August 17, 2023
Supplements are a huge topic in the health and fitness world. There always seems to be a magic pill that will help you achieve one of your health goals. But are supplements really necessary? And are you feeling confused about which ones you should be taking?
We are big believers in eating well and getting as many of your nutrients from whole foods – and we have different nutrition and meal guides that can help with that. But this isn’t always achievable. It can be challenging to eat perfectly all the time, especially if you are busy and strapped for time. And balancing necessary food intake with unwanted weight gain can get tricky if not overly strict. Sometimes, you just need to take a supplement for a little extra, right? That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favourite supplements. Read on to find out what they are and how to use them.
Protein powder is a convenient way to meet your additional protein needs, is easy to use, portable and can be consumed quickly. One of the biggest benefits of protein powder is that it is digested fast and absorbed into the body. It can deliver amino acids to your muscles more rapidly compared to whole food sources that take time to breakdown. This is important, especially post-workout when your body requires a quick supply of amino acids to kick-start recovery and muscle building. That's why we love it in shakes and smoothies, but it's also great for baking healthy treats. Just like other supplements, it’s important to choose your protein powder carefully:
Do your joints hurt after a workout? Knee pain? Wrist pain? Elbow pain? This is because physical activity places stress on your joints. Collagen is the main protein found in our joints. Therefore, supplementing with collagen can help increase joint strength, reduce inflammation and improve joint health. While collagen does not increase muscle synthesis after a workout, it is still involved in repairing muscles after a workout and supporting your body's natural recovery processes. This can help you recover faster and feel stronger in your next workout. As a bonus, it is great for healthier hair, nails and even skin elasticity. Consider these points when purchasing collagen powder:
Creatine is one of the most popular fitness supplements around. This substance is actually naturally present in the human body and is involved in many processes. One of its most important roles it plays in the body is increasing your energy levels, by stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy currency of cells. Supplementing with creatine has therefore been shown to improve strength, power and physical performance during exercise. Creatine can also stimulate protein synthesis, which is essential for muscle repair and growth. Here’s what you should consider if you want to supplement with creatine:
Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs are a group of essential amino acids, specifically leucine, isoleucine and valine. Your body can’t make these amino acids on its own, and they need to be obtained from food or supplements. BCAAs play a crucial role in muscle recovery and can help speed up recovery after workouts. They also enhance muscle growth and synthesis. Just like creatine, BCAA has been shown to increase energy and reduce fatigue during physical activity. For best results, choose BCAA supplements with minimal ingredients and take them over a long period of time.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favourite fitness supplement? Which one are you using, or considering, and need more information on? Drop it in the comments below or ask us on social media.
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