Using supplements can help you up your intake of key nutrients and vitamins, especially those lacking in contemporary diets. From muscle gainers to antioxidants, vitamins, probiotics and fat burners, there is a wide range of dietary supplements available in the market. Nonetheless, not all offers are desirable.
You still need a careful review and comparison before initiating supplementation. It is important to understand your individual needs based on the unique fitness goals you have set. Below is a brief look at 7 kinds of supplements you need for total fitness.
1) Protein and muscle building supplements
Protein is one of the key compounds you need for health and fitness. The human body uses protein for various functions ranging from muscle development and repair to hormone/enzyme production and metabolism among others. Upping the amount of protein you take will naturally increase your lean muscle mass. More lean muscle is usually associated with reduced fat. This is why protein powders and muscle builders are popular in fitness regimens.
They help you meet the daily protein requirement and also balance metabolic processes, thus hindering the conversion of sugar into fat. Although most formulas are animal based, you can still find vegan dairy free mass gainers and protein supplements. Protein is simply easier to metabolize than fats and carbs. When taken in abundance, the body grows more lean muscles leaving no room for fat. The results are particularly elevated when you combine protein supplements with regular exercise.
2) Vitamin and mineral supplements
There are various kinds of supplements you can safely add to your fitness regimen. Vitamins and minerals are the most essential groups. Virtually all body functions require a group of vitamins or minerals. Bone and teeth health, vision, immune system, growth and reproduction, disease prevention and management all require various vitamins and minerals. If you do not take these nutrients in sufficient amounts, you will end up suffering various deficiencies.
The most essential ones include vitamin A, B12 and D, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iodine. Although most supplements deliver the key nutrient, some simply increases the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Make sure you review each supplement before adding it to your diet. It is also recommendable to consult a doctor prior to any supplementation.
3) AntioxidantsAntioxidants are a group of nutrients found in various foods, including seeds, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. You can also find them as supplements in green tea and plant extracts. The popular antioxidants include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, C and E. Antioxidants are very crucial for health and fitness. Their benefits range from improved heart health to detox, blood purification and disease/infection prevention.
These compounds simply protect your cells from the negative impacts of free radicals and oxidation. Radicals are produced when your body breaks down food, during exercise or even as a result of vices such as smoking and alcohol abuse. Increasing your intake of naturally occurring antioxidants will improve your metabolism and digestion, aid weight loss, strengthen your immune system and increase overall energy levels. These benefits underline the elemental goals of any fitness journey.
4) Probiotic supplements
The use of probiotic supplements has significantly increased over the past years. These are live microorganisms that are provided in supplements to aid digestion and metabolisms among other health benefits. The human body contains millions of bacteria and yeast both good and bad. Probiotics are basically the good microorganisms with a myriad of health benefits. There are two main types of probiotics in the human body; bacteroidetes and firmicutes.
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Bacteroidetes are found in abundance in lean weight people while firmicutes occur in obese people. In one study, lean animals that were given firmicutes became obese over a very short period. Taking regular probiotics has also shown promising results in athletes and fitness subjects.
5) Unsaturated fats, fiber and carbs
Although fats are often seen as the enemy of fitness, not all fat is bad. As a matter of fact, normal body functions require a bare minimum fat intake and you may suffer various complications if you do not meet this requirement. Unsaturated fat is the so called “good fat.” They are found in fish oil, olive oil, seeds, nuts, fruits and different animal products. They also contain omega fatty aid and other nutrients that help to balance cholesterol levels, protect the heart and brain, facilitate weight loss and contribute towards hormone, enzyme and DNA synthesis.
Fiber and carbs are also important for fitness. Fiber improves digestion, curbs cravings and encourages healthy eating while carbs provide the energy required to run normal body functions. You can find fish oil supplements and formulas that contain the right balance of unsaturated fats, fiber and carbs.
6) Amino acidsAmino acids such as Carnitine histidine, methionine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, leucine, threonine, tryptophan, lysine and valine are classified as essential. They cannot be produced in the body, but you need them nonetheless. As such, you are required to consume food that contains these essential nutrients. The benefits of amino acids are quite straightforward. They are used in numerous body functions and are fundamental for optimal health.
Amino acids aid the transfer of sugar from the blood to the cells where they are burnt to provide energy. They also regulate the conversion of sugar into fat and can suppress appetite for food. Other benefits of amino acids include muscle growth and development, anti-inflammation, soreness relief and regulation of immune functions.
7) Energizers (energy boosters)
The body needs energy to run normal functions such as growth, breathing, digestion and waste elimination. There are various supplements that can boost your natural energy levels. Stimulants, caffeine, glucose supplements and pre-workouts can prop your metabolism to provide more energy. Since fitness involves regular exercise, you are going to need energy boosters for improved workout performance. Most energizers also aid recovery and mineral/vitamin absorption.
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Finding fitness supplements should not be a daunting process. There are many offers and most supplements are provided to target specific fitness goals or deliver a key nutrient needed to facilitate the given result. The above list contains seven key supplement groups that are required to compliment a healthy lifestyle. It is important to note that supplementation alone is never enough. Total fitness requires a lifestyle that combines the right nutrition, regular exercise and healthy habits. It is advisable to avoid cigarette smoking, alcohol, drug abuse, stress and other habits that may compromise your health.