Dec 8, 2011

How Supplements Really Affect Your Workout

If you step into any health and nutrition store, you will see wall after wall of various supplements, some which make promises that are too good to be true. You could literally spend thousands of dollars and still not see the results you are looking for. Here is a list of the most commonly used products and some general information about them.

For anyone who is weight lifting or performing resistance training there is a need to supplement their diet with protein powder. Protein powder comes in various forms such as whey, rice, egg, and even soy. My personal preference is whey protein powder but of course this is based on your dietary restrictions. Protein powder is best used as a post workout shake to help muscles recover and grow. Protein is most effective when taken within 45 minutes of completing your workout. It can also be added into baked goods such as muffins or pancakes to create healthier "indulgent" snacks.

Another commonly used workout supplement is creatine monohydrate. Creatine is actually produced by the body and is made from a combination of amino acids. It is responsible for providing energy in the body for explosive movements. By taking a creatine supplement before working out, you can provide more energy for your cells to use while exercising thus letting you use your muscles to their fullest potential. Because you are depending on the energy producing system called glycolysis, you reduce the amount of lactic acid buildup and are able to really fatigue your muscles. You can gain significant amounts of muscle using creatine in conjunction with an intense resistance training program.

L-Glutamine, one of the naturally occurring amino acids in the body, is yet another beneficial workout supplement and is readily available is a wide variety of foods such as eggs, beef, chicken, dairy, cabbage, beets, and spinach. L-Glutamine helps the body to recover by minimizing the breakdown of protein and reducing healing time. It is available in capsules at most nutrition stores.

There are also supplements in the fat loss category which are called thermogenics which are stimulants that include caffeine and ephedrine. These products are aimed at revving your metabolism to burn fat, but because they are so stimulating, they also have several adverse side effects. Thermogenics can cause insomnia, body tolerance, and have a mild diuretic effect on the body. They are not necessary for fat loss, but with the right mind set can be helpful in reaching your goals.

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