It’s a human thing to appreciate good looks. And it’s entirely human to want to look good. Some confuse it with vanity. One way to look good or look healthy is to actually be healthy and that starts with our bodies.
Exercises through workouts and physical activities help to enhance the shape and condition of our bodies. We need exercise to continually maintain our strength and endurance in our day to day activities. Other people take exercise to a higher level and engage in bodybuilding and weight training. There are also those who enhance their workouts through supplementation.
Supplementation is quite prevalent among people who seek faster progress in their bodily appearance. Aerobic, anaerobic, swimming, and other physical activities are quite beneficial for the body. But sometimes, these physical activities may not be enough to achieve one’s desired shape.
There are several pre and post workout supplements available in the market today. The benefits of these supplements range from strength enhancement, speed, endurance and body aesthetics. These benefits are important for bodybuilders since the purpose of working out is to enhance body shape and mass. Let us take a look at the basic ingredients of the supplements and how we can benefit from these workout supplements as they enhance our bodies.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
Pantothenic Acid, otherwise known as Vitamin B5, helps release energy from fats, sugars, and starches. A complex chemical process that involves the conversion of vitamin B into coenzyme A (CoA) allows fat to be transported from the cytoplasm into the mitochondria. Excess fat can be bad but we need it in small amounts to have energy in the body. Vitamin B5 is also a potential aid in physical training and exercise. Marathon runners often have increased vitamin B5 levels in their blood to allow prolonged energy release. Physical activities that include aerobic and anaerobic require the body to release as much energy. Vitamin B5 is needed for such process to occur.
Creatine is perhaps the most well-known supplement in the market today. It is a nitrogenous organic acid that is naturally produced in vertebrates. Several studies have shown its ability to increase strength, speed and muscle mass. Creatine supplies energy to cells in the body, predominantly in the muscles, which makes it helpful in boosting the effects of physical activity. It has also been found out that creatine supplementation had significantly positive effects on aerobic and endurance performance.
Although caffeine is taken more often in the form of coffee than in bottled supplements, researchers have found that caffeine can improve strength endurance, perception, focus, and tolerance to fatigue when training by stimulating the production of endorphins. Caffeine is available in the form of coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Even for non-body builders, sipping a cup of coffee before exercising can increase strength and aids in burning body fat while exercising.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein which form together the cells and muscles of the body. The body needs 20 types of amino acids. Among these are the BCCAs, composed of isoleucine, leucine, and valine, all of which are directly used by the muscles during exercise. One big misconception about proteins and amino acids is that only body builders need it. Getting adequate protein is essential for our daily body function. When we go to work or carry heavy stuff, our muscles are at work. So if you ever wonder why you easily have muscle pain, it might be an issue of not getting enough amino acids. Getting involved in physical activities such as sports, workout and training requires the body amino acids. Not only does it help build toned muscles but it is also vital for the immune system and muscle recovery. Exercising without enough amino acids in the body can lead to physical strain and weak immunity. Stamina and strength go hand in hand with recovery because if the body cannot recover after a workout, it will be almost impossible to consistently do it.
L-Carnitine is a dipeptide made from lysine and methionine. It plays a significant role in energy metabolism. It improves the energy supply of the brain cells and lowers physical and mental stress. It almost enhances the burning of fat into energy so it can be used for exercise. Supplements with L-Carnitine have also been used to treat diabetes and is primarily used to convert fat into energy.
Supplementation has its uses in enhancing workout. Starting on the moderate side of supplementation and exercise before engaging in activities that are too rigorous could also be beneficial. You do not want your body to be too stressed and overdosed. You need to choose the right supplement for your desired result. People who want to lose weight can opt for supplements that increase fat burning. These supplements can be different from those who are trying to gain body mass.
It is always advisable to research about the supplements, the ingredients, and seek medical advice. In most cases, it is best to choose supplements with simple ingredients instead of those that contain large doses with several kinds of ingredients. First, you have to know what you want to achieve for your body and choose from there. Knowing your body’s goal should be able to help you decide what benefits you need and which supplements to choose to help you enhance your body’s appearance and health.∎
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Willett, B. (2015). Pros & Cons to Muscle Mass Supplements | LIVESTRONG.COM. [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/414089-pros-cons-to-muscle-mass-supplements/ [Accessed 11 May 2016].
Theproteinworks.com. (2013). The Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements | TPW: The Locker Room. [online] Available at: http://www.theproteinworks.com/thelockerroom/article/tpw-ninja/benefits-pre-workout-supplements [Accessed 11 May 2016].
V-Caps, P. (2016). Pantothenic Acid - 500mg x 50 V-Caps. [online] Pure Science Supplements. Available at: https://www.puresciencesupplements.com/collections/blood-pressure-vascular-support/products/pantothenic-acid-500mg-x-50-v-caps [Accessed 11 May 2016].
Sly, B. (2016). The ABCs of Vitamins: Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid). [online] Breaking Muscle. Available at: http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/the-abcs-of-vitamins-vitamin-b5-pantothenic-acid [Accessed 11 May 2016].