What is considered a supplement, and should I use them?
A supplement is considered anything other than food that you put into your body in order to gain nutrients missing from your diet or to improve your physical performance. Food is always the number one way to get your nutrients absorbed into your body but when that is not possible supplementation is the next step. When people think of supplements, they tend to think of either vitamins or steroids, but this is not all there is. In fact, there are millions of different types of supplements out there. The first and most important questions to ask are what you are looking to get out of the supplement, and is it legal for the governing association that you are competing in.
Vitamins are common supplements for people that are lacking sufficient nutrients in their diet (ex: iron, B12, etc) which can help with fatigue and protein synthesis when appropriate. Another supplement many people take is protein. Supplementing protein can be a good way to get the amount of protein you need in a day to promote muscle growth, however many people overuse this supplement to where they are taking in too much and the extra protein is either not absorbed or is stored as fat in the body. Pre workout is another supplement that is often taken to provide an extra boost to your workout however this can be more complicated. When taking pre-workout, you must check the ingredients against your competing associations banned substances list to make sure they aren’t illegal because many of the times it contains at least one if not more hidden banned substances. What should I do if I have questions? It is always very important to make sure you know what you are putting into your body before you do and to be sure it is something that is legal, but also something that will actually help your performance and not just be a waste of money. For this reason, it is best to speak with an expert on the subject matter. Please contact Dr. Ben Bagge at prokinetixrehab.com for his expertise in performance enhancement if you have any questions regarding how you can be improving your performance in competition.