Health, Not Highs
There is often some confusion about the difference between health, safe, legal supplements and performance-enhancing drugs like injectable HGH or testosterone creams. In short, both HGH and testosterone are produced in our bodies naturally and are responsible for masculine traits such as muscle gain. While these hormones are natural, when they are produced synthetically they can lead to many health issues and frequent users can develop an addiction.
In contrast, over-the-counter supplements contain amino acids, which are natural ingredients that can spur the body to produce more hormones itself. These supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are regulated as foods, not drugs. Amino acids are actually present in many of the things we already eat and drink, especially high protein meals, and these legal supplements help kick-start testosterone and HGH.
Different Kinds of Workout Supplements
There is no magic pill that will get you your dream body and muscle gain only comes from hard work, consistent workouts, eating clean, and getting plenty of sleep and water. That being said, supplements can do just that – “supplement” a healthy lifestyle to see more results. The following are some of the most common types of workout supplements:
Multivitamins – Multivitamins are great for filling in and nutrient deficiencies you may have after eating a healthy diet. They aren’t meant to provide all of your nutrients, but can help you bump up your overall health when combined with diet and exercise. Some multivitamins focus exclusively on workout gains.
Protein Powders – Protein powders help you get the recommended amount of protein a day and can be added to smoothies, shakes, or recipes. There are whey, pea, soy, and egg protein powders available.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) – BCAAs are made up of three amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They are found in natural proteins and if you eat a protein-rich diet, you likely get enough BCAAs, but BCAA supplements can help if you don’t.
These are just a few of the most popular supplements, but other workout supplements may include:
- Vitamin D
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Choosing a Workout Supplement
Now that we understand some of the basic workout supplements, let’s look at which ones are right for you. By answering the following questions, you can determine which workout supplement is best for your needs:
- Do you want to gain muscle mass?
- Do you want to lose weight?
- Do you want to decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass?
- Do you want to have more energy for your workouts?
- Do you want to train for an athletic event, like a marathon or powerlifting?
What to Look Out for in Workout Supplements
While the right supplements can enhance your gains, it’s important to look for warning signs of those that are either a scam or can actually cause damage.
Avoid any workout supplements that claim to be a quick-fix or magic solution. These types of supplements often have lofty claims and deliver little to no results. These are not a permanent solution to living a healthy life and may actually set you on the wrong track and detract from your growth and health.
Most experts also recommend staying away from detoxes that claim many benefits in a short amount of time. These scams usually make you lose weight in the short term by kickstarting your digestive system or helping you lose water weight. Sure, the number on the scale may go down, but the results won’t last and will have you spending lots of money for nothing. Even worse, detoxes to reduce the water in your body can mess up your electrolytes, metabolism, workouts, and more.
Understanding what workout supplements are and aren’t capable of will help you choose the right one for your body and avoid potential scams.