When you want to improve your fitness, you could take a few different approaches. You could try lifting weights, doing push-ups, or joining a new exercise class, like Pilates or yoga. One method many people use to improve their health is something that works from the inside out: taking supplements. But with the myriad of options available on the market, which one(s) should you take? How do you figure out which ones will work best for you?
While some fitness products can be harmful, certain supplements can be a great way to get more nutrients in your body to help it perform. Discussing your fitness goals with a professional to get their recommendations on which supplements you should take is essential. Our motion specialists at EW Motion Therapy are experts in their field and can recommend supplements to help you work toward your goals. Even if you decide to pursue personal training elsewhere, we still want to give you some more information about supplements so you can take the ones most helpful for you.
This article discusses whether supplements are helpful, the kinds of supplements you might want to try based on your goals, and the professionals you can talk to about supplements. With this information, you can continue your fitness journey with a little extra help.
Are supplements beneficial?
First, let’s discuss whether supplements, in general, are helpful. The fitness market can be full of scams, with companies claiming you try their product and lose 20 pounds in two weeks. While you should be careful with products making those sorts of claims, the vast majority of supplements don’t do that.
As the name suggests, supplements are intended to “supplement” something back into your diet that you are not getting from your current food choices. For example, you can consider a daily multivitamin a supplement because you are ensuring your body is getting the vitamins needed to stay healthy. There are very few situations in which any vitamin or supplement could cause adverse effects - the lack of vitamins and nutrients can cause many health issues, so in this case, it is acceptable to have too much of a good thing.
Another good thing about supplements is that they give you concentrated amounts of whatever substance you want more of. For example, to consume 30 grams of protein, it can be more convenient to drink a shake that has the exact amount of protein you need. Whole foods are always the best way to get nutrients, but when you’re in a rush, supplements can be a great option.
What kind of supplements should I take?
While most supplements are suitable for anyone, like a daily multivitamin, there are a few kinds of supplements you can take for specific goals. If you are an athlete or a very fit person, for example, and you want to build muscle, you should probably take some kind of protein synthesis supplement. For your body to rebuild muscle tissue, it needs an adequate amount of protein. Protein supplements contain varying amounts of amino acids for your body to have more building materials for that muscle tissue. Most people require 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. But if you are a high-level athlete doing more high-intensity activity, you should probably incorporate about twice that amount of protein.
If you are not a high-intensity athlete or just want to better nourish your body, then a plant-based supplement with various vitamins and minerals might be a better option. This can also be a helpful supplement for the older/geriatric population since some common goals of that group are to maintain muscle mass, joint mobility, and proper circulation. Combining a protein supplement and a plant-based vitamin-rich supplement is an excellent step toward maintaining your overall health.
Who should I talk to about supplements?
Now you know more about supplements and the things you should look for when shopping. While there are not many adverse effects to taking supplements, some can cause weight gain if you take them in excess, so be sure to talk to your doctor, a personal trainer, or a nutritionist before getting started to ensure you are taking the best things for your body.
It can be overwhelming to find the supplements that work best for you, but once you do, you can supplement vitamins and minerals into your diet that your body needs to thrive. Our motion specialists at EW Motion Therapy can give any client advice on supplements as they help you become more fit and confident. If you are interested in personal training with us, fill out our self-assessment at the link below to see if our program is a good fit for your fitness goals, and be sure to check out our other personal training content as well.