The role of gym supplements in your daily fitness routine is often overlooked. These supplements have evolved from being simple aids, to becoming essential tools in your fitness arsenal. Whether you are new to the world of fitness or you are a dedicated athlete, understanding which supplements you should be taking to optimise your results is vital to your success.
Making use of the correct combination of supplements is a critical part of achieving your goals. Which is why, in this quick guide, we will be breaking down everything you need to know about gym supplements to help you kickstart your fitness journey.
What Are Gym Supplements?
Gym supplements and dietary supplements are products designed to provide your body with essential nutrients that may be missing from your diet. They also exist to enhance your workouts and improve your fitness routines, allowing you to give your body everything it needs to succeed.
Even when one is not training, it can be difficult to incorporate the correct combination of whole foods that your body needs to stay healthy. This becomes even more challenging when you are actively training.
When you are training, your body requires even more nutrients in order to facilitate recovery and provide sustainable energy levels. You will not be able to perform at your peak if your body is unable to recover adequately from previous workouts, not to mention the impact on your day-to-day life if you have little to no energy. This is where gym supplements lend a helping hand.
Gym supplements come in various forms, including pills, capsules, powders and liquids. Each of these different forms serve a different purpose, whether it is convenience, preference or tailored for optimum delivery.
Popular Supplements On The Market
Before you can decide on which supplements you should be taking, you need to know what is out there and what each supplement does. It is also important that you consult your doctor or a healthcare professional before taking any supplements to ensure that they will not adversely affect your health.
Here are some of the most common gym supplement types and what they do:
Protein Supplements: Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, bones, organs and skin. Protein supplements are used to support muscle growth, repair and recovery. There are various types of protein supplements available at the Prime Growth Nutrition online store including; whey protein, casein and plant-based protein, amongst others.
Creatine: Creatine is an amino acid produced by the body’s liver, pancreas and kidneys. Red meat and seafood are the two main whole food sources of creatine, both of which can get quite costly – just one reason why creatine supplements are so popular. Creatine helps maintain a continuous supply of energy to your muscles during exercise. Increased energy levels and a boost in muscle growth are also benefits that you will enjoy when adding a creatine supplement to the mix.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): BCAAs can help reduce muscle soreness and support muscle recovery, allowing you to train at an elevated capacity more frequently. They can be used before, during, and after your workout.
Pre-Workout Supplements: Pre-workout supplements are intended to increase energy and focus during your workout. These are often stimulant-based, although stimulant-free options are also available. They also contain a blend of other gym supplements such as amino acids, creatine and nitric oxide boosters.
Post-Workout Supplements: The primary purpose of post-workout supplements is to provide your body with everything it requires to recover after an intense workout. Post-workout supplements are a blend of various supplements such as protein, carbohydrates and amino acids.
Weight Loss Supplements: Weight loss supplements will typically assist with a reduction in appetite, boosting your metabolism, or a combination of both. Alongside a balanced diet and a well-rounded exercise regime, weight loss supplements will assist you in achieving your weight loss goals faster.
Multivitamins and Minerals: These supplements assist in filling the nutritional gaps in your diet on a daily basis. They are not a substitute for a balanced diet, but they will assist you in reaching your daily vitamin and mineral intake requirements.
Benefits Of Gym Supplements
Gym supplements play an integral role in achieving one’s health and fitness goals. If you are committed to getting the most out of your workout routine, you will certainly see the value in the use of supplements. Now that we have a basic understanding of what supplements are, we can take a look at what benefits you can expect from using them.
Enhanced Muscle Growth, Recovery and Performance
Protein supplements deliver a concentrated source of amino acids – the building blocks of muscle tissue. These supplements will promote muscle protein synthesis, facilitating improved muscle repair and growth.
Post-workout supplements and BCAAs will aid in reducing exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness. This allows for faster recovery and less need for downtime between workouts due to sore muscles.
Pre-workout supplements provide an energy boost and increased focus, allowing you to train more intensely. And finally, creatine aids in short-term energy production and is favoured by those who require short, intense bursts of power.
Filling Nutritional Gaps In Your Diet
Even without a rigorous training regime, it can be challenging to meet your daily nutritional needs. This is even more difficult to achieve when you are following a rigorous training program which places further strain on your body. By incorporating supplements, you can ensure that your body has a readily available supply of all the nutrients that it requires to perform at its optimum.
Supplements are a convenient and practical solution to fill in the gaps in your diet. It is, however, important to remember that supplements are intended to complement a balanced diet rather than replace it.
Choosing The Right Gym Supplements
Choosing the correct gym supplements is a critical step in maximising their effectiveness and achieving your health and fitness goals. The first step in choosing the correct supplements is to identify clear and defined goals. The next step is to understand your body type, dietary needs and most importantly, identify any health conditions that may be impacted by your supplement choice.
In order to clearly define your fitness goals, you will need to identify your main aim. This could be to build muscle, burn fat, or improve endurance, to name a few. Different supplements cater for different outcomes. For example, If your primary objective is to build muscle, then you would be well served by a combination of creatine, an anabolic protein blend, and pre-workout.
Whereas if your primary objective was more focused on weight-loss, you would rather consider looking at a thermogenic protein blend alongside fat burner supplements. As you can see, your goals will dictate which combination of supplements are best. To assist you in finding the correct supplements for your goals, we have grouped our range of supplements by category.
We are not all built the same, meaning that two individuals with the same goals may be best served by slightly different supplement stacks. This is influenced by a variety of factors such as your metabolism, your ability to build muscle quickly, vitamin deficiencies or even your appetite. It is important to consider these factors when selecting supplements.
Selecting supplements that do not align with your body type could leave you feeling disappointed by not delivering optimum results. If we were to consider an individual who has a slow metabolism and whose goal is to burn fat, they would not achieve the same results by consuming a higher-calorie protein shake as a person with a faster metabolism would.
Your dietary requirements or preferences will also greatly impact your choice of supplements. Prime Growth Nutrition caters for most dietary requirements by offering a range of plant-based protein powders as well as a wide range of other products that cater to specific needs. You will need to be vigilant about any allergies that you may have and check the list of ingredients to ensure that the supplements that you choose are suitable.
Labels And Ingredients
When looking at gym supplements, it is important to become a label-savvy consumer. There are a number of key points that should be displayed on all supplement labels. These will help you get an understanding of exactly what you are putting into your body, how much you should be consuming, and any possible side effects.
We will give a brief overview below of what you will find on the labels and what you should look out for:
1. Brand: One should always stick to reputable supplement brands that are proven to adhere to industry standards.
2. Ingredient Lists: This lists everything that is contained in the supplement. You should look out for any ingredients that may cause an allergic reaction or possibly any fillers or additives that you may find undesirable. This is also where you will be able to see if the supplements contain all the ingredients that you require.
3. Dosing and Serving Size: Taking the correct amount of the supplement at the correct times will ensure that you get the most out of the supplement. Serving size will also give you an indication of how long a supplement will last, which will help you budget and plan accordingly.
4. Warnings and Side Effects: All supplements from reputable brands that have known side effects will be listed here. You should take note of any possible interactions with other medications and consult your doctor or health care professional if in doubt. If you are involved in any form of competitive sports then you will also want to take note of any warnings regarding the supplement containing substances that are banned by professional sporting bodies.
5. Certifications: Certain supplements may carry third-party certifications which will also give you peace of mind knowing that the product that you are buying is of the highest quality.
Time To Get Started
Now that you have a broader understanding of what types of gym supplements are available and what they do, you can start planning what you need to take in order to maximise your gains. Making informed decisions on what supplements you take will ensure that you get the most out of training and supplementation.
Prime Growth Nutrition stocks a wide range of premium products that will cater for just about anyone. Fitness is a journey – so embrace the path, celebrate the progress, and enjoy every step along the way.