If you’re engaging in a strenuous training regimen, supplements will likely play a major role in your daily routine. It’s important to feed your body properly for these workouts, making sure you get adequate proteins and carbs as well as recovery and health supplements that will give you the added boost you need to reach your goals. Here are five ways that high-quality supplements can help you.
You may have noticed that cheaper supplements tend to come in larger containers. At first glance, this seems like a great advantage. You’re getting more and paying less all at once! Unfortunately, much of that added volume may come from unnecessary fillers. You may find that the cheaper, lower-quality protein powder comes in a bigger container because it includes more sugars, artificial flavors, and synthetic colors.
Look for ingredients like guar gum, locust bean gum, or carrageenan. These are thickeners that manufacturers can use to make a poor-quality supplement look better. Steric acid and synthetic magnesium stearate are often used as fillers despite the fact that some research shows that these ingredients are harmful to your immune system.
More of What You Want
Read labels carefully to find out how much good you’re really getting from your supplements. If you’re taking a protein powder, look to see how much protein is actually in the product. A low-quality product may have far more sugar and filler than protein, while a higher-quality option will contain as much as 90 percent protein. Greens supplements are often suspect in this area as well, containing more flavor components than beneficial ingredients.
With fish oil supplements, you need to take a look at what’s piggy-backing with your beneficial ingredient. Low-quality fish oils contain mercury alongside the beneficial oil. A good fish oil supplement will contain more than 50 percent fish oil from EPA and DHA.
Purity of the Main Ingredient
What’s the main ingredient in your supplement of choice, and what is the best possible way to source this ingredient? If you’re looking for whey protein, you may find that a low-quality supplement uses products from cows raised in an industrial setting, while a high-quality supplement features proteins from organic milk and grass-fed cattle.
A product like the high-quality Nutrilite Multi Carotene supplement from Amway features natural carotenoids like those you would find naturally in fruits and vegetables, while lower-quality supplements use isolated beta carotene which comes from a less natural source. With the natural product, your carotenoids come from compounds in palm fruit oil, marigold, and algae, while isolated ingredients are further removed from their original source.
Low-quality supplement manufacturers can use a variety of hazardous methods to produce their products. For example, they may use corn that contains GMOs to extract vitamin C. The hydrogenated oils that you avoid in your cooking are used to produce some supplements.
Colorful supplements typically get their hue from artificial coloring which is linked to some diseases when consumed by children. The FDA’s list of safe, approved color additives is constantly shrinking, from 80 colors in the early 1900s to just 15 in 1938 to only seven today. Other countries are even more strict. The E.U. places warning labels on six artificial colors.
Reliability and Safety
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not evaluate the effectiveness of dietary supplements before they’re put on the market. This makes it possible for a wide variety of products to be sold. While some are safe, high-quality products, those that come from a name you don’t know are often suspect. You should research the supplements that you need before you begin shopping, and look for the specific ingredients that will benefit you during your training regimen.
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) maximize recovery, and are an ideal choice for supplementation before, during, and after a workout. Creatine provides strength to muscles. Cissus helps support your joints, while glucosamine helps speed the repair rate for cartilage. Don’t trust broad monikers like “recovery supplement.” Shop for particular ingredients instead.
Supplements are a smart addition to any workout, but you need to be careful about what you use. Make sure you’re only taking the highest-quality supplements for the best results with your regimen.