Should you take supplements?
Your use of supplements really depends on you, your goal and your budget. I always recommend food first, so it’s best to try and achieve your nutrition targets through food where possible first. But if you struggle to do this consistently for what ever reason then supplements can be a game changer.
The best example of this is protein, if you struggle to hit your daily protein target through food, then the addition of a protein shake can be a convenient and affordable solution. However, I must stress that you need to think of all supplements as the icing on a cake, they aren’t essentially but can help.
The key things to consider with protein powder is personal preference in terms of taste and texture. Along with what your goal and whether you are looking to increase muscle mass or lose weight.
When looking to lose weight or getting lean you’ll want to keep an eye on the calories as well as consider using a powder that mixes well and tastes good with water.
This protein powder from Holland & Barrett is a great example, being just 83 calories per serving with 17g of protein.
Here are some other options to consider with a perfect calorie to protein ratio for a weight loss goal.
If you are looking to gain weight and struggle to consume a higher volume of calories then you want a protein powder thats high in both protein & calories. You should then look to mixed with milk for extra protein & calories, but you can use water if you prefer.
Do we really need to supplement our vitamins?
For most of people purchasing multi vitamins is arguably a waste of money, as you should be able to get the vitamins you need from the foods you eat. Provided you are eating a varied diet with plenty of fresh foods from a range of different food groups.
Supplementing your vitamins become useful if you have been diagnosed as being deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral. In which case you should look to purchase a supplement for that specific supplement, rather than a general multi vitamin. You should look closely at the dosage of each vitamin and ensure that any supplements meets your required amount.
It’s also worth noting that if your current diet has high amounts of processed foods with little intake of fresh meats along with fruit & vegetables. Then you could benefit from taking a multi vitamin. However, I would stress that you should consider improving your diet, as this would serve you way more in the long term.
Learn more about vitamins by watching this short video.
Here are some places you can purchase vitamins from should you be deficient.
What is Creatine?
To put it simply creatine is helps produce explosive energy that lasts around 1-15seconds. So its ideal for sprinters but also for weight lifters too as it will support your performance in the gym. There have been some suggests that it helps support the muscle building process too.
Do you need it?
You don’t need it in order to achieve your goals. Although Creatine is seen as the one of the cheapest yet best supplements. If you have spare cash that you are willing to part with. In an effort to make a marginal improvement to your muscle growth and performance, then go for it. Below are some suggestions.
BCAA’s otherwise known as Branched Chain Amino Acids, are essentially a building block that supports the muscle growth and recovery process. So if your goal is to build muscle and go for that lean body type. Then you’ll likely look at BCAA’s and think YES I need this supplement in my life!. But the truth is, if you are getting enough high quality protein in your diet. Then BCAA’s will deliver no additional benefit, because once again you should be able to get all the building blocks for muscle growth and repair from the foods you eat. Ultimately it’s just another supplements that a waste of money. The only time it could deliver some benefits, is if you are on a vegan diet and protein intake is low. But again I’m sure there would be some vegan friendly foods that could deliver a similar benefit.
Pre workout, as the name suggests is a drink consumed before a workout. Usually it’s a flavored powder that can be mixed with water. The general idea is that it boosts energy, improves endurance alongside increasing alertness and focus. Again sounds great doesn’t it? But do you really need it? No not really, I’ve used it in the past and I didn’t feel much different if I’m completely honest. If you are a coffee drinker then just have a coffee around 1-2 hours before training on those days you need a boost.
More information around supplements to be added. So watch this space
Please be aware that there are product links in this article that if purchased may result in me gaining a small commission.