BOOST YOUR WORKOUT
IT CAN BE EASY TO GET CARRIED AWAY BY SHELVES LINED WITH SUPERCHARGED SUPPLEMENTS, BUT WILL THEY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO YOUR RESULTS?
Alot of my clients ask if they “need” supplements to achieve their goals or get there faster. I’m glad they ask, because supplements can be beneficial, but they can also be expensive, overused and sometimes detrimental to health and fitness goals.
The primary reason to take supplements is to prevent or cure any nutrient, vitamin, mineral or amino acid deficiencies that you may have due to hereditary or lifestyle factors.
When you exercise or even perform daily activities that involve exertion, your body requires a certain amount of nutrients in your diet for major functions. So, if your daily exercise or physical exertion increases, you must increase your nutrient intake to cater for these changes and help you perform at an optimal level. If you cannot consume the nutrients required, this is when supplements may play a role in improving your health and achieving your goals.
But how do you find the right supplements for you? My advice is to seek professional advice. A simple blood test can identify any areas where you are deficient, so that way you won’t waste time and money guessing what you need.
If it’s protein powders or similar products, you’ll still need to consult a professional but I’d recommend a trusted personal trainer or nutritionist, not someone who is going to make a commission from selling you something.
You should also research, research, research. Find out what nutrients and vitamins help with particular issues, for example, if you’re feeling low in energy, it could be an iron or B12 deficiency, if your skin is breaking out zinc can be helpful. Omega 3 is proven effective for joint health; everything has its place.
If you’ve ever been to a supplement store, you would probably agree that it is very overwhelming, with thousands of different options lined up on the shelves from the floor to the ceiling, promising you weight loss, muscle gain, fat loss, extra energy, greater strength — the list goes on.
Many supplement companies fill their products with a big list of ingredients so they can promote all the benefits that a particular ingredient may provide, but this can dilute the potency.
The taste of a supplement can also play a part in your decision — be very cautious of the sweeteners some companies use.
If a product tastes too good to be true, there is a very good chance it is. Avoid any supplements that contain artificial sweeteners such as dextrose, sucralose, corn syrup and aspartame as these ingredients could do more harm than good.
JOEL BRADFORD Joel is a personal trainer, health and performance coach and owner of JB Health and Performance. He holds a Cert III and IV in Fitness, Strength and Conditioning, Advanced Nutrition.