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Beginners Guide To Sports Supplements

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A Beginners Guide To Sports Supplements

Beginners Guide To Supplements

Last Updated : August 2005

Welcome to the beginners guide to Sports Supplements. This article is created specifically for those new to the Sports Supplement market or for those who don't even know what sports supplements are!

What Are Sports Supplements?
Sports Nutritional Supplements are simply highly refined food derived from natural sources. They come in a variety of formats including powders, liquids, tablets, capsules and even snack bars. They offer a quick and convenient way for athletes and enthusiasts to meet the demanding needs of their sports nutrition regime. Without properly addressing your diet, either through real food or sports supplementation, you are limiting the potential for growth, recovery and improvement.

Do I Need To Use Sports Supplements?
As a beginner to weight training, bodybuilding or any other field of sports, the use of supplements is not complusory for progress. Your dietary needs can be address through the preparation of a suitably tailored diet. Sports Supplements do however offer a very easy and convient way to get the nutrients your body needs, especially when you are on the go. The use of sports or bodybuilding supplements comes down to personal choice.

Which Supplements Should I Use?
Browse through any supplement sellers store and you will come across a vast range of sports nutritional supplements and aids, each aiding athletes in different ways. Many or these are tailored towards professional and intermediate level athletes and are not neccessary for beginners. The most popular supplements for beginners include the following:

Protein Powders
Protein is used by the body to build muscle and as a result remains one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements available today, and for good reason. There are various forms of protein available including Milk, Soy, Whey and Casein and blends (consisting of mixed proteins). At the time of writing, Whey Protein remains the most popular type of protein. Whey Protein is a highly refined by-product from the Dairy Industry that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. Supplement manufacturers take this, add flavourings and process it, more often that not into a powder format for sale. You can then simply add milk or water to the powder to make a nutritious high protein shake very quickly.

Meal Replacements Products (MRP's) are exactly what you would expect. A powdered supplement similar to protein shakes which are intended to replace your meal with a highly nutritious drink that is tailored towards aiding muscular growth and recovery. MRP's differ from Protein Shakes in that they often contain carbohydrates, fats and additional vitamins etc. MRP's usually come powdered in tubs, or in sachets.

Weight Gain Formulas are very similar to Meal Replacement Products but usually contain many more calories in the form of carbohydrates and good fats to help promote growth.

In recent years, the development of "All In One" or "Combination Supplements" has become increasingly popular. These usally take Protein Powders or MRP's as a base and add specialist supplements such as Creatine, Glutamine or HMB into a single easy to take supplement.

Which Brand Should I Buy?
Despite the numerous marketting claims from different supplement brands within the industry, Sports Supplements are largely the same from company to company. Different people choose different supplements for different reasons. Some choose supplements on taste, some on ingredients and others solely on price. If you are unsure exactly where to start, recommendations from fellow Gym Users or through Internet Message Boards are usally the most reliable sources of information.

Points To Remember
Supplements are called supplements for a reason, they are intended to supplement your existing diet, not fully replace it. No supplement is 100% neccessary.

There are no quick answers in bodybuilding, weight training or any other sport for that matter. Supplements will help you if used correctly, in conjunction with a carefully structured and properly administered training and diet regimen. It is important to remember that Sports Supplements are not the easy answer! You can take all the Weight Gain Formula in the world, but unless you put in sufficient effort in the gym, your muscles aint going to be growing no where. Used correctly Sports Supplements can complement your training and accellerate your progress.

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