Supplements—Do You Need Them?
Welcome to Lesson #7. Today, we’re talking about supplements. In particular, we will look at two of the most commonly recommended supplements when it comes to building muscle and whether they are mandatory preconditions for your success.
There is a whole industry built on supplements, bent on convincing you that you need to buy everything they sell in order to make progress. But what’s the truth?
Do you really need to take supplements, and what difference, if any, can they make?
Let’s take a look.
Protein powders are exactly what they sound like, protein that’s been broken down into a powder. The most common type is whey protein, but you can also get protein powder made from hemp, egg, and few other substances.
For many people, protein shakes are a lifesaver and can be made with water or milk for convenience. They offer a quick and efficient way of ingesting protein without having to buy or cook food. If you’re routinely pressed for time or struggle to get enough protein, then it may be worth investing in protein powder.
That being said, I always take the line that if you can eat proper food, you should always opt to do this. Personally, I steer clear of protein shakes; they upset my stomach and often leave me feeling hungry and unsatisfied. I feel happier and have seen better results since cutting them out entirely.
Creatine is product naturally produced by the body that plays an important role in the production of energy in short bouts of high-intensity exercise, i.e. lifting weights. It is produced by the body at a rate of about 1-2g a day and can also be found in small amounts in red meat. Supplementing with creatine can help improve power output by increase creatine stores in the body.
However, research shows that it works to varying degrees for different people, so while some people may benefit greatly, others may not notice much of a difference. It’s been shown to be completely safe in a wide range of scientific studies and may be taken in doses of 5g a day for as long as wanted or needed.
In general, supplements fall into the take-it-or-leave-it category; there are a few benefits to using protein powders and creatine, but like most things, they do not surpass the importance of proper nutrition and training when it comes to building muscle. You can 100% get the results you want without taking ANY supplements. The reality is, supplements are exactly that, a supplement to your training routine and nutrition plan; they can be helpful and beneficial in certain instances but are not a must-have.
Tomorrow, we look at reasons why you’re not gaining weight or muscle and what to do about it.
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