Are supplements necessary to achieve fitness goals?
We previously spoke about how important protein is, irrespective of consumption in a snack or meal form. Some of us have a very athletic lifestyle which means that we require more protein than the average, sedentary person. However, eating protein naturally to hit the 1g per protein for every pound of our bodyweight, is a difficult task to achieve via natural food. So this leads us to a big question.
Are supplements useful?
The short answer is, it depends on your goals. The long answer? There are various supplements in the market. Out of these, Creatine monohydrate and Whey protein are the two most studied and commonly used supplements.
Whey Protein - The right way to go?
Whey protein is considered synonymous with bodybuilders and strength athletes. However, it is not just exclusive to people who are frequent gym-goers but also for the normal person. Whey protein aims in merging the gap between protein intake and natural food by providing you with an easy solution. Whey protein is quickly absorbed into the body and can aid in faster muscle repair, growth and satiety for your weight loss goals. Let’s look at the two most common types of whey protein.
You may be confused as whey protein is commonly advertised in a shiny box or tub. But yes, there are two major types of whey protein that make a big difference. Whey concentrate is lactose friendly. The powder is mixed in milk and consumed. It has all the necessary amino acids and 80% of protein per serving as mentioned by a company.
Whey isolate is for the people who have lactose intolerance. Lactose is commonly found in milk, and thus people who wish to avoid lactose but still fulfill their protein intake everyday. Isolate has 90% of protein per serving, along with all the amino acids and also filters out fats and sugar. However, this may come at a slightly higher price point.
So now you know the difference between both the types of protein. Concentrate is your friend if milk consumption is not an issue, however, isolate is a better alternative for those who want more refined proteins at a slightly higher price tag. Now let’s see how much protein you need?
The general rule of protein depends on your activity level. If you are sedentary, then having one gram of protein for every kilogram you weigh, is the right amount. So if you weigh 65kg, then you need 65g. However, this changes for athletes and highly active people, who might need 1.5g to 2g of protein for every kilogram of their body weight. Remember that protein is not just for building muscle but it is an essential part of a balanced diet and can help with all fitness goals.
Now that you know whey protein, let’s move on to one of the most studied supplements on the planet.
Creatine Monohydrate is one of the safest supplements on the market due to being widely studied. It can help you increase exercise performance, boost energy and increase muscle mass. It is one of the cheapest supplements available on the market that is safe, and creatine monohydrate usage has been studied extensively and has shown that there are no side effects or health detriments. It can help in short term and long term muscle growth. Creatine retains water within the muscles, which gives them a toned and bigger look and can help in weight loss goals, provided your diet and training program is in check.
Supplements can definitely make a part of your daily use, provided you do not replace your meals with them. They ‘supplement’ your meal and in no way should you trust a product if it is being marketed as a meal replacement. Real food is always absorbed best by the body and has zero side effects. So you can choose to take supplements, but make sure your lifestyle is healthy and consult a nutritionist or dietitian before you start taking supplements.
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