Workout Supplements and Eating Right

Thanks to the advice of many fitness and nutritional experts, you’ve probably already heard the saying that the perfect formula for achieving your muscle building or weight-loss goals is: 50% exercise and 50% diet. This emphasizes the importance of selecting good quality food, because as this Huffington Post article explains, “you cannot out-train a bad diet”.

However, when it comes to workout performance, you might not know that choosing the right supplement could be just as important as selecting the right foods. Of course, food should always comes first, and you should never take shortcuts when it comes to proper nutrition. However, with the right workout supplement on your side you can get enormous benefits in addition to a proper diet. If pick the wrong supplement though, one that doesn’t live up to expectations, you could be missing out on a much needed boost.

Why Are Workout Supplements So Important?

It probably seems like a bold statement to suggest that supplements are just as important as diet, but not when you fully appreciate the benefits they can bring, such as:

Endurance: As a study reported by CNN suggests, it doesn’t matter how much you lift or for how long, it’s all about getting to the point of fatigue, when you can continue no longer. However, if you are able to delay that fatigue, then you can get a lot more out of your workouts. For example, if previously you could only lift 8 reps of a certain weight and thanks to supplementation you can now lift 12, those 4 extra reps are going to go a long way towards increasing your muscle size.

Strength: Certain ingredients such as AAKG increase blood flow to the muscles during exercise. This in turn means that muscles have access to more glucose, which they can use for energy. Simply put, the more energy you have, the more you can lift and the more your muscles will grow. Of course, everyone has a unique physical makeup, which means the amount of improvement they see is going to be unique to them.

Mental boost: As well as strong muscles to carry out an intense workout, you need your mind to be properly stimulated. If you aren’t properly motivated you’re not going to be able to push yourself. As soon as you make it to the point where reps become “painful”, quitting can be easy and you’ll convince yourself to call it a day. This is a dangerous way of thinking, but one that can be avoided with proper mental stimulation from supplements.

Workout Supplements And Food Selection Similarities

When looking for some new foods to implement into your diet, you probably read up on the carb, protein, fat and nutrient content. Then you look at what quantity you should eat the food in to get the amount of nutrition desired, as well as the price per serving. Surprisingly, the process for selecting a workout supplement is remarkably similar.

First of all you look at the ingredient list to ensure the contents are safe to consume and do what they promise. There is nothing worse than buying a workout supplement that simply doesn’t provide the performance boost you are expecting. If the ingredients pass the test you look at the price to make sure you can afford it.

There is one main difference between buying food and workout supplements, and that’s the attention to detail you give the latter regarding safety. This is because foods are regulated under strict guidelines, whereas workout supplements are not. You therefore need to do your research, finding supplements that won’t cause any side effects and won’t trigger any intolerances or allergies.

Plugging The Gaps With Supplements

The great thing about workout supplements is that they can fill holes in your diet, including the lack of protein. While it is important to eat a variety of protein sources such as fish, eggs, chicken and beans, you might struggle to consume enough for optimal muscle growth. This is where protein supplements come in, including whey concentrate and whey isolate, among others.

Another purpose of food is to provide you with the energy needed to complete your workouts, but if you’re even slightly deficient in certain nutrients then you may be sluggish. This is where pre-workout supplements come in, giving you a stimulant boost. Caffeine is the main ingredient in many such supplements, and as Men’s Fitness explains, coffee can also be used to give you a boost.

Equal Importance

Whilst choosing the right workout supplement is very important, it’s not more important than a proper diet. There is no supplement out there that can replace the benefits that a good diet can provide. Workout supplements are there to supplement your diet, not replace it.

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