It feels like every time you get that urge to be healthy, get your gym-head on and sort your diet out, there is another complicated obstacle put in your way – sound about right? For us it is thinking about whether supplements are needed and if so which ones to use. It seems as though there is something for everything, but do they ever work? Sadly, we’re not here to answer that question…we’ll leave that to the boffins in the white coats tucked away in their labs.
There are supplements to aid weight loss, weight gain, muscle increase, immune system support, energy levels and many many more. We’ve had our fair share of exploration with a lot of these, with mixed results for each of them, but we thought that we’d give you a brief explanation of the most common supplements out there at the minute. Focussing on muscle/weight gain, pre-workout/recovery aids, weight loss/fat metabolisers and multivitamins, and as always…GP aim to advise gently, there’s no dictatorship here.
For many people gaining weight can be harder than losing it, naturally, people’s metabolism will dictate their body type, often against their desired shape. So looking for help is a natural reaction, using different proteins can support a strong diet to support the building of muscle mass through training. The science is relatively simple in that if you put more calories in than you are burning you are going to gain weight; however, this gets more technical when you focus on the type of weight you’re aiming to gain – in this instance lean muscle mass. When thinking of specific weight-gain shakes, looking for a product that will give you the right amount of protein is important, equally as important is looking for the right amount of fats – now before you think we’re talking silly, it’s about getting the right type of fats into your system. Fats found in weight-gain powders are used to provide sustainable energy that your body can use to exercise for longer periods of time instead of needing to increase your carbohydrate intake – which will only lead to your spare tyre getting inflated if you catch our drift.
Looking after yourself before and after your workout is important, it can maximise the results you get from your hard work. Pre-workout regimes usually involve a high-energy product, often mixed with creatine, a regular supply of this will increase your body’s ability to regenerate energy. Again, no rocket science here, it could help you knock out that last set of reps, and if so, winner! As for after your work out, you’ve got to think that your body has just pushed itself to its limits and used all of its fuel. Now you need to replenish it, not only that but you’ve got repairs to do, this is where your protein comes in, think of it as your building blocks for when you need to repair the damaged muscle fibres.
Fat metabolisers/weight-loss supplements and multivitamins are available in multiple different varieties, whether they work or not is more of a question that can only be answered by each person – the general trend is that for some people it is an essential and others say it is a pointless exercise. As with everything we bring you here at GP, this is just our outlook on popular topics, proceed with caution, follow instructions from professionals, and stay focused…remember why you started!