If you’re thinking about starting a new workout plan, or if you already have a plan and want to enhance it, you’ve likely thought about supplements and how they might be able to help you. There are hundreds of types of supplements in the UK, each one designed to assist with reaching specific fitness goals, but there’s a lot of trepidation and uncertainty around taking supplements as a whole.
To help you better understand what supplements are and how they can help you on your fitness journey, we’ve put together this ultimate guide to supplements. As a leading supplement supplier in the UK, we are experts on the topic and are best placed to give you all the information you need to be more educated and make a better buying decision.
What are supplements?
Supplements are designed to complement, enhance, or complete a part of your diet. In terms of sports supplements, they are manufactured to enhance and/or complement your workout, with the aim being to assist you in reaching your goals.
Typically, supplements go hand-in-hand with your diet, ensuring you’re able to cover all bases and give your body everything it needs to complete a workout and/or recover from it. They’re commonly used by athletes and those who frequently workout, but anyone can use them, regardless of fitness levels.
Do supplements work?
One of the biggest questions people ask about supplements is whether they actually work. In short, some do and some don’t. There are lots of great brands out there who make supplements that do exactly what they say on the box, but at the same time, there are an equal amount of smoke and mirrors products that do nothing to enhance or complement your diet or workout.
Here at The Supps House, we only supply supplements from leading brands that we know work. Some of our most popular brands include Alpha Lion, Axe and Sledge, Glaxon Labs, and InnovaPharm supplements. These brands all use premium ingredients that have been clinically proven to work, meaning they are tried and tested.
If you are planning on using supplements, make sure you do your research into brands and ingredients, and try and stick to popular, established companies as these stand a far higher chance of working. Plus, you know exactly what you’re taking, making them a safer option, too.
The different types of supplements
The thing that confuses people the most about supplements is how many different types there are. There are hundreds of brands and umpteen more types, each one claiming to do a different thing than the last. Whilst there are seemingly endless possibilities, most supplements can be broken down into the following general categories:
- Muscle building
- Gut/immune health
The type you take will depend on your goals and your diet.
As the name suggests, pre-workout is taken before you go to the gym or complete a workout. There two different types: high stim and non-stim. This refers to the ingredients within the supplement, with non-stim containing no stimulants. It depends on personal preference which one you take, but high-stim is generally the most widely used.
The point of a pre-workout supplement is to give you an energy boost and enhance your motivation and focus, resulting in a more refined and comprehensive workout thanks to an energy boost. Most pre-workouts contain a mixture of ingredients that all do different things, with some increasing energy levels, some opening up blood levels and improving circulation, and others increasing your muscle mass and allowing you to build strength easier.
You should look to take a pre-workout supplement around 30 minutes before you hit the gym to allow your body enough time to digest and absorb the ingredients, though everyone is different. You should always mix pre-workout with water. Some new trends are arising where people are taking it as a straight powder, but this is incredibly dangerous. If you do this, your body will process the ingredients all at once, and in the case of high-stim pre-workouts, this can have an adverse effect on your heart. Always dissolve it in water.
Another tip is to always check the amount of each ingredient – you want to make sure there’s enough to actually make a difference.
Post-workout is taken after you’ve finished working out. It’s designed to facilitate muscle growth and aid recovery – both of which are vital if you’re looking to get the most out of your workout. When you exercise, specifically weight training, you create tears in your muscle fibres. When the muscles repair, you should feel stronger and your muscles should appear bigger, aka gains. The trouble is, this can be a very sore process, and a lot of potential gains are lost due to poor recovery care, so you go through the pain for minimal gain.
Post-workout supplements work by repairing muscle fibres faster which, in turn, supports muscle growth. There are several types of pre-workout supplements that contain different ingredients depending on your preferences, with common ones including why protein and creatine.
Post-workout supplements should be taken less than an hour after you finish your workout in order to give your muscles everything they need to start recovering in a timely fashion.
In addition to pre and post-workout supplements, you can also take ones that aim to boost your immune system, improve your gut health, specifically aid muscle growth, and cover potential nutritional gaps. It’s important to note that supplements aren’t a replacement for a healthy diet – as the name suggests, they’re designed to supplement one. With this in mind, make sure you’re eating properly and not relying on supplements entirely, regardless of the type.
What supplements do I need?
The supplements that you need to take will very much depend on the results you’re looking to achieve. For example, if you want to increase your focus and motivation, look at pre-workout supplements. On the other hand, if you want to gain muscle, look at supplements specifically geared towards muscle growth.
If you’re confused about the best supplements for you, please contact us at email@example.com and our expert team will be more than happy to help.