Why are Fitness Supplements so Popular?

Any time of the year is perfect to improve your physique and overall health. To get any of these things done, some people recur to exercising routines or sports practice along with a balanced diet and proper hydration. Fitness supplements can become a great sidekick if you are looking to improve your results at the gym which is why they are becoming more popular over time. This article is all about what you need to know about fitness supplements and their use

Whether if you are an experienced athlete or an enthusiast gym-goer, you can use fitness supplements to improve any aspect of your exercising routine or the overall results you are getting from them.

Fitness supplements – also known as performance supplements – represent a very safe and effective way to give you the extra hand that sometimes you need to reach a specific health or fitness goal. For example, losing some extra weight or improving your performance before an important competition. However, it is very important to understand every aspect of them before getting your hands into one.

In this article, we will explain what is known as fitness supplements, some popular fitness supplements that may help you with your physique goals, and how to use them effectively for your exercising or practicing routine.

Let’s go!

What is known as fitness supplements?

According to the Office of Dietary Supplements or ODS, fitness supplements – also known as performance supplements or “ergogenic aids,” are a series of supplements that contain several important

ingredients for our body development – such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, among others – in very different amounts and combinations that are often used to maximise our physical performance during exercising, training or competitions (1).

Depending on the nature of the fitness supplement, they can be taken pre-workout (before hitting the gym) or after the training is done to help you to achieve new levels of performance, help you to lose weight or gain muscle, as well as many other benefits.

These fitness supplements also come in varied forms: powders, capsules, liquids, tablets, and ready-to-drink shakes are some of the most popular ones. Only in 2020, the fitness supplements market raised a new mark: $13.98 billion and could double its size by 2027 according to estimations (2).

Why are fitness supplements so popular?

Fitness supplements have become more popular over time since they can help you to achieve your health and fitness goals faster and safer. When combined with a healthy diet, exercising, and proper hydration, fitness supplements can maximise the desired outcome in many ways: enhance your endurance, aid you to gain more lean tissue and shed extra stored fat, encourage you to excel at your training and performances by increasing your body tolerance to intense workouts, etc.

Classified as pre or post-workout supplements, they can help your body to prepare for exercising or to recover faster, as well as prevent injuries from strenuous physical activity.

The final goal is to boost your exercise routine to help you achieve your physical and health-related goals.

Some fitness supplements you might have heard of:

Within the dietary supplement category – whose market was valued at $122 billion in 2016 – you will find the relatively new and growing market of fitness supplements.

Right now, there are hundreds of fitness supplements available online everywhere, but here are some of them that can actually help you to boost your gym performance or training:

  1. Chromium: this essential trace mineral can be safely used to improve your athletic performance as well as to lose some weight and fat (3).

  2. Beta-Alanine:This supplement can help you to exercise for longer periods with high-intensity routines. Additionally, it can aid you to develop more muscle. It is often taken with baking soda between 15 and 30 minutes before working out in doses of 4 to 6grams/day. Perfect for swimming, and team sports like football.

  3. Creatine: This popular workout supplement can enhance the exercising capacity when taken, especially for weight training. This is also another pre-workout supplement to excel at your training.

  4. Protein: Protein intake can be beneficial for some types of exercising activities and their intensity. Highly strenuous activities such as high-intensity resistance can recover faster from training and experience muscle growth. This is a post-workout supplement to take to help your body to recover better and faster.

  5. Tart or Sour Cherry: Some research suggests that it may help bodybuilders and runners to recover faster, decrease the risk to suffer from colds, run faster, and feel less muscle soreness. This fitness supplement needs to be taken in 500 grams daily for a week before the event and 2 days afterward.

  6. Chocolate milk: Even though this could not be classified as a performance supplement, scientific studies have shown that the combination of protein, water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes outperformed several sports drinks and water in post-workout recovery by enhancing protein synthesis and glycogen regeneration.

  7. Branded Chain Amino Acids (BCAA): Some studies suggest that BCAA can reduce muscle breakdown while improving muscle growth (4).

How to bring fitness supplements to your workout routine:

As you have learned here, fitness supplements can change the way you workout definitely. Some of them can help you to lose fat while increasing your lean mass, others can make your muscles grow faster as well as help you to recover faster from exercise; however, performance supplements respond very differently in our bodies.

Some people may experience improvement, while others can experience a reduction of their physical performance; which is why is so important to look for the advice and guidance of a doctor before bringing them to your exercising routine.

A specialist can advise on recommended doses, fitness supplements for your physical goals, among other suggestions that will fit your personal needs.

On the other hand, fitness supplements should never be the substitute for a balanced diet, since their proven benefits are possible thanks to a healthy food regime, proper hydration, and other healthy routines to give your body the chance to work and recover from exercising efforts effectively.

References

1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/ExerciseAndAthleticPerformance- Consumer/
2. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/workout- supplements/

3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9763876/