In short, yes. Of course you can. In the market today there is a wide variety of products that you can pick and choose from that all do a variety of different things. Whether they help with the preparation or recovery phase of your exercise will depend on what you take. In this blog post, I will try to outline a few different types of supplements, what they do, and how they can help or hinder you.
What do supplements do?
Supplements do exactly what they say, they supplement your diet. They are not a replacement. Supplements can do a whole host of different things, depending on the type of supplement you are taking. Whether you are taking protein powder to increase your protein intake or taking a fruit and greens supplement to boost your intake of micronutrients. They will all look to improve your performance and recovery in their own way. Supplementing your diet can help with:
- Immune Function
- Overall Health
What are the different types of supplements?
There are too many supplement varieties to list out, so we will concentrate on just a few. Supplements will come in powder form, tablet, gummy sweet style and drinks. The list below outlines a few different supplements that you can take.
- Protein – This is usually taken in powder form and will increase your daily protein intake through a shake. We will talk about choosing the right protein later in this post.
- Creatine – This is a substance naturally found in our bodies that is key in the role of energy production. This can be taken in powder or tablet form. Supplementing this, will increase your bodies stores on phosphocreatine and increase production of ATP.
- BCAA + EAA’s – This is branch chain amino acids and essential amino acids. These help with muscle rebuilding after exercise.
- Pre-Workout – A caffeine supplement that can help improve concentration and performance in an athletic setting. Air on the side of caution with pre-workout though, as some are very potent!
- Vitamins – As we all know vitamins are fantastic for us! You may look to supplement this to increase your intake. For example, a lack of sunlight can lead to a vitamin D deficiency.
How will a BCAA and EAA supplement affect me?
BCAA’s have been shown to reduce the protein breakdown throughout the whole body, which is key to preserve lean muscle. Whilst it has also been shown that BCAA’s can help to decrease body fat percentage. On the other hand EAA’s have been shown to improve lean body mass too. They aid in the muscle protein synthesis process following exercise, to counteract the muscle breakdown caused through intense physical activity. This is a great supplement to use for muscle recovery.
How do I choose the right protein supplement for me?
The protein powder that is best for you is the one that will help you hit your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight, increase muscle mass or to maintain your current physique; you need to be careful what you select.
- Increase Muscle Mass – Aim to get a Whey Protein or a Whey Isolate Protein. These are easily digested and absorbed by the body.
- Lose Weight – You will want to get a protein powder that is low in sugars. This will take a bit of looking around. Most respectable supplement companies will tell you exactly what is inside each product.
- Muscle Repair – Look for a powder with a high amount of protein.
Don’t rush into getting a protein powder. You can easily supplement your protein intake through your diet. Look at eating more fish, eggs and consume more milk! Start tracking your dietary intake before purchasing expensive supplements!
Can I still recover quickly without supplements?
Absolutely! If you are already having a healthy, balanced diet, you will be surprised with your current intake of your macronutrients. Many people rush into getting supplements, when really it isn’t needed yet. Your recovery will depend on you. Eating right, staying hydrated, working on your mobility and not overtraining will help you. Take a step back and look at your current lifestyle, are you pre-disposing yourself to injury? Or can you optimise your recovery without supplements?
Feel free to contact us, we are more than happy to answer any questions on supplements that you may have.