Supplementing alongside a regular healthy diet is a popular choice amongst most fitness enthusiasts.
Any individual who trains a lot generally has an understanding of the need to put the right quantities and the right types of food in to repair the body, therefore it’s not always possible to pack in the amount of calories required from food alone, this could be because of a busy day at work, lack of time etc so this is where the supplements will come in, there are lots of supplements for many different purposes though.
I have used many different supplements for varying purposes, however more recently not specifically for training alone.
I suffered a pretty bad jaw injury during a basketball game, I broke it in 3 places which caused me to have my jaw wired shut for 2 months, now even though I was unable to go to the gym or train at all my body still needed the massive amount of calories to repair itself. (this can be anything up to 6,000 calories per day depending on how bad a break is)
Initially I began to lose mass very rapidly from being on a liquid diet, however I managed to curb it after a while. I started to add protein powders back into my diet, as well as mass gainers, which ensured my protein/carb intake stayed high, I often mixed these in with full-fat milk too. So I ended up relying on supplements not just from a training perspective but as a way of generally preventing myself from wasting away and helping to keep my calorific intake up also aiding the healing of broken bones.
There are many supplements on the market though, generally the choices you make when purchasing them should be to suit your exact purpose – for example you wouldn’t be buying a mass gainer if your goal was to lose weight, you’d choose a lean diet whey type supplement or equivalent. Another example would be straight after a workout, anything mixed with water is the fastest way of making sure the vital nutrients travel into your system quickly to replace your immediate energy stores – hence post workout supplements that can be mixed with water and taken immediately or generally within 30 minutes prior to completion of your workout.
So there is an element of “picking the right tool for the job” when choosing the supplements for your specific goal.
My overall advice would be to look at your goals, choose the best supplements for you, your training requirements, or lifestyle and factor them in with a healthy balanced diet.
Choosing the right supplement with PT Ian Hugo