For anyone getting into fitness in a big way, it will come as no surprise, if the realization hasn’t hit already, that the human body can only do so much on its own. Whether it’s then spurred on further by the use of weights, belts, and other assorted accessories, the body occasionally can benefit from just a little more inspiration. This often comes in the form of supplements.
Many people will reel at the thought of putting pills or powder in their body. However, this is not the same as someone using anabolic steroids. Supplements are a proven way to help with goals such as muscle gain, weight loss and even an improved immune system or sex life. They’re not drugs, but a sometimes natural, but often simulated, product, or a compound of several ingredients, designed to directly work with the body’s makeup to produce the desired results.
With regards to fitness, there is a range of ways that supplements can help. Firstly, the key to attaining good fitness, first and foremost, is weight control. If slightly overweight, then weight loss is the initial goal. To this effect, supplements can be taken for a variety of reasons, but the most popular types are those that suppress appetite (meaning that the user of the supplement feels less hungry) or metabolism supplements (so the user burns off fat quicker.) These are not a ‘cure-all,’ however, and, as any supplement will no doubt say on the side of the bottle, they are to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and some proactive body management.
Beyond weight loss, there are also supplements to help during proactive fitness. Anyone will have seen the plethora of shops which claim to sell the biggest range of health supplements, but the fact is that there are only a few different ones that are of consequence. Before hitting the gym and planning to neck a dozen different types of protein, however, it’s worth speaking to a dietitian to see which supplements are the best choice for the user’s type of fitness program and ultimate goals. Some will increase muscle mass in a general sense, while others will be intended to develop and build lean muscle mass, for instance. Others will be designed as a fat burner to be taken in conjunction with a fitness and gym orientated diet.
It’s not all about building muscle, however. Many supplements are favored by other fitness enthusiasts; runners and athletes favor supplements that help aid rehydration and quench thirst, and others help ease the pain of lactic acid build up, or mitigate it altogether.
Whatever the end game, it’s important to remember that supplements are intended, as their name suggests, to supplement something that is already in place, such as a healthy diet, or a strict and well thought out fitness program. A dietitian, for instance, may suggest a different set of supplements to what the internet advises, or may recommend leaving them alone altogether. In any case, when used correctly, there is little that can go wrong as they are the result of years of research into biology and dietary and fitness habits. Embracing supplements as the helping hand that they are will see improved results with less effort in the long run.