An introduction to the benefits and myths of supplements
Any person seeking specific fitness goals either related to a sport or a certain body composition to achieve, the science of sports nutrition supplements provide an extra edge to the results desired. Supplements are in addition to nutrient intake from food. The name itself suggests that it’s a “supplement” and not a substitute for solid food. When the science of sports nutrition supplements is balanced well with food science you achieve your fitness goals faster in combination with the strong base in training.
Why you need Supplements
If you have an active lifestyle and face problems like missing meals due to busy schedule or travels as part of your job or lectures and assignments as a student; you do not get adequate first class proteins (consisting of all the essential amino acids in required proportion) in a meal especially in case of vegetarians or your nutritional demands are high and you cannot consume it due to low appetite. In such cases supplements are savior and help you not just to keep you on track for your nutritional demands but also boost your performance. In this article I shall introduce sports nutrition supplements to you.
Common sports nutrition supplements
Let us see in brief the most common types of sports nutrition supplements.
- Macronutrient supplements – These are for meeting the basic necessity of body’s requirement for nutrients and prevent it from possible deficiency. These can be varying in proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They also supply micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. They are available in the form of pure protein, mass gainers or meal replacement supplements. These can be used for minimizing metabolism, boosting muscle repair and growth and also stimulating fat loss.
- Anti-catabolics – They include antioxidants and amino acids like glutamine and BCAA (Branched chain amino acids) namely leucine, isoleucine and valine. They reduce muscle breakdown and thus aid in anabolism. Fat loss programs cannot be achieved with success without inclusion of anti-catabolics!
- Ergogenic – These substances increase the work capacity or boost performance by improving metabolic and physiological functions of the body. Popular ergogenic include creatine and amino acids such as arginine.
- Fat burners or thermogenics – They help in loosing fat only when other factors of diet and training are well optimized.
Common supplements myths
The myths revolving sports nutrition supplements need to be cleared which prevails at a large extent in our society due to lack of knowledge. For example protein supplements are suspiciously looked upon as steroids, one of the biggest myths! The manufacturing of protein supplements is governed by law and cannot contain any steroids. These are diary extracts not even artificially manufactured. It is also important that consumers identify reliable supplement brands based on manufacturers and reviews of these manufacturing brands known globally. Sports nutrition supplements are just as safe as other food products. However, the safety of a supplement always depends upon an individual’s specific state of health, clinical aspects and level of physical activity. Safety also depends upon whether the individual is following the directions on the product label and is not over-dosing any of the supplements.
In the coming articles we will see how and when some important supplements should be used. Sports nutrition science has advanced from formulation to methods of production and purification. With the intake of correct supplement of superior quality at correct time and correct servings the results of all the hard work put into training is not really far away!