Just when you thought that you had the whole health and nutrition thing figured out; someone asks you what supplements you take. Have you given this much thought? Are you buying supplements right now but aren’t sure what exactly you’re paying for?
Don’t worry, because you are not alone. The world of sports nutrition supplements can easily become overwhelming. If you consider yourself a newbie to sports supplementation, following this beginner’s guide will surely clear things up. Enjoy our sports supplements beginner guide.
What Is A Sports Supplement?
Simply put, a sports supplement is something (or a combination of things) added to your diet with the intention of enhancing exercise or sports performance. Supplements are commonly ingested in the form of tablets, liquids, softgels, gelcaps, or powders.
When training for sports/fitness improvement, it’s pivotal have a well-balanced diet and get enough rest. However, consuming a quality sports nutrition supplement can also give you an edge in competition.
Whey protein is one of the most popular nutritional supplements on the market and considered a foundational supplement for many athletes. Believe it or not, whey is merely a byproduct of milk during the cheese making process.
You may have even seen whey before and didn’t even realize it. If you have ever opened a container of yogurt and noticed a layer of water on top, that was actually whey protein beginning to separate.
Whey protein digests very easily and is absorbed by your body very quickly. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can expect the following benefits from supplementing with whey:
- Muscle growth
- Prevention of age-related muscle loss
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced inflammation
- Promotes defense against antioxidants
- Boosts metabolism
- Promotes weight loss
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a common sports supplement that consist of 3 essential amino acids, leucine, valine, and isoleucine. BCAAs are not able to be produced by your body, so you must get them through food or by supplementation.
Some foods that contain large amounts of BCAAs are chicken, beef, eggs, and salmon. Whey protein is another great source of BCAAs. The issue with getting your BCAA’s from these sources is that the amino acids are bonded and need to be broken down before they’re absorbed.
Supplementing with BCAAs provides you with free form aminos that go directly to your blood stream. BCAAs will provide you with the following benefits:
- Enhanced muscle protein synthesis
- Supports fat loss
- Improve hormone balance during intense training
- Improved strength
- Decreased fatigue
- Reduce muscle soreness
- Prevent muscle loss
Preworkouts have become extremely popular over the last decade. While caffeine may be the ingredient that comes to mind, preworkouts commonly contain several other important ingredients including:
- Nitric oxide
Fat burners are consumed by fitness enthusiasts who are looking to lose some body fat. They work by causing a thermogenic effect in your body. The thermogenic effect causes an elevation in your metabolism resulting in more calories being burned.
Fat burners do not solely come in pills or tablets. A common thermogenic that may already be part of your diet is coffee. This popular drink contains large amounts of caffeine which can also cause a thermogenic effect.
Supplementing with a fat burner may boost your metabolism and enhance your body’s ability to burn calories. It’s important to note that they may cause some negative side effects as well, so you should consider consulting a physician before use.
In this article, we touched base on some of the more popular sports nutrition supplements on the market. Combined with proper nutrition, training, and rest, adding high-quality sports supplements to your diet will help you get the most out of your training.
Did you enjoy our Sports Supplements Beginner Guide? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.