For some people trying to get into better shape, diet and exercise are just not enough. Sometimes, you need the help of supplements to get the results you want. Different people have different ends in mind when they use body shaping supplements. One of the more usual reasons for some is because they want to get that much-desired flat tummy or a six-pack. There are men who take them to bulk up. While for others, it may be more specific for them, such as when they use it for natural breast enhancement. And there are various kinds of supplements to match each fitness goal.
Why should you supplement?
It is important to first identify what results you want. Once you do, it will be easier to figure out what variety of body shaping supplements you should take. In recent years, the number of supplements you can buy over the counter has shot up. And they produce different effects on your body. This is why it’s important to know what you want so you don’t end up wasting your money, buying the wrong kind.
For example, if it’s weight loss you want, you’ll want to drink fat burners to boost your metabolism and increase fat loss. These can also help in muscle toning since they get rid of the extra body fat stored in your body. In addition, something to increase body temperature during your workouts, such as thermogenics, will help you reach your goals faster. On the other hand, those trying to bulk up might go for protein-rich supplements to gain muscle mass without having to eat more.
Supplements don’t just come in powder or pill form. Yes, these are the most popular. But it’s only because they’re the most convenient to take and store. They aren’t created equally as well. Some are made with all-natural organic ingredients. While the cheaper and lower quality variety are usually manufactured with artificial ingredients.
How often should you take supplements?
When you take your supplements also plays a significant role. There are supplements that, in order to maximize their benefits, you need to drink before working out or before eating your meals. Some you take at certain times of the day or simply add to your meals.
Pre-workout supplements prepare your body for the gym. They give you a boost of energy and increase your strength. With these, your stamina also increases, and you feel better as you work out. Usually, you’ll want to find caffeine, betaine, Agmatine sulfate or L-Citrulline in the ingredients. These will energize you and help your muscles perform.
Try to avoid supplements that contain high doses of testosterone. Testosterone isn’t bad per se. It is, in fact, good for you. And you might want to include them in your pre-workout intake. Studies have shown that testosterone provides women increased strength, stamina and vitality.
It’s just that an excessive dose might cause androgenic side effects. Also, avoid supplements that contain artificial additives. They do nothing for your workout and only add empty calories.
Meal and post-workout supplements
Creatine supplements and protein shakes are great for sustaining gains after your workout. These are the kinds of supplements you would normally associate with men but are also useful for women. It is best to take them with food, post-workout. This is because the nutrients in your meals increase your body’s reception of these supplements. And it doesn’t have to be immediately after your workout. A glass of protein shake, though would be nice after a couple of hours of sweating it out in the gym.
- Creatine enhances your performance by hydrating your muscles and giving them an extra source of energy. With the extra energy, you get to maximize your workouts more. You end up with leaner and better toned muscles.
- Meanwhile, protein shakes build muscle while also burn fat. This means that you may drink these even if you’re not exactly trying to bulk up. It is a common misconception that you should only drink protein shakes if your trying to get heavier. In fact, protein shakes are also normally recommended for people who wish to get leaner. When you drink protein shakes, it becomes easier for you to add lean muscles to your body. The high-protein intake with less calories also help you lose fat. Not all protein shakes are created equally, however. If you plan on buying any time soon, be sure to get only the high-quality protein powders. These are usually made with milk from grass-fed cattle. Avoid those loaded with artificial flavors and are made from milk and cheese byproducts. However, if your current diet already includes protein-rich foods, then drinking protein shakes may just be a redundancy for you.
- Multivitamins are another example of the most commonly used supplements. Their main purpose is simply to supply any vitamin and mineral deficiencies you might have. This can either be caused by genetic conditions or a poor diet.
These are just examples of the most popular body shaping supplements women use. You don’t have to limit yourself these kinds. As mentioned earlier, there are many supplements available in the market. They serve diverse needs, depending on your goal. Consult an expert to find out which kind is best for you.
With all these in mind, it is important to note that body shaping supplements should never be used to substitute exercise, proper diet, or both. As their name suggests, they’re simply meant to augment your routine. They’re meant to help you get better results faster. Most of these are even already found in the food you eat. Taking them on their own, however, will not give you desirable results. And you might end up just being disappointed.
Of course, it would still be best to see your doctor and if you have one, your nutritionist, before committing to anything. You might not know if that body shaping supplement you were planning on buying would counteract with anything you are already taking now.
As with everything you do, the key to achieving the best results is still committing to it and following through. Set up a routine and stick to it. Before long, you’ll be seeing the results you want.
Melissa is a young and energetic writer, a mom to a sweet little boy, and a fur-mom to two perfect pooches. Before becoming the Associate Content Director for Project Female, she was a journalist specializing in topics related to women in politics and policy affecting women.