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What’s The Best Workout Supplement – Should I Be Using It?

Do we need some supplement intakes to support our exercise routine at home?

Whether it is for pre or post-exercise, I think it depends on the intensity of your exercise, a current diet plan is effective or not, and your overall fitness goals.

Whatever it may be the reason, I will share with you what’s the best workout supplement, in case you want to know if these supplements will benefit your body or not.

supplements powder for workout

Do We Really Need Workout Supplements?

These supplements are often called progress enhancers, not progress starters!

This source is usually directly absorbed through the body system to produce energy and then at the same time to build the cells and tissues.

Even though you are having a good diet plan for your workout routine, your body may not be able to give you all the necessary food-sourced essential nutrients needed to protect you from any harmful diseases.

Thus, there may be a need to ingest these supplements to improve your strength, efficiency workout and to achieve your fitness goal quicker.

So, what are the recommended supplements then?

I will consider these fellas …

1. Beetroot Powder

I honestly loved beetroot, though not many people are aware of its health benefits.

My favorite way to consume is by eating eat it raw, peel off its skin, slice into few pieces and eat it like snacks. I also constantly reminding my mum ( she is a breast cancer survivor since 1996 ) to eat often as beetroot has anti-cancer compounds.

Talking about beetroot powdery form, how surprised to know it helps to improve your exercise performance, thanks to its great source of nitrates.

beetroot powder

Your body will convert nitrates into nitric oxide to carry lesser oxygen to the cells, where the muscles will produce more energy-efficient for exercise.

Take this beetroot powder before you begin your session, ideally 1 – 3 hours before. You can simply add the powder into your healthy smoothie or mix it with your oatmeal, pancakes, or yogurt.

Any side effects for this supplement intake?

Beetroot powder is a very safe substance to add to your diet plan that is complemented your exercise routine. There are no known interactions with other medications.

Recommended daily intake is 5g per day.

 

2. Protein Powder

There are many types of protein powder available in the market with their own claims.

But first, why do we need protein powder for home exercise, unless you are a bodybuilder, right?

Not only that, people consume it may be for weight loss, prevent muscle loss, or to gain lean muscle too.

Well, these substances do give some workout health benefits though. Protein helps to build and tone muscles, repair tissue, boost up metabolism, produce hormones and enzymes, and may even aid in weight loss.

a scoop with protein powder

These are few main types of protein and how it functions:

Soy Protein contains all the essential amino acids for fuel your body with energy and to repair your tissue muscles. Ideal for those on a vegan diet.

Whey Protein is the most common type of dairy protein powder as it absorbs very quickly by the body. Good for after exercise and to increase muscle mass and strength.

Egg Protein is good to help for your next performance to improve and repairing the muscles after an exercise. For example, egg white protein contains plenty of amino acids served for these purposes.

Pea Protein is another good source of protein for vegans. It is a high-quality easy to digest protein source made from yellow peas. Contain arginine, an amino acid compound to build muscles.

Hemp Protein is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Both fatty acids are essential for maintaining good cardiovascular health and repair muscles cells. This lean source of protein doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fats, a great substitute for many animal proteins.

Casein Protein is a slow-digesting protein and is good for muscle building like whey protein. About 80& of the total protein in cow’s milk is casein. It can also aid in weight loss as it promotes a longer feeling of fullness and delays hunger.

All these types of protein powder can be made into a healthy protein shake for your exercise routine. These shakes will help in promoting muscle gain and improve overall recovery exercise.

Any possible side effects?

Depending on the type of protein powders, they can actually harm your health if you take an excessive amount than the recommended intake. Some may cause severe dehydration, kidney failures, or even digestive problems.

Besides, some concentrated whey protein contains high calories and added sugars which may be the reasons for high blood sugar and weight gain.

It is also a difficult task to verify the protein powder content from its manufacturers’ claims as the US FDA did not strictly regulate these forms of dietary supplements.

Recommended daily intake is  25 – 50g ( 1 – 2 scoops ) per day, after exercise.

 

3. Vitamin D

It is called the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as our body is able to produce it when the sun hits our skin.

vitamin D supplement in capsule

This substance is essential for our gut to absorb calcium which is important for stronger and healthy bones, reducing inflammation, healthy cells grow and boosting the immune system.

A new study from the European Journals of Preventive Cardiology finds that Vitamin D plays a good role in boosting exercise capacity, heart health, and possibly lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Vitamin D can also be found naturally in egg yolks; fatty fishes like salmon, tuna, or mackerel; cheese; leafy greens such as spinach and kale.

How about the side effects?

Since Vitamin D is fat-soluble and if taken too high, it can be harmful if stored too much in the body. It may cause vomiting, nausea, dizziness, anorexia, or irregular heartbeat.

Recommended daily intake is 15 mcg ( micrograms ) per day

 

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4. Plant-based with Polyphenols

Polyphenol is a plant-based compound that is thought to boost healthy digestion, brain health, reduce blood sugar levels, lower the risk of heart diseases, and may even prevent blood clots

They are antioxidants that help to burn fat and lose weight if taking together with macronutrients such as protein and carbs.

Well-known natural sources are fruits like berries, apple apricot; green leaves such as broccoli, carrots, asparagus, spinach; nuts and seed; grains like oats and whole wheat; green tea; dark chocolate, olive oil or even wine.

blueberries fruits-based with polyphenols

What about its side effects?

This compound may not offer the same amount of benefits as the typical polyphenol-rich natural foods, which has a more additional dose of polyphenols.

It may only work best if interacting together with other natural nutrients found in food. Thus, more research is needed to determine if just only the polyphenol compound in supplements is as effective as those found in the foods.

Recommended daily intake is a minimum of 500 mg per day

5. Quercetin powder

This powerful and well-researched antioxidant pigment comes from a group of plant compounds called Flavonoids, widely presents in food such as fruits ( berries, apple, apricot ), vegetables ( spinach, broccoli ), grains ( oats, whole wheat ), red wine, onions ( highest level of quercetin ) and green or black tea.

broccoli rich in quercetin pigment

A study published by the NCBI ( America National Center for Biotech Institute ) shows quercetin intake may improve an individual exercise performance BUT may not reduce the percentage of fat in the body.

Research also discovered that consuming a diet high in quercetin is linked to a possible lower risk of heart diseases, certain types of cancers, reducing inflammation, and fighting harmful free radicals ( cigarette smoke, air pollution, radiation, greenhouse gases ).

Any side effects of taking a quercetin supplement?

Quercetin is generally a safe compound to consume.

Minor side effects if taken in a high dosage than recommended may be headaches, nausea or dizziness.

Recommended daily intake is 500 mg per day.

6. Branched Chain Amino Acids ( BCAAs )

Here is another type of essential amino acid, and do we really need this for home exercise or not?

I think probably yes if you need to rebuild and grow new muscles, or boost metabolism. Our body is not able to produce all the 20 essential amino acids, so we may need to find them from food sources.

dairy products

A high protein diet like the egg, dairy products, lean meat, soy products, legumes ( beans, peas, lentils ) has the high essential of 9 key nutrients of BCAAs, especially leucine, which is vital for preventing muscle tissue breakdown and protein synthesis.

Limited research had also suggested that BCAAs help reduce fatigue during exercise, improve mental focus when exercising, prevent further muscles damage and soreness, support the immunity system through converting them into glutamine

The side effects if taken as a supplement?

Scientists are still doubted whether this supplement can be another good source of amino acids over the BCAAs food-sourced.

This supplement is generally safe as long we do not take over the recommended stated daily dosage.

However, some researchers have linked high levels of BCAAs supplements to certain diseases such as heart disease, cancer, liver issues and diabetes.

Recommended daily intake is 200 mg ( 2 or more doses ) per kg of your body weight on, per day basis.


7. Arginine ( L – arginine )

Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid good for protein synthesis where the body can use this protein to build muscle and rebuild tissue and enhance your exercise performance.

A research study in England had found that supplements contain arginine substances could enhance the production of nitric oxide in the body to boost stamina for a high-intensity exercise.

soy beans

Most protein rich-food like fatty fish, red meat, eggs, soy products, dairy products or grains are all arginine-rich.

Any side effects of arginine supplements?

Arginine can be considered generally safe to consume in moderate doses, although it may cause some minor effects like nausea, headache, bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain or certain allergic.

Recommended daily intake is 3 – 5 g, 2 times a day, before and after exercise.

 

How And When Should You Take?

Decide and choose which type of supplements that best suit your fitness goals.

You also need to choose the correct time for the supplement intake so that you can reap the full benefits for your body.

Ask yourself,

Are you going to take it before an exercise? Taking a supplement like a protein shake, at least 30 minutes before you begin an exercise. This acts as an anabolic window’ to lower the risk of possible muscle damage.

couple working out at home

Right after an exercise? It is good to take up immediately after an exercise so that your muscles can absorb all the nutrients needed for recovery and growth.

Perhaps to take supplement first thing in the morning? This is a good way if you are doing an early morning home exercise, perhaps having blueberries pancakes or making a healthy smoothie?

Please also take note that there is NO exact standard dose of taking any of these supplements unless the manufacturers had recommended dosage on its instruction label.

Do take your initiative to seek advice from your dietician or doctor too.


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The Bottom Line On What’s The Best Workout Supplement

Any natural compounds found in fruits and vegetables are generally safe when consumed in a nutritious and balanced diet.

It is always a best practice to have a diet with a variety of supplements rather than just focus on that particular key nutrient to achieve your fitness goal.

Also, you will always get all the necessary nutrients from the real food on the table, and you may not need these supplements. Unless your body is showing some signs of deficiencies of any of these nutrients, then perhaps you may consider taking it.

Real food should always be your first priority in getting all the important nutrients for your exercise routine before getting into some supplements to fuel up your body for exercise.

Anyone who is experiencing serious side effects from these guys should stop taking it immediately and consult with your medical healthcare experts.

If you are a first-time user, always get reach from your health experts or nutritionist for guidelines and further instructions before jumping into it.

Always take any supplements workout with caution if you have a past medical history like heart problems, allergies, asthma or other medical conditions.

Again, the FDA does not always monitor the safety and effectiveness of all these supplements, so please choose the trusted brand wisely. ( P/S: I will come back on the trusted brands later in another blog )

Leave me a comment and I will be happy to interact back within 24 hours.

Have an awesome exercise at home.

 

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