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SUPPLEMENTS! Should you be using them in your workouts or is there a better alternative?

If you have been training in gyms over the past 10 years and have not used a supplement or not even heard of them, you have probably had your head in the sand. This aspect of the fitness sector has grown exponentially and by the year 2020 is expected to increase by a further 50% as we look for the latest craze to help give us the edge in the gym and in our recovery. The real question is though are they worth it? Do they really give us that much of an edge and is there an alternative that we could use instead?

The fact is, marketing jargon is everywhere within the health and fitness sector and although the positive effects that are illustrated on the outside of the bottle are frequently accurate, the extent is misleading and leads fitness fanatics all over the world to spend their hard earned money where perhaps they could be saving or already have that supplement in their diet and they don’t even know it!

After consulting with nutrition expert and qualified personal trainer at Origym an education course provider for the fitness sector he indicated that virtually everything we consume in tablet and powdered format already exists in our everyday diet.

 

“Clients and average gym goers often think of supplements as replacements or adding something extra that is not already in existence in our diet. This could not be further from the truth as supplements are derived from creating excesses in particular amino acids (most common) that are found in plants and meat into artificial entities to overload our system. Large nutrition brands spend tens of thousands to create the illusion that the supplement is a “must have” for gym goers to get the gains and desired results. The reality however is very different and there are far more costs effective ways to get the benefit of the supplements without having to pay the excessive costs affiliated.”

Here we examine some of the biggest supplements used every single day in the UK and evaluate if there is a more cost effective way or healthier alternative to adding their benefits to our diet.

  1. ZMA– Has become a more fashionable supplement in the past few years. It delivers key metals our bodies require for muscle growth such as Zinc and magnesium, hence the name ZMA. Taken as pills or in capsules ZMA delivers our bodies with amplified levels of vitamin B6 and helps speed up recovery from an intense workout as well as overall tissue growth.

Studies have also indicated, but not many studies have been conducted that it can increase hormone production ideal for muscle growth in addition to improving sleep quality.

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ALTERNATIVE – ZMA is very prominent in nuts and seeds so by naturally increasing your weekly in take will naturally increase the ZMA without having to pay the excessive cost of purchasing it in pill format.

  1. CREATINE– Creatine was perhaps one of the original supplements that professional athletes and bodybuilders started using to improve performance as it promotes lean body mass.

Creatine can increase vaso dilation of the veins, speed up recovery, increase muscles cell volume and allow you to train at a higher intensity for longer, hence why it is such a popular form of supplement. Frequently the loads of creatine that is “recommended” for use on the side of bottles is disingenuous to make consumers get through the product faster in order to rebuy.

ALTERNATIVE – Like Glutamine it is rife within everyday meats, with particular emphasis on red meats and fish. The creatine volumes naturally occur higher in more rare forms of meats such as boar, ostrich, rabbit and venison, so if you ever fancy being adventurous try some of these out.

  1. ARGINE– A type of amino acid.  Argine creates nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels widen and relax during exercise, which is great for transporting essentials to the muscles being worked and waste away. It also helps boost your immune system and aid in recovery.

Argine gives you an added psychological benefits during sessions s due to the expansion of the blood vessels that it creates it gives you a real pumped look, which can give you that bit extra motivation when hitting the weights.

ALTERNATIVES – Argine can be found like most amino acids in poultry but it can also be found in beans and seeds. By being a little more astute with our shopping list you can ascertain a good level of argine in our diets naturally.

  1. PROTEIN SHAKES– Probably the most commonly found supplement on the market. These are so popular amongst dedicated trainers that they are viewed almost as integral as the workout itself.  Protein comes in several formats and there are different levels of quality of protein that you can intake.  Taken in powdered formatted and frequently mixed with water to create a shake this supplement is the biggest seller worldwide.

Protein shakes help with fast recovery, growth and is commonly taken straight after exercise as due to increased blood supply to the affected area it supplies the muscles with virtually instant food to aid recovery.

ALTERNATIVES – Protein is found in all meats, fish and plant sources a like.  It is has the highest concentration in egg whites hence why you see packs of egg whites available in supplements stores.

 

  1. BCAAs– These amino acids are the fundamental building blocks of muscle protein, which leads to muscle growth. These take effect properly when taken at the right time before, during and post workout.

BCAAs or branched chain amino acids can lower cortisol levels, increase hormone and insulin production, making them ideal for both muscle gain and fat loss.

Increasing your personal training clients fish intake, with particular emphasis on tuna with nuts as the highest natural form of BCCAs, although they can have high fat content.

  1. GLUTAMINE– Can be purchased in many formats, most commonly found in powder though. Glutamine enhances the immune system, volumises muscle cells and can speed up recovery after a workout.

Studies have found that an increased glutamine content can be beneficial for preserving muscle tissue, helping with muscular endurance and increasing muscle mass, hence why it is commonly found in combination shakes and muscle formulas.

ALTERNATIVE – As glutamine is an amino acid, which is most commonly found in food that has a high protein count such as meats, cheese, poultry and fish, thus by increasing these aspects of your clients diet would naturally increase their glutamine within their diet.

 

Supplements have lots of benefits and are ideal for those on the move, who have pressing schedules to get the extra vitamins and amino acids for their fitness goals, so we are not saying that supplements do not have their place, they most certainly do!

There are very cost effective alternatives that consumers already have in their diet or could easily obtain through a little bit of research whilst not having to pay the inflated rates that nutrition companies apply. Some supplements are not relevant depending on your fitness goals and what it is that you are looking to achieve with the form of training that you do. For example of you love running, using argine as a supplement perhaps would not benefit you as much as someone who is looking to put muscle on.

If you have been training in gyms over the past 10 years and have not used a supplement or not even heard of them, you have probably had your head in the sand. This aspect of the fitness sector has grown exponentially and by the year 2020 is expected to increase by a further 50% as we look for the latest craze to help give us the edge in the gym and in our recovery. The real question is though are they worth it? Do they really give us that much of an edge and is there an alternative that we could use instead?

The fact is, marketing jargon is everywhere within the health and fitness sector and although the positive effects that are illustrated on the outside of the bottle are frequently accurate, the extent is misleading and leads fitness fanatics all over the world to spend their hard earned money where perhaps they could be saving or already have that supplement in their diet and they don’t even know it!

After consulting with nutrition expert and qualified personal trainer at Origym an education course provider for the fitness sector he indicated that virtually everything we consume in tablet and powdered format already exists in our everyday diet.

“Clients and average gym goers often think of supplements as replacements or adding something extra that is not already in existence in our diet. This could not be further from the truth as supplements are derived from creating excesses in particular amino acids (most common) that are found in plants and meat into artificial entities to overload our system. Large nutrition brands spend tens of thousands to create the illusion that the supplement is a “must have” for gym goers to get the gains and desired results. The reality however is very different and there are far more costs effective ways to get the benefit of the supplements without having to pay the excessive costs affiliated.”

Here we examine some of the biggest supplements used every single day in the UK and evaluate if there is a more cost effective way or healthier alternative to adding their benefits to our diet.

  1. ZMA– Has become a more fashionable supplement in the past few years. It delivers key metals our bodies require for muscle growth such as Zinc and magnesium, hence the name ZMA. Taken as pills or in capsules ZMA delivers our bodies with amplified levels of vitamin B6 and helps speed up recovery from an intense workout as well as overall tissue growth.

Studies have also indicated, but not many studies have been conducted that it can increase hormone production ideal for muscle growth in addition to improving sleep quality.

ALTERNATIVE – ZMA is very prominent in nuts and seeds so by naturally increasing your weekly in take will naturally increase the ZMA without having to pay the excessive cost of purchasing it in pill format.

  1. CREATINE– Creatine was perhaps one of the original supplements that professional athletes and bodybuilders started using to improve performance as it promotes lean body mass.

Creatine can increase vaso dilation of the veins, speed up recovery, increase muscles cell volume and allow you to train at a higher intensity for longer, hence why it is such a popular form of supplement. Frequently the loads of creatine that is “recommended” for use on the side of bottles is disingenuous to make consumers get through the product faster in order to rebuy.

ALTERNATIVE – Like Glutamine it is rife within everyday meats, with particular emphasis on red meats and fish. The creatine volumes naturally occur higher in more rare forms of meats such as boar, ostrich, rabbit and venison, so if you ever fancy being adventurous try some of these out.

  1. ARGINE– A type of amino acid.  Argine creates nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels widen and relax during exercise, which is great for transporting essentials to the muscles being worked and waste away. It also helps boost your immune system and aid in recovery.

Argine gives you an added psychological benefits during sessions s due to the expansion of the blood vessels that it creates it gives you a real pumped look, which can give you that bit extra motivation when hitting the weights.

ALTERNATIVES – Argine can be found like most amino acids in poultry but it can also be found in beans and seeds. By being a little more astute with our shopping list you can ascertain a good level of argine in our diets naturally.

  1. PROTEIN SHAKES– Probably the most commonly found supplement on the market. These are so popular amongst dedicated trainers that they are viewed almost as integral as the workout itself.  Protein comes in several formats and there are different levels of quality of protein that you can intake.  Taken in powdered formatted and frequently mixed with water to create a shake this supplement is the biggest seller worldwide.

Protein shakes help with fast recovery, growth and is commonly taken straight after exercise as due to increased blood supply to the affected area it supplies the muscles with virtually instant food to aid recovery.

ALTERNATIVES – Protein is found in all meats, fish and plant sources a like.  It is has the highest concentration in egg whites hence why you see packs of egg whites available in supplements stores.

  1. BCAAs– These amino acids are the fundamental building blocks of muscle protein, which leads to muscle growth. These take effect properly when taken at the right time before, during and post workout.

BCAAs or branched chain amino acids can lower cortisol levels, increase hormone and insulin production, making them ideal for both muscle gain and fat loss.

Increasing your personal training clients fish intake, with particular emphasis on tuna with nuts as the highest natural form of BCCAs, although they can have high fat content.

  1. GLUTAMINE– Can be purchased in many formats, most commonly found in powder though. Glutamine enhances the immune system, volumises muscle cells and can speed up recovery after a workout.

Studies have found that an increased glutamine content can be beneficial for preserving muscle tissue, helping with muscular endurance and increasing muscle mass, hence why it is commonly found in combination shakes and muscle formulas.

ALTERNATIVE – As glutamine is an amino acid, which is most commonly found in food that has a high protein count such as meats, cheese, poultry and fish, thus by increasing these aspects of your clients diet would naturally increase their glutamine within their diet.

Supplements have lots of benefits and are ideal for those on the move, who have pressing schedules to get the extra vitamins and amino acids for their fitness goals, so we are not saying that supplements do not have their place, they most certainly do!

There are very cost effective alternatives that consumers already have in their diet or could easily obtain through a little bit of research whilst not having to pay the inflated rates that nutrition companies apply. Some supplements are not relevant depending on your fitness goals and what it is that you are looking to achieve with the form of training that you do. For example of you love running, using argine as a supplement perhaps would not benefit you as much as someone who is looking to put muscle on.

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