By: Tim Rigby (Courtesy of Inside Fitness)
Sports nutritional supplements specifically can be a valuable adjunct to your training, nutrition plan and overall health. In this feature, we're pleased to present our annual look at supplements – what they are and how they work – including a selection of some of the hottest and most effective supps on the market today. This guide will be divided into five sections (Protein Powders, Pre-Workout Products, Muscle Builders, Fat Loss Support Supplements and Greens Products), providing you with a framework that's easy to navigate through. All you need to do is determine your fitness goals, take a look at all the magnificent brands on the market today, and find the ones that are right for you.
FAT LOSS SUPPORT
Supplements in this category are designed to support the fat loss process by way of helping rev up your metabolism in order to support the release of lipids from your fat cells, a process known as thermogenesis. At one time, the overwhelming preponderance of fat loss support supplements on the market contained stimulant-based ingredients like caffeine
exclusively. While many still do and you'll find them included herein, thanks to scientific developments in more recent years, you can also find a whole segment of fat loss support products that have non-stimulant properties, very similar in scope to pre-workout products. Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Taurine, Olive Leaf, Theanine and conjugated Linoleic acid (CLA) are ingredients commonly found in some of the non-stimulant fat loss support products on the market.
It's no secret that green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, so much so that the term "super food" is almost always used in reference to them. Much as we discussed the use of protein powders (and convenience products for that matter) earlier as a means to help us meet our daily protein requirements, greens supplements are now also in play to help us meet our daily vegetable needs. These supplements are powder based which you mix with water (or your juice of choice) and often contain highly concentrated extracts of Spirulina, Wheat Grass, Chlorella and even concentrated forms of freeze-dried broccoli, spinach, kale and other greens. Many products in this category also come to the table equipped with additional fiber, essential fats, digestive enzymes, along with other fruit and vegetable extracts and concentrates. All things considered, greens supplements are now a very viable option that many athletes are choosing to cash in on for the express purpose of helping meet their daily vegetable requirements and supporting a more alkaline state, which is conducive to better overall health and improved performance.
A CLOSING WORD
Your time is valuable, so help maximize the effort you put into your training and eating plans with a structured supplementation program that consists of high quality, research supported products, the likes of which you will find in this feature. Remember though, supplements are just that, they "supplement" what you do with your training and diet. You have to put in the work; supplements work only if you do. Train hard, eat right, drink your requisite amount of water daily, get in to see the doctor regularly keeping him/her on board with what you're doing, and be sure to get plenty of shut eye. Take care of your end and the supps will take care of theirs. Just remember, this is important, always read and follow the instructions on the label prior to consuming any nutritional supplement.