If you are a regular in the local health food store, searching the aisles for your favourite supplements, you are not alone. In fact, approximately 40% of North Americans use some form of vitamin/mineral or herbal supplement. This is not surprising considering the rise in the number of baby boomers, the use of natural, legal aids by athletes and increased science backing up their efficacy.
A 2012 survey of 10,000 supplement users, performed by consumer labs, reported that the 5 most popular supplements in use, at that time, were a fish oil, multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and Co Q10. This is excellent to hear, since all of these supplements have been thoroughly researched and are known to exhibit a number of benefits, which means that people are shopping smart! Quality aside, this is an important step in improving health and preventing disease.
Then there are those who want to take their supplementation to the next level Okinawa Flat belly drink . They love buying and using supplements and want to reap the benefits, but because of the price tag some of these supplements can carry, they don’t want to break the bank. This article is for those individuals. I will go through a list of 3 supplements I believe to have excellent bang for their buck, outside of the most popular supplements I already mentioned, based on two markers of comparison: Price point and its ability to perform a number of functions in the body, decreasing your need for specific supplements that would address only one issue. Keep in mind that these are not the only supplements that fit this category, but in my experience, they fit the needs of most individuals who are trying to improve their overall health
Health and fitness supplements are becoming more and popular every year, and I don’t see that trend slowing down anytime soon. It seems like each day there is a new supplement that promises you results like you’ve never seen. It is such a fast growing industry that it’s hard for anyone, including the so-called “experts”, to keep up with them all. To be clear, I am a fan of supplements, and would even go as far as to say that many of them are necessary depending on what goals you are trying to achieve. The problem with supplements comes into play when people rely too heavily on them. Here is the definition of the word “supplement”:
The keywords there are “added to”. If you want to see any type of results, supplements should be used as an add-on to your already consistent workout routine and healthy eating; they are not meant to replace them. If you take energy supplements for example, but don’t workout, they are useless. If you are taking Creatine, but aren’t doing any resistance training, it is useless. Supplements are exactly what the name implies; it supplements what you are already doing.
With that being said, certain supplements can be very beneficial if used correctly. There are far too many types of supplements out there to go over all of them, so I will break down a few of the more popular ones, and all of these I use or have used in the past. That way I can personally speak to the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of each of them.
We’ll start with the most common, and most effective, supplement. Protein is the building block of muscle tissue. It is also responsible for synthesizing structural and growth hormones. In short, if your goal is to increase muscle size or strength in any way, that cannot be done without adequate protein consumption. Although adequate protein intake can be can be obtained through your normal diet for some people, most find it difficult to obtain those levels without some type of protein powder taken once or more a day.
I will try to keep the technical part of this short, but it is necessary to have a quick overview of what protein is for any of this to make sense. Protein is made up of 22 amino acids. Of the 22 amino acids, 9 are considered “essential” because they cannot be produced by the human body. The ones that can be produced are called “non-essential”. Each type of protein is given a certain value on a Biological Scale depending on a number of things, with one of those being how many of the non-essential amino acids it contains. Egg white protein used to set the bar with a biological value of 100. But recently (within the past 20 years or so), the effectiveness of Whey Protein was discovered, which actually has a biological value of 104+. Whey Protein is absorbed much more quickly, and puts your body into more of an anabolic state than egg white protein. It also contains all 9 of the essential amino acids. So in short, supplementing with Whey Protein would be very beneficial for anyone looking to increase muscle size and strength, or even for those looking to tone-up.
All that to say, Whey Protein usually comes in the form of a powder that you can get from almost any grocery store, and is very cheap compared to many of the supplements out there. One more side benefit of protein is that the body has to work harder to burn it off, so it actually gives your metabolism a boost. Even if you aren’t heavy into working out, taking a scoop of Whey Protein in the morning with breakfast would benefit almost anyone.