Even if you eat a healthy diet, our dietary intake is not able to completely provide the essential nutrients to keep our bodies in tip-top condition. This is even more prevalent if we are engaged in a fitness program that involves a workout routine that we must follow. In order to transform your body, a combination of a regular workout routine and a healthy diet is necessary. It may take a lot of conscious effort especially in ensuring that your body gets its much needed nutrients but the results can be rewarding. For some, nutrition is one of the difficult aspects of body transformation, thus the need for supplementation. And there are plenty of benefits of supplements.
All About Supplements
As the name itself, supplements are created in order to “supplement” your existing diet and there are many benefits of supplements. Supplements are not there to replace the proper nutrition that we get from food, particularly whole foods. However, it is unlikely that we get every single vitamin and nutrient from our daily food intake. As mentioned before, our diets, however healthy they may be, may not be able to provide all the nutrients that our body needs during our workouts. Sometimes, when we are engaged in these types of activities, we only focus on the macronutrient aspect and typically forget the micronutrient needs of our body. Forgetting that your body needs essential nutrients while exercising is a crucial mistake.
Your body consumes a lot of these essentials while during a workout routine and may result in less energy, being light-headed or sometimes something even worse. In any fitness program, nutritional supplements are essential to aid you in completing your daily routine or goals. The benefits of supplements if used correctly, can help you balance your diet and enhance your training, especially muscle building. Researches have shown that specific supplementation aids in the progressive improvement of body composition and performance.
When you are exercising, your metabolism kicks into high-gear. Tissue breakdown constantly occurs and the essential nutrients needed for tissue repair and recovery are being depleted in a much faster rate. This process needs a lot of energy. What’s important here is that we continuously supply this demand without adding too much unwanted energy, stored in the form of fats, in our body. The trick here is to incorporate supplements that are calorie efficient and energy providers in our workout routines.
Supplements come in many forms, but the similarity among them is the convenience they offer. And that is another one of the benefits of supplements. These supplements must be easily carried, taken in, digested and absorbed by the body. Ease of absorption means that these nutrients are readily available whenever our body needs them.
Today, you have a choice between protein powders, meal replacement shakes and food bars that can provide your body with added nutrition. One can get additional protein from the protein powder and other ready-to-drink shakes minus the fats and carbohydrates. MRPs or meal replacement shakes, which were introduced in the early 1990s, are calorie-controlled food product that is fortified with vitamins and minerals. And food bars are easy to eat snacks that can give you that energy and nutrient boost. All these are great choices for in-between snacks or just a quick meal especially if you are always on the go instead of just grabbing any junk food to satisfy your hunger.
What To Look For In A Supplement
First of all, avoid supplements that have a high fat content or are high in sugars. It takes longer to digest and needs more energy – energy that can be utilized by your body to do that additional reps of weight training to benefit your muscles or have that extra aerobic routine for a cardio workout.
Second, make sure that you have the correct combination of supplements when you’re working out. A proper mix of protein and carbohydrates. When you work out, you are consuming your body’s amino acids which lowers the level of protein stored in your body. Some fitness enthusiasts looks for BCAA (branched-chain-amino-acids) and creatine in their protein supplements. These are some of the best benefits of supplements. The amino acids greatly helps in building up your muscles, while creatine aids in improving your performance especially during high-intensity workouts.
Carbs, on the other hand, lowers the level of cortisol in your body. High levels of cortisol can lead to muscle tissue breakdown. Replenishing these essential nutrients while working out can help in muscle build-up and improve your overall performance.
Third, go for convenience and ease of digestion. You cannot stop in the middle of your workout and then sit down and eat whole foods. You want something that can be easily carried into the gym and consumed in the midst of your routine. Shakes and gels come to mind. Something that you chew can slow you down and take your concentration off your workout. If you want maximum benefits of supplements, choose some which are easily digested. When food is easily digested, it can be readily absorbed by the body and utilized during the workout. For protein, whey is a good option if you can eat diary because it is easily absorbed by the body and then delivered to the muscles for repairs and recovery.
Fourth, adapt to your taste. What good are supplements when you don’t fully consume the recommended amount due to their taste? Some products have that bitter or strong after-taste that may affect your composure during your routine. Supplements that taste good or are at least bearable are the way to go.
Fifth, don’t forget your vitamins. Vitamins play a vital role in the healthy conditions of our bodies. It is a good thing that a lot of the supplements out in the market today have incorporated the essential vitamins needed by our bodies. However, most of them do not provide the right amount and it is better to have a separate vitamin blend that incorporates Vitamins A, B and C.
In essence, these supplements are really important when you choose to get into any physical transformation program. There are also so many benefits of supplements that you would be doing yourself injustice if you don’t take them for workouts. They help your body to meet its nutritional requirements for us to perform at our best. You can perform better and achieve your goal, so use them well.