It can seem like an uphill struggle to achieve your fitness goals. Whether you are training for something specific, just want to get healthier or need to lose weight, the necessary balance between exercise and nutrition can be difficult to understand.
However, there are plenty of ways you can increase your chances of reaching your goals and feeling as healthy as possible. One of the tools available to you are supplements and vitamins of all kinds. We’re going to have a look at some of the supplements you can try to boost your training programmes and improve your fitness.
Director of the Office of Dietary Supplements, Paul Coates, says that supplements should never replace a balanced diet. But he also says they can definitely help people to achieve their goals if they are taken in addition to a balanced exercise and nutrition plan. Here are some to consider adding to your daily intake:
Taking specific supplements before you start to train can boost endurance and energy levels. They are not all the same and contain different combinations of ingredients tailored to specific activities. For example 4 Gauge consists of four major pre-workout ingredients: Citrulline, creatine, L-Theanine and L-Carnitine. However, other pre-workout supplements will be made from different formulas. Here are the most common ingredients and why they are included:
Protein is essential for fitness goals, whether they are to build strength or increase endurance. It can also help you lose body fat, lower blood pressure, repair muscles and level out blood sugar. The two most common forms of protein are whey and casein, which offer different benefits.
Whey protein works fast to build muscles, but only stays in the system a short time. Casein sticks around longer and helps both the immune system and the digestive system. Take whey protein pre-workout and casein afterwards to help your recover.
Magnesium helps the body in numerous ways, from converting food into energy to lowering blood pressure. It’s essential for everyone to have enough magnesium, and particularly important for people who want to be fitter and stronger. Scientific evidence shows that magnesium can improve everyone’s exercise performance, whether you’re an athlete or someone with a chronic illness. If you don’t want to take magnesium as a supplement, you can get it from foods including dark chocolate, seeds and oily fish.
Vitamin K2 is essential for a healthy heart as it helps to prevent blood clots. You can get it from fish, meat and eggs, but it’s also available as a supplement for non-meat eaters.
Exercising regularly is obviously important, but it can also cause muscle inflammation and soreness if you don’t have enough nutrients in your body. Fish oil is crammed with Omega-3 fatty acids, which are scientifically proven to reduce inflammation levels. Either eat more oily fish or take one of the many supplements easily available that contain Omega-3.
Whether you want to improve your overall health or are working towards a specific training goal, there is no doubt that supplements can boost your performance. Always use them in conjunction with a balanced, nutrient-rich diet and regular exercise to get the full benefits.