Sport Supplements: What are they?
by Luke Adamson
Sports Nutritional Supplements are simply highly refined food derived
from natural sources. They come in a variety of formats including
powders, liquids, tablets, capsules and even snack bars. They offer
a quick and convenient way for athletes and enthusiasts to meet
the demanding needs of their sports nutrition regime. Without properly
addressing your diet, either through real food or sports supplementation,
you are limiting the potential for growth, recovery and improvement.
Is the use of Sports Supplements necessary?
As a beginner to weight training, bodybuilding, field sports or
any other form of sport, the use of supplements is recommended for
progress but not compulsory. Your dietary needs can be address through
the preparation of a suitably tailored diet by a qualified professional
who will advise of which sports supplements is required in order
to complete the clients dietary needs. Supplements however do offer
a very easy and convenient way to provide your body with the nutrients
it needs especially because of the quick paced lifestyle that we
lead. The use of sports supplements at the end of the day comes
down to personal choice but rather get proper advise which may in
turn save you money and improve performance.
Supplements to use?
There is a vast range of sports nutritional supplements and aids
available which may assist athletes in different ways. Many of these
supplements are tailored towards professional and intermediate level
athletes and are not necessary for beginners so it is important
to get proper advise prior to using supplements.
The following is a list of supplements
that are available:
Protein is used by the body to build muscle and as a result remains
one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements available today,
and for good reason. There are various forms of protein available
including Milk, Soy, Whey and Casein and blends (consisting of mixed
proteins). Whey Protein however remains the most popular type of
protein which is a highly refined by-product from the Dairy Industry
that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. Supplement
manufacturers take whey protein and add flavourings, colorants,
vitamins and minerals to provide end users with a more advanced
powdered protein product to which you simply add milk or water to
make a nutritious high protein shake.
Meal Replacements Products (MRP's) are exactly what
you would expect. A powdered supplement similar to protein shakes
which are intended to replace your meal with a highly nutritious
drink that is tailored towards aiding muscular growth and recovery.
MRP's differ from Protein Shakes in that they often contain carbohydrates
and good fats.
Weight Gain Formulas are very similar to Meal Replacement
Products but usually contain many more calories in the form of carbohydrates
and good fats to help promote growth.
In recent years, the development of "All In One" or "Combination
Supplements" has become increasingly popular. These usually
take Protein Powders or MRP's as a base and add specialist supplements
such as Creatine, Glutamine or HMB into a single easy to take supplement.
Should I be Brand conscious?
Despite the numerous marketing claims from different supplement
brands within the industry, sports supplements are largely the same
from company to company. Different people choose different supplements
for different reasons. Some choose supplements on taste, some on
ingredients and others solely on price. If you are unsure exactly
where to start then visit a professional person for advise instead
of taking advise from friends who may put you completely on the
Points To Remember
Supplements are called supplements for a reason, they are intended
to supplement your existing diet and not fully replace it.
There are no quick fixes in building muscle, weight training or
for improving sports performance. Supplements will help only if
used correctly, in conjunction with a carefully structured and properly
administered training and diet programme. Sports Supplements are
not meant to be the easy answer or the quick fix to your sports
performance. All supplements unless used correctly will be a waste
unless you put in sufficient effort in the gym and on the field,
sports supplements can complement your training and accelerate your
progress if done 100% right.