Ads promoting sports supplements can be convincing, but are supplements really a good idea? Are they safe? Some of the supplements on the market are harmless, but it’s important to be vigilant and keep certain things in mind to help you make an informed decision. Here’s a brief overview of the most common types of supplements.
Creatine is a substance naturally found in our bodies. It is not a steroid, but an amino acid. Some experts say that creatine supplements can improve strength and endurance during intense physical activity such as running or weight lifting. Creatine may also help increase muscle mass and reduce muscle fatigue.
However, apart from these beneficial effects, creatine can cause nausea, diarrhea, and muscle cramps in certain people. So far, research on creatine supplements has revealed no health risks for healthy adults who take the recommended doses. However, some researchers consider that a long-term use could affect kidney function.
You should always consult your pharmacist or doctor before taking creatine supplements.
2. Protein powder
Athletes do need higher levels of proteins to help them maintain and build muscle mass when doing sports that are particularly demanding on the muscles.
It is important to choose the right protein powder formula. For example, some can cause you to put on weight if you take too much of them. It is recommended that you avoid formulas containing added fat, sugar, or artificial sweeteners. On the other hand, whey (from milk), casein (from milk), and soya proteins are all useful ingredients.
You should be very cautious about consuming this type of product regularly or in high doses. Used on the long term, they can make your kidneys work overtime to eliminate unused proteins, as your body doesn’t store proteins it doesn’t use.
It is always better to take in more proteins through your diet to achieve your objectives.
3. Energy bars
Energy bars can be a good choice when you need a boost before doing a physical activity, and they can also help repair your muscles afterward.
They vary greatly in content, but they usually have ingredients that are high in sugar and proteins. Like other supplements, avoid bars with artificial sweeteners and added sugar and fat.
Look for ingredients with high nutritional value such as dried fruits, nuts, soya, casein, and whey proteins.
Importance of a healthy diet
No matter what your daily level of physical activity is, the best way to meet your nutritional needs and stay healthy is to follow Canada’s Food Guide.
This enables you to have a varied, balanced diet with good levels of proteins. The many types of protein-rich foods include chicken, fish, legumes, nuts, milk, etc. By increasing your protein intake and reducing your fat consumption, you will reach your health objectives more quickly.
If you normally spend a lot of time training, why not take some time to prepare a nutritious meal or a healthy snack? When that’s not possible, then you can rely on supplements to pick up the slack!
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