The workout supplement industry can be a minefield for the new and uninitiated. Low quality ingredients used by rogue producers have given the industry overall a bad name.
Product recalls, adverse reactions, the use of fillers and binders. In some there may be artificial colours and flavouring, the compounds of which may be linked to immune system problems, inflammation and kidney and liver toxicity.
Combine this with the outrageous claims that excessive advertising can make, such as ‘Get Pumped!’, Gain Massive Muscle!’, and ‘Increase Strength!’, you can be inadvertently led down a path along which you are misled and oversold with poor products that do more harm than good.
Yet the right workout supplements can be of massive benefit if used in the correct way. They can provide the right foundation for accelerated results, replace essential nutrients lost through exercise, and increase fat burning properties through increasing metabolism safely and naturally.
If you are serious about supplementing your workouts, then do you own research. Things to look out for include:
- Always check the label and ingredients list. The smaller the number of ingredients, the better the product is.
- Avoid anything that contains the words ‘propyl’ or ‘ethyl’. These are artificial compounds that are often used as a stabilising agent, flavour enhancer, or to give products longer shelf lives. Instead look for products that are organic or vegan.
- If you don’t recognise the ingredients, then do your research. Don’t feel shy about calling up the manufacturer or supplier. Any supplier worth their salt will take the time out to talk you through the ingredients and put your mind at rest.
- Cheap is rarely better – especially online. The cheaper the supplement, the greater the probability of it containing fillers which compromise the overall efficacity of the product.
Once you have navigated your way through the potential pitfalls, the next journey is to sift through the myriad of brands, and the overwhelming array of different products.
Resources & recommendations
Take advise from trusted friends and workout buddies who have already gone through this process. They will tell you the brands to definitely avoid, but they will also highlight the premium brands which you should be looking at, such as Axe & Sledge, Applied Nutrition and Mutant. Another good resource when comparing brands is Amazon – check out the verified product reviews on those brands that you have narrowed down.
Once you have selected that brand you are happy with, you can now work through which of the different types of supplement would suit you best. We’ve given a brief run down of the different types, and what they mean.
A Pre-workout is designed to improve your training and recovery. A good workout will help you get greater mental clarity to really focus on your workout, as well as give you a longer lasting energy boost. Pre-workouts are usually available in high stim and non stim varieties, referring to the levels of caffeine. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine as a stimulant so a non stim pre-workout would suit them better.
A fat burning supplement will give an additional boost to your metabolism when you have hit a weight loss plateau. This plateau can be incredibly frustrating, and can risk putting you off your game psychologically. The right fat burning supplement will help you get over the hump and back on top of your game.
Be very careful which meal replacement system you invest in. Cheap brands use cheap ingredients with no nutritional value, such as dextrose and soy protein. Premium brands will have calculated the right balance of nutrients to both keep your energy levels up, and your body nutritiously fed.
Working out can really take its toll on your body, especially your joints. A premium joint supplement will ensure your joint remain in good condition by reducing inflammation and pain at the same time as increasing bone density.
Good luck in your research. With the information we have supplied above, you are well on track to finding a supplement brand that is really going to work for you.