Supplements and Sports: Do You Really Need to Take Those Pills?

The list of vitamins and supplements available on the market today is lengthy and filled with letters, numbers, and symbols. They are all primarily intense nutrients many of us take as dietary aids and the amounts usually outweigh anything we can find in foods. People of all ages, genders, and ethnicities partake in efforts to improve or maintain health, diets, and athletic performance. In many cases, your medical professional may suggest adding supplements to your daily intake to help with an assortment of weaknesses or ailments. If you are healthy and eat a well-balanced diet of whole grains, veggies, fruits, lean meats or fish and low-fat dairy products, you likely don’t need any supplements.


Athletic Supplements

If you are a regular gym rat or you’re starting a new workout routine, you need to know that supplements aren’t intended to jump-start your progress, which requires arduous work. Supplements are designed to enhance. Most professionals suggest at least one year of continuous strength training before thinking about adding any supplement. No supplement is going to be a fast fix; you are better off putting in the work and eating a healthy diet, and that does not mean eating just enough to stay alive. Well-balanced is the key to your diet and meals.

  • Fish Oil can help with both heart and joint health thanks to its Omega-3 fatty acids. Foods with good Omega-3’s:
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed and hemp seeds
  • Cold water fish, salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel
  • Canola oils and unprocessed soy
  • If you get good exposure to the sun and its warmth, you probably don’t need a Vitamin D supplement; however, if you live in a colder climate this supplement can help with osteoporosis, joint health, chronic fatigue, weight gain, and even the winter blues. Foods rich in Vitamin D are:
  • Salmon
  • Canned tuna
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Egg Yolks
  • Mushrooms
  • Protein is essential to muscle building, and eating it after a workout helps your muscles heal and get stronger. Your best sources of protein include whole eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, beef from grass-fed cattle, and yogurt. Only if necessary, a protein powder can act as a fill in.

Beginner Workouts

Different trainers may suggest several types of exercises to begin a workout routine for someone who is just starting. The following are the best suggestions we found from our research. The bottom line is that you want to perform strength builders that covers your full range of motions. Always be sure to use proper techniques!

  • Squats, lunges, chin-ups, deadlifts, and pushups are great compound movements.
  • If you work your full body, three days per week is adequate.
  • If you’d rather focus on upper body one day and lower body the next, try working out on alternating four days per week.
  • As you are able, increase either your reps, sets or weights.

If you find that your exercises continue to be too challenging, a general guide is either five or one chin up(s) for boys and girls respectively. If you can’t do that, keep working to build your strength and expect it to come in time. At some point, you need to ask yourself if your training program is right for you or if you aren’t taking in the right amount of nutrients.

We strongly encourage you to check in with your medical professional before adding any supplements to your day, because you can take too many.


Risks of Overdosing

Yes, you can overdose on your supplements, and if you do, there are undesirable side effects you may experience. Some examples include:

  • Selenium in excess can create hair loss, nerve damage, tiredness and an upset tummy.
  • Zinc or vitamin C overdosing can cause diarrhea stomach cramps or nausea.

Fortunately, if you’re taking a regular multi-vitamin daily, the risks are significantly reduced because most have a wide safety margin that offers protection.

What supplements are you taking and why? What results have you seen because of taking a supplement? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Supplements and Sports: Do You Really Need to Take Those Pills?

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