Over the years, workout supplements are on the rise and are increasingly popular to all gym-goers out there. However, this raises the question- are they beneficial to your health?
Can Workout Supplements Help or Hurt?
For most healthy people, these workout supplements that are intended to enhance the body are harmless. However, there are rare cases wherein too much consumption could harm one’s health. One of the causes is a person having Maple Syrup Urine Disease, (MSUD), a condition wherein handling of specific amino acids are compromised in the body leading to a build-up of branch chain amino acids. Over-consumption of work-out supplements for these people with this kind of condition is highly dangerous. However, since most MSUD patients are diagnosed in their childhood, experts believe that this will unlikely manifest as a protein overdose once they become adults.
How about for healthy individuals? Most people take in supplements because it helps support the building of muscle mass. The most common supplements out there in the market are those that contain amino acids such as protein, protein hydrolysates, branch chain amino acids that have valine, isoleucine, and leucine.
A study from the Journal of Nutrition shows athletes take in 3g/kg per day of leucine- more than three and a half times of the daily recommended amount of 0.8 grams. A healthy person taking in 1.25g/kg/day and the results showed there were little to no negative effects even in the consumption of leucine in high amounts. Therefore, it is safe to say- you can take in these supplements on the premise that you have no existing medical condition. Also, when in doubt, it’s best to talk to your doctor before you try taking any product if you have a condition or medication that might be affected.
So, what are the supplements that you should and should not use?
Protein powders and bars are an excellent way to supply the amount of protein your body needs to build muscle. The American Council on Exercise stresses that protein is vital for the reason that it is found in almost every cell in our bodies. It plays specific roles and functions in our body a well as provides us with energy, helps fight off infections and helps us manage our appetite. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein makes up at least 10-30 percent of your daily calories- and those who could take in less of that- a protein powder of at least 20g can be used as a substitute.
For one whose daily diet mainly doesn’t compose of fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, and tuna, then fish oil is your healthy substitute. Containing Omega-3 fatty acids with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), it can promote the production of good cholesterol in your body which can decrease your risk of acquiring heart disease. Also, by helping increase bone density and calcium balance, it prevents you from developing osteoporosis.
Creatinine is still mostly subject to debate among the health and fitness community. Some believe it has little no effect at all when it comes to muscle production. The truth is, given under the right conditions; creatine does work. It helps the body produce energy which is essential if you want to train longer, faster, and harder. That is why it’s recommended to people who are doing strength training, as well as explosive workouts and high-intensity sports such as sprinting, basketball and soccer.
Watch out for pre-workout supplements that you’re taking. While most are considered safe and effective, it is best to keep away from products that are both a combination of creatine and caffeine. Both are diuretics and can cause severe repercussions such as dehydration, hypertension and kidney problems.
What you take in your body can make or break you being able to reach your target goals. Choosing the right supplements is as vital as your existing diet and exercise program. So are workout supplements beneficial to your health? The answer is- it depends. Not all health supplements are created equal because there are some that cause you more harm than good. A general rule of thumb is that it’s best to be educated and knowledgeable about the products you will be using so you can fully maximize your workout and exercise program and reap its benefits. If you want to know the truth of your favorite health supplements, check out SupplementInvestigator.com.
Trevor Gilligan is a writer contributing pieces for SupplementInvestigator.com. His interests lie in the health and nutrition niche, being a fitness enthusiast himself. Trevor strives to provide creative flair in his articles, which he also ensures are informative and entertaining for his readers. He spends his free time painting.