What, when why?
More often than not, the wrong supplements are often used for the wrong reasons, at the wrong times! These products are designed specifically to ‘supplement’ a healthy balanced diet. Since the fitness industry got trendy, supplements became the new fashion statement and businesses all over caught on. Now there are millions of magic health benefiting pills, potions & powders readily available to buy in local stores & online.
The worrying thing is most of them aren’t regulated or studied properly. Now this doesn’t just mean that they may not offer any health benefits to you, but they may also cause more harm than good.
However, there are some supplements that have lasted the length of time & have been proven on numerous studies to be of benefit. Here our list of sports supplements that work:
1. Whey protein – often used unnecessarily but can contribute to a healthy balanced diet when lacking on protein intake. E.g. for someone that plays sport,
are looking to add some muscle tissue, or cannot access enough protein through the diet e.g. vegetarians & vegans. There are too many to choose from so if you do, make sure you buy a whey protein that’s at least 80% concentrated. (This means no more than 20% of the powder is made from colouring, flavouring and potentially harmful fillers). The higher the percentage the better. The next thing to look at is the protein content within that. Cheaper brands fill theirs with whey protein derived from soya rather than egg or milk. This is fine but some studies show negative effects on males testosterone levels with high soya diets. Note: NO studies have shown that excess protein intake puts any stress on the kidneys and this is all a silly old myth!
2. Creatine monohydrate – often viewed by non-supplements users as a steroid… but I’m not really sure why. Creatine is sourced into the diet from red meat & fish. It’s a naturally occurring
compound which releases energy within the muscle cell. Taking a powdered or pill form ensures that our body’s supplies are topped & stocked up which can lead to increases in strength, thus promoting performance in many situations. Companies will advise to take 5g daily but our bodies respond better to smaller doses spread out through the day. Also it is often recommended to do a loading phase and to cycle on and off. Both of these can be ignored as studies have shown no significant effects of either.
3. Fish oils / Omega 3’s – We love to talk about the benefits of omega 3’s in the diet!
Whether we obtain them through nuts & seeds, oily fish or eggs – they’re all very beneficial. These healthy fats help reduce bad cholesterol in the blood, maintain nerve function, heart & brain health & have anti-inflammatory properties which can aid joint pain & health! Topping up via a capsule ensures we protect all of the body’s vital organs helping us stay fit & healthy!
4. Vitamin C – One of the most powerful antioxidants with many important roles within the body! An antioxidant protects the body against free radicals – the nasty things that can lead to diseases such as cancers within the cells of the body. Not only does it fight against those, its vital for cartilage development in our joints, and has very good anti-inflammatory properties, helping with joint pain, muscle recovery, skin and immune system!
Its very cheap to buy and I recommend taking a 1000mg tablet with water once a day! As vitamin C is water soluble you will excrete any excess causing a change in colour of your wee! Don’t be alarmed but you could think about halving the dose & spreading your intake throughout the day to absorb as much as possible!