
    https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/creatine-fact-and-fiction_02.jpg

  • Who might benefit from it?
    Useful for athletes – especially sprinters, swimmers, soccer players, football players.
    Long-distance runners may not benefit from supplementing with creatine, as creatine is found most effective in exercise and events where you need to generate a lot of power quickly, in a short time frame (e.g. in sprints).
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  • Timing:
    Two general recommendations:
    Before your workout as it increases strength.
    After your workout because it is better absorbed after training.
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Take-home points: Creatine Monohydrate is an inexpensive, safe and beneficial dietary supplement that can help you increase muscle strength, size and power. It will especially benefit you as an athlete.

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BCAA

  • What is it?
    Branch Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs) are made up of the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. (Essential = meaning your body does not produce them and they need to be incorporated in your diet).
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  • What are the advantages?
    BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis and can help promote muscle growth, and repair and reduce muscle soreness after a workout. They have not been found to significantly improve athletic performance; however, BCAAs will help you recover faster after an intense session.
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  • Who might benefit from it?
    Athletes and other people who exercise regularly.
    Vegans and vegetarians could benefit from a vegetarian-friendly supplement since they avoid eating meat and other foods where these essential amino acids are usually found.
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  • Timing:
    Try to time it around your workouts.

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Take-home points: BCAA will help you recover from intense sessions and promote muscle growth. They are especially helpful if you have high training frequency and/ or tough, intense sessions.

BCAA, Image:
https://gymjunkies.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/BCAA.jpg

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Stay tuned for the second part of the supplement guide coming out next week!

Healthy regards,
The Result Fitness Team