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Sports supplements and the body

It’s hard not to admire the 6 pack of a model while flipping through a magazine and it’s even harder to ignore a sports supplement brand advertisement. After all, everybody wants a great looking body with minimum effort and if a certain sports supplement can give you that extra something, then why not? But here’s the thing. Sports supplements can help you go the extra mile when you’re working out and may even help you recover faster from muscle soreness and fatigue. However, they cannot magically transform your body from a lean figure to a Stallone like body within weeks or even months. Neither is a sports supplement a substitute for fitness training, your martial arts classes or any other workout regime.

Over the years, the very association of sports supplements with athletes often conjured up images of banned substances which gave an athlete some extra edge. Today, however, the focus is on basic nutrients which can help an athlete train harder. The sports supplements industry is a vast one and there are probably hundreds of brands available to suit both genders and different age-groups. Before you even consider taking a sports supplement, it’s important to follow a balanced diet, have a proper fitness training schedule and even more vital to understand what suits your body. Experts recommend choosing a supplement that has been proven to give results and which does not cause any major side-effects. The following are the most popular supplements today:-

1. Glutamine: It’s an amino acid that’s found in our body and plays a very important part in our immune system. It has been proven to reduce the risk of infections in athletes and aid faster recovery from intense workouts.

2. Creatine: Creatine entered the industry in the early 1990’s and is probably the only supplement that’s backed by intensive scientific research. It’s been proven to enhance strength, affect aerobic performance and play a direct role in the way energy is utilised by the body.

3. Protein supplements: They may help to enhance overall performance. However, since protein is available in so many food groups, experts recommend consuming lean sources of protein, low fat/sugar protein bars and powders.

4. Hydration Drinks: There are plenty of options available in the market, but most of them have very high sugar content. However, sports drinks also contain a blend of carbohydrates, glucose and electrolytes that can help sustain energy levels.

Remember that the best way to get the most out of your sports supplement is by talking to your doctor about which one suits your body type and workout regime the best. And it never hurts to read up about sports supplements and review other people’s feedback about them as well.  Keep things in perspective too, if you’re not doing the intensity and volume of training an elite athlete does, you probably don’t need the supplements they need.  A good quality multivitamin and healthy diet should be enough for most people, even those who exercise regularly.

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