Hey again everyone!
How many of you use dietary supplements? I am sure a majority of you have tried, or use some type of dietary supplement to this day.
In fact, I currently use three dietary supplements multiple times a week. I use them as directed and seemingly have no issues. However, at one point I did take too much of a certain supplement and it definitely made me feel sick and uneasy.
You have to be careful!
Dietary supplements can be extremely useful if used in the correct way. Let me reiterate, “if used in the correct way”.
As the saying goes, you do not want too much of a good thing. Sometimes taking too much of a particular supplement can have harmful effects on the body. We’ll get to that later on.
For the purpose of this article, we are going to discuss the types of dietary supplements used by those who actively exercise or go to the gym multiple times a week.
Throughout this piece we’re going to answer a variety of questions.
-So what defines a dietary supplement?
-Why do we need dietary supplements?
– Do you need to take them at all? How much of a particular supplements should you take?
We’re going to break all of this down and make sure there is no stone left unturned.
**Disclaimer** Ask your doctor before taking any supplements.**
What Defines A Dietary Supplement?
There are so many different types of dietary supplements on the market.
For example, you could purchase vitamins, minerals, supplements made from foods, etc.
The purpose of this article is to discuss the dietary supplements that can be used for those who are avid gym goers or for those that like to exercise.
We are going to break the term dietary supplement up into a few different categories.
The first category are Protein Supplements. Protein supplements may come in the forms of powder, pre mixed drink, or food (Protein Bars, Protein Balls, etc.).
The second category falls under pre-workouts. This supplement almost always comes in the form of a powdered substance.(Pre-workout Suggestion Here)
Third, is the supplement of aminos acids. Again, this normally comes in a powdered form.
Lastly, fourth, is the supplement of creatine. This too comes in a powder or pre mixed form. (Read More About Creatine)
Each of the categories here are common supplements that athletes, weightlifters, and those who exercise use. Of course, my suggestion is to research a brand before you buy. You do not want to end up buying a product that contains harmful ingredients or fillers. You want to make sure your supplement is clean and safe.
In order to research, I suggest you read comment reviews, research ingredients you’re unsure of, and even asks online help communities like Facebook fitness groups, etc. It is important to know exactly what is being put into your body for safety reasons.
The truth of it is, there are so many supplement choices out there. Many companies are simply in it for the money, whereas some truly put their best into each supplement created. Be careful!
Why Do We Need Dietary Supplements?
Those with passions in the areas of weightlifting, running, or exercise in general may choose to utilize supplements in order to help performance, help improve their physique, or simply help improve their health.
Dietary supplements can also be used for those who are seeking to either lose weight, or put weight on.
Depending on your goals, there is likely some type of supplement out there that could help you reach your goals.
Let’s break this down by category. (Of course there are many other dietary supplements out there, but for the purpose of this article we broke down dietary supplements into four common categories)
1) Protein Supplements
Why might an individual seek to take a protein supplement?
This is a great question. The answer, depends on your health goals!
If you are seeking to maintain or build muscle mass, you need to set up a proper macro diet plan. (If you’re unsure what this means, this article will help).
Most claim that a healthy individual should take .8 to .9 grams of protein, per pound of body weight. For example, if you weight 180 pounds, you should have a protein intake of about 145-160 grams.
So where does a protein supplement come in to play?
Some folks have a hard time reaching their protein goals each day. If you are one of these people, you could use a dietary supplement in the form of protein powder or protein bars to help you reach your goals.
Often times, you can make a shake or eat a bar that will contain 20 or more grams of protein. This is seemingly a great protein source and can help you maximize your protein intake.
In fact, I currently eat 1-2 protein bars a day to help me reach my goals!
2) Pre-workout Supplements
Why might you consider taking a pre-workout dietary supplement?
If you have ever gone to the gym or went on a run, etc, and you just did not have the energy to make it a good workout, we have all been there.
You’re either tired because it’s 5 A.M. before work, or you’re tired because its 7 p.m. and you finally got some free time.
Two words, PRE-WORKOUT. This is your solution. This is how you can make sure your workout is effective to the fullest extent. ( For more information to know if pre-workout is right for you, read here).
Pre-workouts provide a stable energy source that will absolutely pump you up and give you the energy needed to have an effective workout. I typically workout at 5 a.m. before work and until I take my pre-workout I am groggy and have no energy. As soon as I take my pre-workout shake I am excited, energized, and prepared to work hard.
You have to be careful on which pre-workouts you choose because some companies products can cause jitters and energy crashes. Research your product so you know what you’re getting.
If you need a pre-workout suggestion, look no further.
3) Amino Acids
How can Amino Acids help you while exercising or lifting weights?
Have you ever noticed people in the gym walking around with colorful liquids in their blender bottles?
If you have, this is most likely an amino acids blend ( or perhaps a pre-workout). Nonetheless, many individuals drink amino acids while in the gym.
Amino acids have the ability to help extend your workouts, fuel them, and also improving your recovery time. There are even studies to show that amino acids help in the muscle gaining process.
Not everybody uses amino acids, but, many people swear by it. Also, if you look closely, you may even have amino acids within your protein powders!
You most likely have heard of the supplement known as creatine.
Creatine is a very controversial idea in the fitness world. Many people, who have done their adequate research have come to the conclusion that creatine can have positive effects on an individuals performance in the gym.
Based on the research, creatine helps individuals increase workout intensity for short bursts of time. For example, this could be increasing intensity during a bench press.
By increasing intensity of your workouts, you are allowing your body to work harder, thus improving your ability to gain muscle.
For more information on the benefits and safety of creatine, read the following article.
Do You Even Need To Supplements?
Lastly, I’d like you to consider the following.
Dietary supplements are not a necessity in order to achieve muscle mass or your physique goal. Dietary supplements simply help the process of getting there.
I have no doubt, that if you never took a supplement yet consistently put time and effort into your fitness, you would have results.
Again, it is absolutely not necessary to even use supplements. However, it sure can help.
For example, in order to reach your protein goals, you can use a protein shake or protein bar instead of eating a lot of chicken, pork, beef, etc.
Also, instead of feeling tired and dazed while lifting, you could take a pre-workout beforehand as to energize your workout.
Dietary supplements are meant to help you reach your goals, but definitely are not necessary in order to reach them and live a healthy life.
I also urge you to follow directions on usage of ANY type of supplement. Directions are included on each product for a reason. It may be unsafe to use too much of a supplement. Be careful, be safe, and follow directions!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below!
Also, if you have any favorite dietary supplements share them with the community, we would appreciate it!
Founder of myshakercup.com
Hi Russell, Thanks for the information about the different kind of supplements for active exercise needs. What would be your recommendation besides the kind to use ? Any side effect to be cautious about? I promote natural health and my suggestion is to give Moringa powder a try. I go to the gym three times a week and this is what I use to boost myself.
I definitely recommend using a pre-workout and protein powder source. There are seemingly no major side effects to protein powder, you just have to make sure you're hydrated. Also, for pre-workout, you do want to read the instructions because if you take too much pre-workout your heart rate will raise, you may feel jittery, and your body may feel very off in general. ALWAYS read the instructions on supplements. Russell
Nice explanation of dietary supplements! I would add one more. RECOVERY! There are some great plant based dietary supplements out there that help with recovery of your muscles after a workout. I am talking about CBD basically. It's anti-inflammatory properties really help after a workout.
Hey there! I appreciate you reaching out. You're right, recovery is also very important. Muscle growth will not occur without proper recovery. CBD is a great resource. I definitely recommend it! Russell