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A Beginners Guide to Supplements

Today’s world is fast paced, stressful, and full of obstacles to better health and well being, and many people struggle with obesity and stress induced health issues. Fear not! Through better diet, exercise and supplementation healthy goals can be achievable for everyday people, and it may be easier than you think.

There are so many choices for nutritional supplementation today that it can be easy to get overwhelmed and make some poor decisions, so let simplify things and identify some popular supplement categories:

  1. Multi-vitamin: a general catch-all vitamin and mineral support. These come in tablets or capsules and are typically taken one or more times per day. They attempt to fortify inadequate nutrition by supplying additional amounts of vitamins and minerals for the body to use to remain healthy. Always a good idea, regardless of your situation.
  2. Protein powders: used to bolster protein intake, which is typically sub optimal for recovery. The body uses protein to rebuild muscles when they are damaged from exercise, if protein is lacking then it can take many days longer to heal, leaving you feeling sore and frustrated. Upping your protein intake be 50 to 100gms per day is simple using protein powder to make daily shakes, and can dramatically improve muscle tone and recovery speed, as well as increase fat metabolism.
  3. Weight gainers: this category is comprised of powders that contain a high caloric content. These powders are mostly sugar in different forms, along with some protein. Ment to be taken in between meals to add extra calories, these shake are usually so calorically dense they leave the user feeling “full” for hours and missing real meals. These products can be generally disregarded as unuseful.
  4. Pre workout supplements: these supplements are usually powdered concentrates taken an hour or so before training, and are meant to stimulate a longer and more effective workout. These powders contain high doses of stimulants along with sugar, and are very effective for training, however, users report some jitteryness, loss of appetite and sleeplessness as side effects. While these products are effective, make sure to weight the benefits before use.
  5. Post workout supplements: these are usually powders that contain some amount of fast assimilating protein with a form of carbohydrate in ratio that the manufacturer feels is “optimal” for recovery. The reason this market exists is to take advantage of a small window of opportunity after a workout when the body needs to be refueled quickly for better recovery-- Yes, you could just eat a meal, but that isn’t very scientific.
  6. Natural Hormonal Support: this group of supplements is intended to help manipulate the body's own hormone production to aid in a variety of ways. Testosterone boosters, Estrogen blockers, and cortisol blockers fall into this category. Men who would like to bolster libido, strength and stamina are likely users of natural testosterone boosters. Fat loss, stamina increases and mood improvement are results achieved be men and women using cortisol blockers. Natural hormonal support products are becoming increasing popular for those who want to achieve maximal results from there fitness and nutritional goals.
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