The short answer to this questions is YES but in the same time can harm our bodies if not taken with caution.
How do I know if a supplement is good for me?
There are more ways to that can help you decide.
- Ask for professional advice: doctors, nutritionist, dietician.
- Read professional blogs
- Ask friends, family that have some experience in this area.
The best and secure information will always come from a qualified, experienced, someone with a lot of knowledge in fitness world. The advice you get from a friend or information that you read online can be very tricky and might not work for you or can even harm your body.
If you have allergies for some ingredients or flavourings, read the label first and try to avoid those allergens.
What ingredients from a supplement should I avoid?
First of all depending on the supplement and the purpose of it. Many supplements are FDA, EC approved, even if they are not, every company have the responsibility to make sure that their products are safe for consume. In most of the countries a manufacturer or distributor does not need approval to sell their supplements but they need to be registered with health organisation from that country and needs to confirm their supplement claims.
- Caffeine powder (trimethylxanthine)- in high quantities or combined with other stimulants can lead to seizures, heart arrhythmia, nausea and even death.
- Aconite- nausea, vomiting, breath and heart problems, paralysis, death.
- Green tea extract- dizinesss, nausea, elevate blood pressure, liver damage.
- Kava- nausea, depression, liver damage.
- Pennyroyal oil- can lead to kidney and liver failure, nerve damage, death.
These ingredients can be find in different products and supplements available to buy in most of the stores. This ingredients does not necessary harm our body but taken with other supplements, in high quantities can lead to the side effects mention above. There are more dangerous agents that can lead to serious health problems like synephrine, yohimbine, huperzine (drug); fortunately most of the supplements containing this ingredients was banned but there are others still available for you to buy.
Now, there are another ingredients used mostly as a high stimulant in pre-workouts and is called Beta-alanine, in quantities over 2000 mg is known to cause acute paresthesia ( itchy and a tingly sensation on the skin). Some people like this sensation from different reasons, but for others, including myself can be really annoying and irritating. You need to remember that this sensations are completely harmless, won’t create any harm on the body.
What should I expect from a supplement?
A lots of people are misguided or they don’t understand the idea of a supplement.
Main purpose of a supplement is to supplement, help us achieve the required quantity of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Supplements does not replace a healthy diet and they are absolutely not doing all the work for you, meaning that if you take a supplement you will still have to exercise and still have to eat. Yes, the supplements can help you acquire your daily dosage of vitamin, protein or other nutrients but you still need to train and eat properly. Let’s say you take a mass gainer because you want to gain some weight and muscle but you don’t do any type of exercise, what do you thing will happen in one month? No, you won’t get ‘big’ and ‘shredded’, big and bulky. Any supplement have their role in our body, some can help us a lot, some just pretend to help but it won’t do anything and some unfortunately can do worse.
Pre-workout = give you a boost of energy and help you reach your potential; it won’t lift the weight for you and won’t give you more power even if you feel that you can move mountains, you actually can’t.
Protein powder = gain weight (not necessary muscle), help with energy and recovery when used correctly; it won’t build lean muscle unless taken with a good diet. There are some other options on the market as iso protein, diet protein or lean protein, which might help you build lean muscle.
Amino Acids = there are 21 amino acids within our body and 9 of them are considered essential. Each one of them have their own purposes in our body. What you need to know is that 12 of these amino acids are produced in our body, meaning that is easy to overdose.
Arginine and glutamine are known to help with weight loss, and BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) which are a group of three essential amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine have been proven to build muscle and reduce muscle fatigue.
Mass Gainer = as the name suggest, help you gain weight for those who want a few extra pounds. Gain weight, these are all the benefits you can get from a mass gainer. Do not expect to get more power or energy.
Fat burner = I don’t want to get any lawsuits against me so I won’t mention any brands in here, all I want to say that some of these ‘supplements’ are not what they pretend to do. There are also some really powerful that can damage your body big time just to burn some extra calories. Before buying these supplements read the ingredients and side effects. If you decided to take these supplements please don’t just expect miracles, it just not how it works. They can help you lose weight but you need to help these supplement too by respecting a clean diet or a intense exercise. If using a strong fat burner and you are mostly sedentary, you will notice some side effects as nausea, vomit and diarrhea, is because your body is trying to burn calories in different ways.
What supplements should I buy?
Before buying a supplement read some information, reviews and the purpose of that specific supplement and most important you should ask yourself ‘Do I need this?’.
Normally I don’t recommend supplements because I believe in natural way, but unfortunately our bodies have their own limit which you can surpass in a way or another but it need a long time and hard work, when I say hard work I mean it; So why bother when you can get same result and half the time?
I am going to show you some supplements which might help you achieve your goals faster or just create an idea of what should you go for when you need it. This is only my opinion based on ingredients, reviews, experience or other terms, I am not paid to sponsor, or work for any of the companies that will share with you.
Protein Powder: 100 Whey Link 1
One Stop Extreme Link 1
ON Plant Protein Link 1
A full list with best supplements will be shared in a future post, so please subscribe to this blog to make sure you stay up to date with all the content.