💊Learn How Supplementation Can Improve Your Fitness
Physical activity is essential for good health as it is well established that it can act as “medicine” for the large majority of chronic diseases. Diet and physical activity play an important role in maintaining health and preventing various diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, stress, anxiety, and some forms of cancer.
While you should be exercising regularly for your overall health and wellness, the benefits of supplements are much more controversial. Dietary supplementation, can be used to address deficiencies of vitamins and minerals that you are not obtaining through your diet. However, you need understand what you are putting into your body and the reason for it.
The are a host of fitness professional, companies, and bloggers that want to sell you supplements to “help” you improve your body composition, fitness, or overall health. Many of these claims are not scientifically supported and may be a waste of money. The supplements that are frequently recommended to improve your fitness and/or performance, include:
- Branch chain amino acids;
- Fat burners;
- Sodium bicarbonate;
- Beta-alanine; and
You don’t need to take supplements to achieve your fitness goals. However, if you are looking to take your performance to the next level, we will focus on the three supplements that have scientific evidence to support purchasing them to improve fitness and performance.
Creatine is a common supplement taken by individuals to improve performance and it is considered by most sport scientists to be the number one supplement for increasing strength and power. Creatine has been studied at length over the past 30 years and the research supports that it is safe to consume in order to assist with increasing muscle strength, power, and endurance, especially when combined with weight training.
Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, and other foods and beverages, as well as in pill form and it is a common ingredient in many pre-workouts. There is scientific support that caffeine can improve performance during endurance events. Furthermore, caffeine stimulates the brain, increasing focus, but also blocks receptors giving you a surge of energy.
Protein intake is essential for building muscle, improving lean muscle and aiding in weight loss and weight management. While you can get enough protein from whole food sources, protein in powder form is a convenient and inexpensive source of protein. Protein powder can also assist with recovery following exercise by helping to repair damaged muscles and tissues.
There are may false or unsupported claims of how a supplement will change your life. There is no supplement that will substitute a well-rounded diet and hard work. However, creatine, caffeine, and protein powder are supplements that can be taken to help you achieve, and even expedite your desired results. There should be a specific purpose for taking any supplement and you should have a good understanding of what you are putting in your body. Otherwise, you are wasting money and potentially causing harm.
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EP Health Wellness Team