Health and fitness supplements are becoming increasingly popular for people who are trying to gain muscle, lose fat and generally improve their health. Those who are new to a fitness regime or simply want to take it to the next level will find a vast amount of different products on the market. To help you out, here are our top 5 tips for choosing the best supplements.
5 – Work out What You Need
Before making a decision you need to know what sort of results you want. Different supplements are designed to assist in different ways so it’s important to take the right ones.
Those looking to gain muscle mass should try protein supplements. These are most often in the form of milkshakes which are taken before and after workouts to boost muscle gain and reduce recovery times. Generally, these are the best choice of supplements for beginners.
However, if the main goal is to lose weight then fat burners will be more suitable. These come in two main types: thermogenic fat burners and fat blockers. Thermogenic fat burners contain stimulants such as caffeine which increases the metabolism to burn calories, suppress the appetite and provide energy. Fat blockers on the other hand do exactly as described and block the uptake of fat in the body. Unfortunately, both of these can have side effects so careful dosage is required.
Creatine is an effective performance enhancer which increases strength in short bursts, hence why it is popular with weightlifters. Creatine is found naturally in red meats and also some fish such as tuna and salmon.
Glutamine is the most common amino acid in the body and it gets depleted during exercise which can lead to muscle damage. Glutamine supplements improve recovery time and have been shown to have great benefits for weightlifters and long distance runners and cyclists.
Finally, testosterone boosters or pro hormones increase testosterone production (usually via the suppression of oestrogen) and can have considerable effects on weight gain. The side effects of these can be very similar to those of steroids however so intake must be carefully monitored.
4 – Do Your Research
As mentioned previously, the sheer number of products on the market can be quite daunting. Even amongst protein supplements you will find there are a lot of brands, all of which say their product is the best. Speak to people at your gym, look online and get some advice from the staff in the shop as to which product you should go for. Everybody has their own preferences but it will give you a good starting point.
3 – Make Sure You Exercise Enough
This sounds like a very simple tip but take note, it is an important one. Many people jump into a high protein diet thinking they will get results without needing to put the hard work in. If you start drinking protein shakes and do not do enough exercise you will not get the body you want. Those who currently do very little exercise will need to increase their number of weekly training sessions. The type of exercises you do will also have an impact on your body shape and tone, so speak to a personal trainer about which exercises you should be doing.
2 – Don’t Expect Immediate Results
Supplements can and do make all the difference to an exercise regime but its important not to expect immediate results. Exactly as the name suggests, they supplement a regular workout, and don’t replace one. Keep yourself motivated and continue to push yourself and you will start to see positive changes. Be wary of supplements that claim to offer unrealistic results; these can often be short-lived and may come with unpleasant side effects.
1 – Use Supplements as Instructed
It’s vital that you use supplements as they’re intended. It can be easy to take too much, especially if you’re after quick results but in fact this can have the opposite effect, for instance taking on too many calories via protein shakes leads to fat build up.
A lot of research has been done on sports supplements and they’re widely regarded as safe, provided that they’re not abused. Pro hormones in particular have the potential to cause harm if not used correctly.
Bill Weston is a content writer who writes on a number of subjects including protein supplements. You can find protein supplements at Bodybuilding Warehouse