Home Health The gym supplements that REALLY work… and the ones that are a complete waste of time

The gym supplements that REALLY work… and the ones that are a complete waste of time

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There are many supplements that promise

Whether you’re a regular gym-goer or just starting your fitness journey, you’ve probably been drawn to supplements as a way to give your training a boost.

But be careful, many of these supplements that promise to “burn fat” and give you energy are expensive and unnecessary, sports nutritionists say.

You’d really be better off sticking with a simple protein shake or a banana and a cup of coffee to complement your workout, they say.

Here, Rob Hobson, registered sports nutritionist and author of Unprocess Your Life, gives us the scoop on which supplements are worth the money and which are a waste of time…

The gym supplements that REALLY work and the ones that

There are many supplements that promise to “burn fat” and give you energy, they are expensive and simply not necessary, sports nutritionists warn.

protein powders

One of the most popular gym supplements is protein powder.

Marketed to aid muscle growth, weight loss, and improve physical performance, protein supplements can be a convenient way to get some extra nutrients when exercising.

It is available in both whey, made from cow’s milk, and vegan versions, such as pea protein.

While it is commonly sold in powder form, it can also be purchased in shakes, tablets, and bars.

Although you can get plenty of protein in your diet from meat, eggs, nuts and fish, Mr Hobson admits the supplement is “useful when you run out of energy after a workout”.

However, he emphasizes that it is not necessary as a daily complement to food.

Hobson told MailOnline: ‘There is a lot of well-conducted research looking at the benefits of protein powders for performance.

“These findings have been shown to be useful for post-exercise muscle growth and repair, recovery, and increasing strength and performance.”

1712496467 180 The gym supplements that REALLY work and the ones that

1712496467 180 The gym supplements that REALLY work and the ones that

Although you can get a lot of dietary protein from foods such as meat, eggs, nuts and fish, Hobson admits that the supplement is “useful when you’re running out of time after a workout.”

creatine

Creatine is a substance that is found naturally in muscle cells, but is also added to gym supplements.

Gives your muscles a boost during weight lifting and intense exercise.

“This is the most studied sports nutrition supplement and there is a lot of research to back up its performance claims,” ​​Mr Hobson said.

“It is also one of a limited number of supplements included in the sports nutrition and performance guide established by the American College of Sports Medicine.”

Creatine, which is also often sold in powder form, not only improves exercise performance, it may also reduce the severity of sports injuries and help athletes tolerate heavier training loads, according to a study by 2017. study.

“The benefits include a sustained increase in energy for high-intensity exercise, increased muscle mass and power, which equates to improved performance,” Mr Hobson said.

Products such as Healthspan Elite All Blacks Creatine Monohydrate, which costs £43.00 for a 500g bag, could give you more energy and help increase muscle mass, experts say.

The supplement is more designed for strength and power sports, but Hobson explains that researchers are also studying how creatine could improve women’s health.

Experts are also looking at whether the supplement can help older people with cognition and muscle loss, he added.

But you will need to take a small dose every day to get the desired benefits.

Hobson said: “Despite common myths, this supplement has been shown to be safe even when taken consistently for up to five years at a time, but it needs to be taken daily to obtain the desired benefits as blood levels are saturated. creatine in the body. .’

Hobson recommends avoiding spending money on anything that promises weight loss or fat burning.

Hobson recommends avoiding spending money on anything that promises weight loss or fat burning.

Hobson recommends avoiding spending money on anything that promises weight loss or fat burning.

Pre-workout

Described by Hobson as a “kitchen sink supplement,” it is made with many products “added into the mix.”

But even though it contains a wide range of ingredients, it’s not always necessary, warns Hobson, and suggests simply eating a banana or drinking a coffee to get the same effect.

Some pre-workout supplements, often sold in all-in-one powder form, are made with glucose and caffeine.

Hobson says they might be worth your time, as the glucose will give you the energy boost and fuel to exercise and the caffeine will improve mental alertness and performance.

“Beyond that, a lot of the other items aren’t really necessary, especially for gym-goers,” Hobson said.

Some pre-workout supplements also contain creatine and beta alanine, which is an amino acid produced in the body that plays a role in muscular endurance and high-intensity exercise.

However, for them to take effect it is necessary to take them daily.

Hobson said: “Taking them intermittently before training will not be effective.”

“Sometimes the doses are also too small, based on research on their effectiveness.”

He adds that for the average athlete, eating a banana and drinking a coffee before hitting the gym will probably be enough of a pre-workout boost.

For the average gym goer, eating a banana and drinking coffee before a workout will suffice as a pre-workout boost.

For the average gym goer, eating a banana and drinking coffee before working out will be enough of a pre-workout boost.

For the average gym goer, eating a banana and drinking coffee before working out will be enough of a pre-workout boost.

Fat burning supplements

Supplements that promise to “burn fat” are “the ultimate waste of time,” warns Hobson.

In fact, he recommends avoiding spending money on anything that promises to lose weight or burn fat simply by taking a pill.

“The claim about these supplements is that they can speed up metabolism or increase fat oxidation,” he says.

“But neither is supported by any reliable scientific research on the ingredients included in the supplement.”

Common ingredients include caffeine, green tea, raspberry ketones, and conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has been found to have some modest effects on weight loss.

Another common ingredient is L-Carnetine, which is an amino acid involved in the metabolism of fats in the body.

But Hobson cautions that this doesn’t mean it’s a magic “fat-burning” solution.

“Taking it as a supplement does not mean it will increase the rate at which you burn fat, and research looking at its role in improving athletic performance, which may be indirectly related to fat loss, is, at best, weak,” he said.

However, being a waste of money is not the worst potential side effect of these supplements.

Some formulations may also have some unpleasant side effects, such as high blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

All of which will have a negative impact on sporting performance, adds Hobson.

Hobson believes that most of these fat burning supplements will not help you control your weight or understand the importance of a healthy diet.

He said: “Relying on supplements to help manage body weight or body fat percentage will teach you nothing about the importance of diet, exercise and lifestyle and how you can manipulate these factors to help you achieve performance goals.” more sustainable”.

HOW MUCH EXERCISE DO YOU NEED

To stay healthy, adults ages 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as bicycling or brisk walking, each week and
  • strength exercises 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

EITHER:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or an individual tennis match, each week and
  • strength exercises 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

EITHER:

  • a combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity each week; For example, 2 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equal 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • strength exercises 2 or more days a week that work all major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

A good rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

One way to get the recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes 5 days a week.

All adults should also interrupt prolonged periods of sitting with light activities.

Fountain: National Health Service in the United Kingdom

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