Chances are you have at least heard of dietary supplements. Maybe you have even started shopping around for them. But with thousands of options to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming. In this article, I will talk about 3 popular supplements, what they are used for, and who potentially should consider using them.
*It is important to note that supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug administration. Because of this, the consumer cannot be guaranteed that what is on the label is actually what is in the product. It is important to buy from reputable companies with long track records of success. Another way to better ensure supplement purity and quality, especially if you are a competitive athlete, is to look for the NSF “Certified for Sport” seal.
The main purpose of a multivitamin is to fill in nutritional gaps. They do not replace the benefits of a healthy diet filled with whole foods. That is why they are on a supplement list, they supplement a healthy diet. As with most entries on this list, a quick google search will give you a host of conflicting research studies. My bottom line take away is that, when taken in the recommended dosage, a multivitamin will only be beneficial to your health and at worst will only be a small waste of money with no harm done.
Whey protein is an excellent option within 30 minutes of a strength training workout, either before or after, or both depending on your goals. It is a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids. Whey also digests easily and is absorbed quickly by the stomach compared to other protein sources. Its quick absorption is why it should be primarily used shortly before a workout or immediately after. Many whey protein powders are also low in carbs and fat. This clean source of protein is a great option during weight loss to maintain muscle. Another great use for whey is maintaining muscle mass as we age. Among the essential amino acids, whey contains high amounts of leucine, which is the most powerful growth promoter of the amino acids.
Creatine is found naturally in the muscle cells of the body. It is part of the process of helping your muscles produce energy during high intensity exercise and heavy lifting. The benefits of creatine supplementation include being able to train at high intensity longer which yields greater muscle mass and strength gains. You can get creatine through consumption of red meats and fish, however, supplementing will allow you to more easily control your level of intake. It is recommended to take around 20grams per day during a loading phase of 1 week. Break that up into (4) 5 gram servings throughout the day. After the loading phase you should take 5 grams per day to maintain a high level of creatine in the body.