Besides consuming sufficient amount of proteins, carbohydrates and minerals do you still feel lethargic? Using supplements may (or certainly will) help you. Supplements are additional nutrients that our body needs and are often consumed by people aspiring to become a body builder or want to achieve a certain health goals. In fact, our daily nutrition needs do not get fulfilled by foods we eat. This is why most of the doctors, pediatricians and physicians often prescribe supplements like liver and fish oil, ferrous sulfate for iron deficiency or whey protein shakes for protein deficiency. Here are a few supplements you must use (during fitness training/body building) and know about-
Creatine is a compound that occurs naturally in the body and is stored primarily in the skeletal muscles and is important for muscle functioning. However, our body requires 150-160 mmol/kg/dry weight (dw) of muscle while it only produces 100-150 mmol/kg/dw. Consuming Creatine supplement can help you perform high intensity workout with ease, increases recovery rate, improved anaerobic capacity and muscle valorization and enhanced methylation (stimulated functioning of brain, spinal cord and nerve cells).
Proteins are one of the major organic compounds in the body that account 17% of the body’s lean tissues. Most of the organic foods we eat may not contain sufficient amount of proteins as per the body’s requirement. It largely depends on the amount of amino chains present in the proteins which help building muscles. This is where the need of consuming protein supplements like whey protein shakes or soy power lies in. Protein powders are divided into 3 categories: Concentrates (70-80%+ protein with reduced lactose and fat), Isloates: (90-96% protein and low fat) and Casein (80% of all proteins found in cow’s milk). Consuming protein supplements helps reducing hunger and fat and gaining muscles and strength while these make of one the best alternatives to carbohydrates with high sugars like breads, rice, and other carbs rich foods.
Multivitamin supplements are alternatives to essential vitamins and minerals that our body requires. Vitamins are organic substances that act as catalysts; substances that help to trigger other reactions in the body, while minerals perform a lot of synthesis of various compounds including glycogen, protein and fats. Both, vitamins and minerals help buffering general health, growth, energy expenditure, muscle contraction, immune health, recovery from exercise, and reproduction. Athletes and people into fitness do need multivitamin supplement with higher levels of minerals and vitamins so they do not undergo a state of malnutrition. Moreover, consuming multivitamins helps filling nutritional gaps in our diet which are highly crucial in synthesizing RBC’s, WBC’s and platelets and are crucial for proper functioning of heart and kidney.
- Good Fats
Don’t frown! Fats are good (monounsaturated ones)! They are made up of fatty acids (EFAs, omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 and are essential for body’s energy, immune function, forming parts of body structures, insulation and protection of vital organs, vision, and the synthesis of important hormones such as estrogens and testosterone. These fats do not affect one’s cholesterol levels like some poly-saturated fats present in various vegetable oils. This why most of the doctors and physicians prescribe the use of olive oil and macadamia nuts over regular cooking oils and dry fruits. 0As, both of these contain a rich amount of monounsaturated fatty acids.
- Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA)
Branched chain amino acids are the essential amino acids- leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through either food or supplementation. Consuming 10-30g of branched chain amino acids daily can help the active individual in sparing muscle glycogen and in aiding recovery from exercise. Most of the people working in or are a part of fitness industry know the use of BCCA and use them to prevent fatigue, improve exercise performance and concentration and reduce muscle breakdown. Branched amino acids are often used to treat cancer and various liver diseases and are mostly prescribed to elderly and patients on bed rest.
Glutamine is the most common amino acid that accounts more than 61% of total skeletal muscles. It plays a major role in protein metabolism, cell volumizing and anti-catabolism while increasing your ability to secrete HGH (human growth hormone). HGH metabolizes body fat and supports new muscle growth and prevents the breakdown of muscles. Having glutamine supplement is highly essential for those into bodybuilding (in considerate amounts) while those trying to lose weight can also consume a certain amount of (as directed by your physician) Glutamine supplement powder.
The average person does not need supplementation, except for the multivitamins to avoid any deficiencies. Recreational trainees or competitive athletes need more than simply what they can ingest through their nutrition. Of the many supplement products available on the market, only six are essential and should be considered ‘staples’ in one’s supplement regime.