• Jake Shaw

Supplements: How They Help.

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

At this point, everyone and their mother either knows someone who takes some form of supplement or they themselves take 1 or more.

Supplements can be anything from a multi-vitamin to pre-workout, BCAA's, Protein etc.

That said, do you truly know what they are or what they do?

In this blog post, I will dive into a handful of popular supplements and provide some info you may not have known before. My hopes are to provide you a bit of info that you can take with you to help your fitness experience.

So, without further ado, here is said supplement information.

Lets start by listing the top 5 supplements sold (in no particular order).

1. BCAA's

2. Whey Protein

3. Creatine

4. Ubiqinol CoQ10

5. Multi-Vitamin

Do any of those ring a bell? Do you know how they all work? Do you currently take any of them?

Lets start from the top. Branched Chain Amino Acids. BCAA's for short.

BCAA's are not made by the human body, and that means the only way we can get them is through our food and supplementation. 3 Amino Acids make up BCAA's. Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine. BCAA's both speed up and increase the cells capacities for protein synthesis. Also, they slow the breakdown of protein. During a workout, BCAA's can help reduce the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain which in turn lowers the amount of seratonin produced.

Why is this good you ask? This allows for us to workout longer & more strenuously & because BCAA's bypass the liver and go directly into the blood stream, our bodies can use this as an immediate form of energy!

As a post workout supplement, BCAA's can help reduce muscle soreness. A 2008 study produced by the Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness, BCAA intake can lessen exercise induced damage and amino acids can aid in muscle recovery while helping regulate your immune system too!

Next up, we have Whey Protein.

This is one of the more popular supplements currently available. If you are a regular gym goer, chances are you either have taken or currently take a whey protein supplement after your workout? but why? "Because, Jake. The staff member at the neighborhood supplement store told me I have to if I want to be successful with my fitness goals."

ok.....? But how does it help you do that?

Ok, now that you are in deep thought, let me tell you a little more about Whey protein. First off, there are 3 different kinds of protein.

A. Whey Isolate - Approximately made up of 90% protein. There isn't any lactose or fat in this type.

B. Concentrate - Usually made up of 30% protein but never more than 90%; Also contains low levels of carbs & fat.

C. Hydrolysate - Often referred to as "predigested". This form has already undergone partial hydrolysis, which eliminates one step of the breakdown process your body would need to go through before absorbing protein. (Also, commonly used in infant formulas because it is easier digested)

Weight loss & muscle gain are the two major features. Whey protein is also good for fat burning and satiety. Whey has also been shown to help lower blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease and the likeliness of having a stroke!

Sounds pretty great to me!

Next, we have creatine. Over the course of the last few years, creatine has gotten a bad rep. It's often gets compared to steroids or what have you. I am here to tell you, it's not a steroid. In fact, creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps supply energy to your cells and in doing so, make sup 1% of your total volume of blood.

Approximately 95% is stored in the skeletal muscle. 5% is stored in your brain and 1.5%-2% of that is converted for use in the kidneys, liver and pancreas. There is also a notion that creatine, when supplemented properly, can aid in the treating of neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's and Parkinson's. Creatine fortifies the brains ability to survive metabolic and physical trauma associated with such condition.

Almost done. Hang in there.

Next, we've got Ubiquinol CoQ10 (or CoQ10 for short)

It's the most recognizable coenzyme available. its a vital participant in the chain of metabolic chemical reactions that generate energy within your cells. Long story short, it keeps you cells functioning properly. CoQ10 can also treat migraines, help maintain healthy cardiac muscle, and help maintain the normal state of LDL cholesterol. The good kind ;).

Last but not least,

We have multi-vitamins. Its estimated that 114 million people take a multi-vitamin every day. So they must be good right?

In fact, they are! Most multi-vitamins are made up of calcium, vitamins D, Folic Acid, B Vitamins, Magnesium, Antioxidants, Vitamin C and Zinc.

Calcium and Vitamin D aide in bone health. (Drink your milk kids) Folic acid has proved to reduce the chances of birth defects in new borns. B Vitamins provide all natural energy & aide in neurological function. Magnesium helps relax the body. Antioxidants can prevent certain kinds of cancer & Vitamin C and Zinc can improve your immune system function.

There you have it! The 5 minute run down on the Top 5 selling supplements currently available. before I wrap this up, I want to put my own little disclaimer on the end of this post. You do not NEED supplements. The word supplement literally means "in addition to'. Much of what we need to fortify our bodies is available through the food we eat. That is why it is so important to make sure your diet is in check before you go and spend an arm & a leg at the supplement store. Make sure you have an idea of what your goals are before you do anything. Know that its not going to be an overnight endeavor. It's going to take time and lots of hard work. If you are eating right and are still coming up short in certain micro & macro nutrients, refer to this article and review the benefits of each supplement to see which is best for you.

This is not to say I am not "pro" supplements, because I very much am. In the right circumstances.

As always, thank you for helping me each step of the way. In turn, I hope to help you or someone you know too! If you help me spread this to your friends and family, I will continue being forever grateful. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Linked In, Pinterest (at BST_Fitness) for all the very latest happenings and upcoming events and giveaways.

Thank you again and as always,lets work together to...

Become Stronger Today


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