With all the different types of supplements on the market, it can be difficult to distinguishand which one you should pass. This is especially true for fitness supplements that are sold to convince you that you have to take everything for if you are trying to get in better shape. Don’t panic: you don’t have to take everything you see in the extra store.
Although a lot, some keep their promises and even have scientific research to support them. I took the assumptions and made valuable and expertly approved additions. Read on to find out which supplements you should invest in.
What to look for when shopping for supplements
When shopping for supplements, you may notice that many of them may have labels such as fat burners, BCAAs, or other compound names. Many of these labels are marketing tactics that aim to attract you, and they are usually too good to be true. DJ Mazzoni, a registered dietitian and certified power and air conditioning specialist, says there are two important things to consider when shopping for supplements.
The first part looks at experiments with an additional company’s products. “Ideally, the supplement company publishes test results that prove the products are safe and accurately labeled.” He says this is important because fitness supplements are more often contaminated with illegal substances than other products. It should be noted that the Food and Drug Administration does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety or efficacy.
Alternatively, it is important to look for third-party testing programs that test banned substances in sports. Mazzoni suggests looking for an NSF certificate on the label to ensure product safety and effectiveness. The second thing to consider is that the dose is based on published medical studies. He explains: “For example, creatine has been proven to be effective, but most medical studies cover a daily dose of about 5 grams with a higher loading dose a week or two ago.” This means that if the product contains 1 gram of creatine, even if the brand provides test results, it is unlikely to be of any benefit.
Additions worth your money
Now that you know how to determine if a brand is reputable, you’re probably wondering which supplements are worth investing in. It all depends on your fitness goals and needs. Remember to consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
Protein is a necessary macronutrient for everyone, regardless of fitness goals. According to Mazzoni, a minimum of 20 grams of protein after exercise is effective for muscle recovery and muscle building. Although protein powder can contribute to the supplement, he recommends eating it as a whole food. However, if you are descending the protein powder route, it suggests targeting whey protein-derived protein powder from grazing animals. If you can’t eat whey in your stomach, there are plant-based alternatives. When choosing a plant-based protein powder, make sure it is free of added sugar, fillers, preservatives and high in protein and amino acids. Also keep in mind that vegetable protein powders contain higher levels of heavy metals than lead.
Creatine is one of the few powder supplements that has been thoroughly researched and proven to be effective. It is known to help improve strength, power and muscle mass in health and exercise performance. Extensive research has found that it is safe to consume, and the International Society for Sports Nutrition has confirmed that there are no long-term side effects, even at higher doses. Mazzoni recommends taking creatine daily, but people should consult their doctor about long-term daily use for more than six months.
It is usually recommended to take 3-5 grams a day, and it is important to make sure that the name of the supplement contains the word monohydrate, as there are other forms of creatinine that have not been extensively studied.
While taking creatine monohydrate, you may also notice some weight gain, but this is due to water retention in the muscles. Adequate hydration when taking a creatine supplement can help minimize other possible side effects such as digestive problems, muscle cramps, stiffness and heat intolerance.
Caffeine is found in coffee, some drinks and some supplements. Caffeine not only boosts your energy, but also helps you improve your workout performance. If you are a healthy person, 400 milligrams is the maximum daily limit. “A typical caffeine dose is about 200 milligrams before a workout,” explains Mazzoni.
You’ve probably seen caffeine on labels before workouts, but some people may not want supplements like artificial sugars. If you want to get the benefits of caffeine, then you are45 minutes to an hour before training. An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 80-100 mg of caffeine.
Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid produced by the body from dietary sources and can also be found in two additional forms: L-citrulline or citrulline malate. The difference between the two is that the former is purely citrulline and the latter is of citrulline origin and is mixed with malic acid, which helps provide energy. Although some evidence supports the health benefits of L-citrulline, it has not been sufficiently studied to determine whether citrulline malate provides the same benefits. Foods that naturally produce citrulline include watermelon, cucumber, legumes, meat and nuts. L-citrulline has become more popular among athletes because it boosts blood flow and protein synthesis, which stimulates signals within the body that are involved in building muscle.
It can help with extra recovery, but it can also help you train as intensely as you want. L-Citrulline also provides other non-exercise health benefits. “L-citrulline lowers blood pressure in hypertensive patients because it is a precursor to nitric oxide,” explains Mazzoni. You want more nitric oxide, because the molecule is known to dilate your blood vessels, improve blood flow and provide more blood circulation. If you decide to take L-citrulline, she recommends taking a maximum of 10 grams before exercise.
Beta-alanine is an essential amino acid produced by our body, which helps in the production of carnosine. Carnosine helps muscles work longer and longer without getting tired. It does this by reducing the amount of lactic acid that builds up in your muscles during exercise, which helps improve your endurance and athletic performance.
Studies show that beta-alanine has a positive effect on your muscles. In one case, rowers were given a series of beta-alanines for seven weeks. Compared to those who did not accept, they found that their speed improved and they paddled 4.3 seconds faster. Even in older adults, it has been found to help with muscle endurance, which is helpful in preventing falls and living a healthier life.
Beta-alanine is naturally found in poultry, meat and fish. However, if you choose to take it as a supplement, it is recommended that you take between 4 and 6 grams of beta-alanine for maximum results.
Although these supplements are relatively safe, keep in mind that side effects can still occur. Mazzoni warns that people with high blood pressure should avoid caffeine supplements because they can raise blood pressure and increase heart rate. In addition, if you are pregnant or a nurse, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements, and if you have diabetes, it is better to avoid sugar supplements. Supplements can also interact with certain medications.
“Fitness supplements can be effective in improving exercise performance, but I recommend working with a doctor who can help you choose fitness supplements that meet the patient’s unique needs and help them evaluate the effective dose,” Mazzoni says. As with any supplement you choose to add to your diet, keep in mind that it is not designed to replace the entire food group or the foods you need. Instead, it is intended to support a healthy and balanced diet that will increase its effectiveness.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions regarding your medical condition or health goals.