Tag: Supplement Industry

One of the popular questions I get asked alot is what supplements should people take? Supplements aren’t needed but some are definitely helpful. For the purpose of this article I will focus on the benefits of why you should be taking creatine to assist you in your fitness journey. Several people shy away from creatine due to the fear of water retention. If you ever had several alcoholic drinks, high sodium meals or just didn’t consume enough water, the day after you will notice a weight increase and more of a fluffer look to your physique. That’s your body retaining water in the skin. Creatine on the other hand causing you to hold water in the muscles which in my opinion makes it a very useful supplement.

If you’re a powerlifter, bodybuilder, crossfitters or just someone who wants to put on some muscle size, creatine can benefit you. Creatine may also help those who perform high intensity sprints or endurance training. So how does creatine actually work? Creatine increases your muscles phosphocreatine stores which help create additional ATP energy. During high intensity exercise such as resistance training, ATP fuels your muscles during your workout. ATP energy is burned faster than the human body can reproduce it so supplementing with creatine allow you to produce more ATP which will improve performance during your high intensity training sessions. If you’re currently not supplementing with creatine you probably notice days in the gym where you hit a certain amount of weight for a certain amount of reps successfully. But on the last set with same weight, you’re unable to execute. This is due to not being able to reproduce ATP fast enough at that present time. Since supplementing with creatine, I’ve noticed an increase in energy. Prior to using creatine I found it difficult to successfully complete 4 sets of 3 reps on my heavy squat days being that my body wasn’t producing more ATP. This is the key benefit of creatine supplementation!

Now you know the most important benefit of creatine so which one do you purchase? With the supplement industry constantly growing, several different forms of creatine have been developed. Creatine monohydrate is the one I’d recommend for two reasons. One is the cheapest form of creatine and two other forms are still relatively new which haven’t been tested to see if they actually work how supplement companies claim they do. Creatine monohydrate is the most common you will find and is the form that most scientific studies have used to conduct their research on the effectiveness of the supplement. So instead of possibly paying an overpriced charge for creatine, stick to the one that has been proven to work for years. Just to give you an idea of how cheap creatine is, a 200 serving container of creatine on Vitacost.com will cost $17.32 not including shipping. That should last you about a half of year if you’re only taking the daily recommended amount of 5 grams.

Out all the supplements that exist today, creatine monohydrate is one of the few that is actually backed up by science. I personally used creatine whether I’m bulking, dieting or just maintaining simply because of the improved performance during my workouts. So to address the title of this article “no creatine DOES NOT make you fat”. Instead it provides your muscles with additional energy than what your body can naturally produce to push past intense training sessions. If increased strength, muscle or endurance is one of your goals, creatine is the one supplement that can benefit you!

The supplement industry has grown dramatically over years due to the increase in the fitness community. Anyone with money to spend can create a supplement company in the matter of weeks. Dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA like pharmaceutical drugs before they reach the market, therefore potentially putting the customers at risk of consuming “unapproved drugs”. These drugs have potential of causing serious health issues. Supplement companies have customers from all fitness levels to market their products. From bodybuilders to cross fitters to the average person in the gym, products are constantly being advertised across all social media platforms and fitness expos. I’m not here to bad mouth any supplement companies because I truly believe in some products that truly work. But just because they work, doesn’t mean you necessarily need them.

 

There’s a place and time where I believe supplements are beneficial. Supplements shouldn’t replace real food. Supplements are meant to fill in certain gaps in your nutrition. As an online trainer/coach I provide my clients with specific macro nutrients that I want them to reach every day. Depending on the individual, protein may be a bit higher than what they were previously accustomed to. If consuming the desire protein intake becomes difficult to reach, adding a protein supplement can help them reach your daily protein intake without having to consume another meal. Some individuals like myself can force an additional meal easily, but for someone who can’t, adding a protein supplement can definitely assist with that gap.

 

Supplement companies are in the money business meaning that the lower the cost to create these products, the more profit they will earn. It’s a business and every business has a goal to turn the biggest profit. Some companies have sold the public dreams on what there products can really accomplish. I remember reading a pre-workout label that guaranteed 8lbs of muscle in just 8 weeks! Now let’s be realistic, not even illegal substances can guarantee that. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is. But there are a few approaches you can take so that you aren’t being taken advantage of by these companies:

 

  1. Buy from trusted companies! New companies may be out to make a quick dollar off of you but a company that has been established for quite some time will have a lot more to lose by trying to deceive their customers. Simply do your research and read/watch reviews on these products.
  2. Read the nutritional labels! Beware of proprietary blends where companies don’t disclose specific amount for each ingredient. Instead they provide a total of the variety of ingredients. This is extremely common in pre-workouts. Pre-workout ingredients need a specific amount that make them effective. If a proprietary blend in is a product, you don’t actually know if the effective dosages are included for each ingredient.
  3. Don’t just follow your favorite bodybuilder or fitness icon! These individuals make money based on the amount of people who use their discount code. Only support if they are in fact promoting a solid product.
  4. Don’t shop at a local store! You’ve never taking supplements before so take some time research why you need them, the effects and the benefits. The internet is a great way to educate yourself on practically anything. Certain representatives at local a GNC or vitamin shop don’t educate themselves or personally use all the products in the store therefore mislead you to buying something you don’t actually need or even want.