Episode 139 – Do you really know how to use supplements?
Today’s #AskEvro show question of the day is: “Do you really know how to use supplements?”
Supplementation – beyond normal
Supplements are quite useful in supplementing your diet, particularly for athletes and people that are pushing themselves or trying to perform at the next level.
There are hundred of different supplements on the market today but they can basically be categorised into their functionality around training as below:
- Pre workout supplements
These are nutrition supplements you take before a workout or training session to help enhance the mental and physical components of your training by activating the muscular or nervous systems or even supplying nutrients in surplus so that exercise can be performed above “normal”. While traditionally it was creatine or caffeine, there are others such as nitrogen based supplements, or even raw amino acids such as L-Arginine, Beta alanine, theanine, taurine and many others that fall under the pre workout category.
- Intra workout supplements
Intra workout supplements are nutrients that act in a similar fashion to the pre workout supplements in that they supply nutrients in surplus so that exercise can continue to be performed at the same level for extended periods. While this historically started with water and electrolyte sports drinks it has now expanded into excess BCAA supply, high doses of Vitamin C and many others.
Read on below.
- Post workout supplements
Post workout supplements have been around the longest. One of the most popular is whey protein. Whey protein is basically a food or nutrition supplement that supplies the body with additional protein. While traditionally in liquid form, there is also high protein bars, pancake mix and many other forms now available.
- Recovery supplements
Recovery supplements enhance the recovery process – particularly sleep. Supplements such as melatonin and ZMA fit into this category. While there is mixed evidence on these supplements it really comes down to how you respond to them as an individual.
- Essential or additional nutrition supplement
Multi-vitamins, omega-3 oils such as fish and flaxseed oils as well as vitamin D supplements all fit into this category. These are supplements the body needs and will benefit from above and beyond the normal nutrition supply.
Food or Supplements?
It is best to optimize food and real nutrition first and then consider adding in supplements second. After all, your ancestors evolved on food for thousands of years.
Here’s some tips on how to optimise your nutrition:
1. Get your food balanced amongst key food groups such as fruits, vegetables and protein sources to make sure that this is optimized and installed properly in your daily healthy habits.
2 The next level is to look at adding in the essential or additional nutrition supplements into your diet such as multivitamins, omega-3s and vitamin D.
3. Then once the second level is consistent, let’s have a look at your pre workout, intra workout and post workout supplementation. What you start with will depend on your finances, goals and priorities.
Photo by Daily Nouri on Unsplash
Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.
Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.