There is no doubt that the health and fitness industry can be confusing these days, especially if you are someone who is looking to make a life change with exercise and nutrition or if you are just looking to take your current regimen to the next level. Every day, more and more people are being introduced to supplements whether it is through a friend, another member at the gym, or the biggest one, social media. All of those can lead to the question “Which should I take?”
While choosing which supplements are best for you can be tough, it can also be easy as well. Whenever you are looking to purchase supplements, here are a few things that need to be considered so that you can get the best outcome:
- Fitness goals
- Risk vs. Reward
- Knowledge and labels
This one is huge. You often see others in the gym that are training and taking supplements complete opposite of what their goals are. For example, you may see guys who are overweight, say they are trying to lose 40lbs and build muscle, but training like a power lifter and taking high-calorie protein shakes because their local supplement store employee told them this would help them build muscle. Or perhaps you may see a 45-year-old with high blood pressure and diabetes who works out 3x a week and takes multiple stimulants every day because their coworker who works out told them this would give them energy. There are risks and rewards when it comes it comes to taking supplements, so knowing these are important.
Risk vs. Reward:
Knowing your current health status before beginning supplementation is highly recommended. With many adults on prescribed medications these days, knowing what can interfere with those medications is something a person and their physician should establish. For example, with high blood pressure being one of the highest diseases present, most of these medications advise to stay away from stimulants. “But I need to take this pre-workout to get me to the gym and through my workout!” Situations like this don’t necessarily mean you need to stay away from a pre-workout if it helps you, but perhaps switching to a non-stimulant based pre-workout such as BlackOps will not only still give you the energy you need to workout, but will also not have a negative effect on your blood pressure. We want to stick to making our bodies more healthy, not making anything worse.
The reward part of it is what we want! After all, we are spending hard earned money in combination with time spent at the gym. Make the best of it. Depending on your goal, the rewards you should be looking for are increased recovery time, increased energy levels throughout the day, better sleep, decreased cravings for junk food, seeing cosmetic changes week over week, and etc. So if you are the kind of person who isn’t seeing any kind of cosmetic change, any change in weight, you stay tired, you have trouble sleeping at night, you get low blood sugar during your workouts among many others, take a look at your diet and supplements. Chances are, changing what you are putting into your body can make a world of a difference.
Knowledge and Labels:
Knowing exactly what you put into your body and the exact amount is the most crucial thing to achieving your goals the quickest. The problem with the supplement industry is that many brands do not fully disclose what is actually in their products. Many companies (yes that includes some of the most popular brands) can hide ingredients in “proprietary blends.” Not only can ingredients be hidden, but you do not know how much of each ingredient you are actually consuming. That is like somebody asking you to eat something that you have never heard of before but yet they won’t tell you what is in it. Most people would refuse to eat it and then you have some people who will anyway. A lot of the times these products end up off the shelves anyway because they get caught with ingredients that are causing athletes to fail drug tests or are causing some harmful side effects. Then you are back to step 1, asking yourself which supplement to take. Adding products to your regimen such as those from Platinum Labs, you can see every ingredient fully disclosed on the label, how much of each ingredient of each per serving, as well as being able to easily choose which supplements are best for you with the already put together stacks based on the goals you have set for yourself.
I am 25 years old and have been a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach since I was 18. My goal is to become a IFBB physique pro one day and be able to inspire and teach as many people as possible on how to take control of their lives through a healthy way of living. When I am not at the gym, my favorite thing to do is travel, spend time with my dogs, and cook/try new foods.