The truth about workout supplements… are they really necessary?

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“Gain 10 lbs of muscle in just 2 weeks”! “Add 4 inches to your arms”! “Lose 40lbs of fat in less than 4 weeks”! Statements like that are seemingly on the cover of every fitness magazine, and on the back of every bodybuilding and fitness supplement in the stores today. Many companies make bogus claims like this, promising that their product can be the “miracle” cure you’ve been looking for, when truth be told, their product isn’t anywhere near as effective as you’d been led to believe. Read any health and fitness magazine, and they’ll convince you that you can become a lean, ripped, muscular individual, simply by popping a couple of their pills, and hitting the gym once or twice a week. This is nonsense! There are companies and products out there that actually work, but you need to know where to look, as well as which products and ingredients work best with your own body. Take testosterone boosters for instance:

Do testosterone boosters really work? – In a word… yes. They do work, however, there is a catch. The main ingredient in natural testosterone boosters is a natural organic plant root known as tribulus terrestris. Many companies will take tribulus, combine it with other ingredients, caffeine perhaps, and place it in a fancy looking container with a bright colored label. They claim it will have different effects, jack up the price by $20 yet all you’re really getting is tribulus terrestris, a common plant root found in the wild. It increases testosterone levels in men, but only mildly, and is certainly not a legal alternative to steroids.

How about pre and post workout supplements – Pre workout supplements have proven to be very popular over the last few years, and truth be told, they have been shown to be pretty efficient. The main reason for this however is that they contain caffeine and taurine, both of which work as stimulants. Many pre workout supps also contain nitric oxide, which does help to aid in blood flow. These supplements can be quite potent so try not to use them too close to bed time. As for post workout supplementation, studies show that a whey protein shake, consumed with water immediately after your workout, does have an anabolic effect, and can aid in the growth and recovery of muscle tissue. It’s important to choose a whey protein of the highest quality however, as many smaller companies tend to bulk their products out with sugars and artificial sweeteners and flavorings.

It has to be said that bodybuilding and health and fitness supplements can be effective when used at the right time, in combination with the right food and training plan. However, these supplements must not be solely relied upon, and must certainly not be used in place of real, healthy, natural foods and drinks. Don’t expect miracles. They can help, but you must do your research and get all of the other elements of your training right first.

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