If you are interested in sports and nutrition these days, you will not be able to ignore the topic of supplements. From whey protein to magnesium and zinc capsules, the range of supplements available is greater than ever. But do you really need supplements for optimal training results and which supplements are important for you?
First of all, I want to clarify: Supplements are, by no means, necessary and can not replace a balanced diet. Aside from medical issues, in most cases a balanced diet is sufficient for good training results. Supplements should complement and not completely determine your diet, as the name implies. So why should you use supplements at all?
It is possible to provide your body with all the necessary micronutrients and macronutrients with a balanced diet. However, this is associated with certain effort and especially if you have a stressful everyday life, irregular meal times or other shortages of time, not always easy. Supplements can help you in such situations to supplement certain aspects of your diet.
Which nutritional supplements are relevant for you as an athlete and what do you really need? In my opinion, only 2 supplements have relevance for me, which I also actively consume and have already gained extensive experience with, namely protein and creatine.
As active athletes, we have a relatively high protein requirement, which, if you cannot cook on a regular base, may be difficult to cover with a regular diet. Therefore, it is a popular choice to supplement protein. Protein powder from various sources (soy, whey, peas, etc.) and in a wide variety of flavors is certainly one of the most often used supplements. Good taste and the possibility to quickly and easily consume protein on the go are clear reasons for the popularity of protein powder. Since protein is one of the main components of our diet and also plays an essential role in muscle building, a large number of athletes consume protein powder in various forms.
If you have lactose or gluten intolerance, potential side effects may result depending on the protein source, otherwise you should not experience any negative effects when consuming protein powder (if you are not over consuming). You should, however, be careful to choose a reputable manufacturer and use a high-quality source of protein (such as whey) for your protein powder.
The second supplement that I consume on a regular basis is creatine. Considered the most researched supplement in the fitness industry, creatine promises faster recovery and improved strength. How exactly does it work? In short, creatine increases water retention in the muscle cells as well as your strength (we’re talking about 5-8%) and helps you to regenerate faster.
Contrary to the opinion of some athletes, that you will look “bloated”: Don’t worry, the water is stored in the muscle cells only and not between muscle and skin, so no worries there. Though the amount of creatine that the body can not digest will be excreted , you should still make sure to drink enough when consuming creatine.
Why do I consume creatine? The supplement was examined from many different viewpoints and, if taken not taken extensively, no side effects have been found. Only the positive impacts on your performance and regeneration have emerged in the course of numerous studies. If you ask me, there is reason against using these advantages for yourselve.
Please note: Creatine is also contained in some foods, but in such small amounts that the effect mentioned above, even with a balanced diet, will be difficult to achieve. Therefore, it is actually necessary to consume creatine as a supplement.
Which supplements do you take? Want to know more about certain supplements and their effects on your body? Let me know in the comments!
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