There is a whole open sea of misconceptions regarding supplements that can be taken before and after workout sessions. Everyone seems to have something to say about the issue but who really is telling the truth? What is the correct way to use supplements? What are supplements in the first place and how are they different from steroids?
Supplements are dietary nutrients that are extracted from the actual food sources or chemically manufactured and delivered in the form of capsules, pills or gels to increase the quantity in which they are consumed. Supplements can either be individual or combination depending on what the ingredients used to make them are.
Steroids, on the other hand, are hormonal substances that are naturally in the body but can be bolstered by adding more from external sources to boost performance or mass gain. Steroids are mostly illegal to use by athletes as they give them an undue advantage. Side effects of steroids on the human body can also be negative such as infertility, baldness or hormonal imbalance.
There are several types of supplements that one can use alongside the normal workout routines. Some of these supplements include:
These are proteins that have been isolated from the liquid part of milk that usually separates in the process of producing cheese. Whey protein comes from the watery bit of milk that is formed as a by-product when fatty acids coagulate into cheese.
Whey can be used by gym enthusiasts, weightlifters, bodybuilders or people who just want to gain mass or even people that want to lose weight. The idea behind taking whey protein is to increase the intake of protein into the body.
This increase results in increased muscle mass and strength because of the protein and amino acids contained in them that are used in building muscles.
Pre-workout supplements/ BCAAs
As the name suggests, these are supplements that are taken before an intense workout session. They are taken to improve one’s level of endurance. They can also improve the speed of muscle recovery after the workout session.
Branched-chain amino acids-BCAAs provide a solid source of energy that serves as a backup for your regular body energy reserves and can take you further along in the process of working out. Once the glycogen in your body is used up during a workout, the leucine, valine, and isoleucine in the BCAAs kick in to supplement your energy.
These supplements are extremely beneficial to people who regularly take part in strength training and interval training. Having taken these supplements, you will find that you will be able to lift heavier weights for even longer.
These are supplements that are used by people who need to increase their calorie intake in order to support lean muscle growth. Mass gainers should not be confused with steroids.
While mass gainers can help to achieve daily calorie count, you should know just how much you need daily to prevent taking too much which will set you back in the process of getting your ideal body mass.
Most mass gainers are taken after workouts when the muscles are getting repaired and rejuvenated. Mass gainers will improve the speed of muscle recovery as well.
It is important to know that mass gainers will only help you gain lean muscle and not fat, especially if the product you use has low fat content as it actually should.
In conclusion, there is no harm in using dietary supplements as you workout. The secret is to pay attention to your body and know just how much you need without consuming too much. As it is, they are supplements; they are supposed to work alongside something else, not entirely on their own.