How Fitness Supplements Can Help Your Performance
You can spend hours and hours lifting weight, running, swimming, hiking, or whatever your preferred choice of physical activity is, but if you’re not giving your body the nutrients it needs through food and supplementation, spending your days in the gym isn’t going to do much good.
The importance of proper nutrition has been established for centuries and is a critical piece to unlocking your athletic potential. This craze in performance nutrients has seen a massive rise in things like whole food powders, nutritional blends, and of course, gummies.
Whatever the goal you’re trying to achieve in the gym, fitness supplements are a great addition to your daily routine to give you a nutritional edge.
Whether you’re looking to lose fat, drop weight, gain muscle, boost strength, or just generally improve your performance, ensuring you have all your bases covered is key.
Here are a few supplements you should consider investing in:
There’s no doubt that a good pre-workout formula can help to maximize your performance. What you’ll find is generally two types: stimulant and stimulant-free. If you’re the type of person that gets a bit jittery from caffeine, it’s best to avoid pre-workouts containing stimulants, but if you don’t, pre-workouts containing caffeine are an awesome way to get that pump started.
Pre-workouts are specifically designed for a few reasons:
- Increase blood flow to muscles and other tissues
- Reduce muscle protein degradation
- Boost energy and physical performance
- Increase muscle strength and power
Generally, pre-workouts contain things like caffeine (stimulant), beta-alanine, amino acids, creatine, and other compounds that prime the body for training.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that combines with histidine to form carnosine, which buffers lactic acid from the muscles and prevents onset of fatigue, allowing you to work harder for longer. Caffeine, on the other hand, is a central nervous system stimulant that also targets the heart, increases blood pressure, and boosts energy. It’s been shown to increase speed and stamina, but also boost strength and power.
Electrolytes are critical to nearly every function in the body, especially during your workout. That’s because when we engage in strenuous or prolonged exercise, we lose large amounts of electrolytes, which if not replenished, can cause problems; this happens primarily through the kidneys and urine, but also through sweat.
When electrolytes become imbalanced, we experience things like:
- Muscle weakness, cramps, or spasms
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mental confusion
But electrolytes are needed for more than just boosting your workouts. They also have a role in:
- Nerve impulses
- Muscle contraction
- Hormone secretions
- Fluid/water balance
- Buffering system
- Bone strength
If you’re looking to gain mass, or even just maintain what you currently have, protein is a non-negotiable thing post-workout. Any way you put it, protein is important. And for people who are working out regularly, you’re going to need increased amounts than someone leading a sedentary life.
During exercise, the muscles experience tiny microtears or microtraumas. In order for muscles to grow and gain strength, these traumas have to be repaired through a process called muscle protein synthesis--a process that requires the presence of all 9 essential amino acids. If one is missing, a protein cannot be formed and the muscle cannot be repaired.
But it’s not just muscle repair that protein is important for, it’s also a requirement for:
- Hair, skin, and nail growth
- Bone and connective tissue health
- Enzyme activity
- Hemoglobin (oxygen transportation)
- Chemical messengers between cells, organs, and tissues
- Structural support
- pH balance
- Immune function
Sleeping formulas aren’t a requirement for athletic performance, but they can be a massive help. If your training is strenuous or frequent, proper recovery becomes imperative. And if you’re not sleeping enough, you’re definitely not recovering properly.
Sleep enhances the process of protein synthesis and also increases release of growth hormone--both important processes involved in muscle growth and repair, bone remodeling, and fat burning.
Adequate sleep is also important for:
- Immune function
- Stress hormone regulation
The 3 products you need to maximize your time in the gym
Herbaland's new Pre-Workout Gummies are designed to kick your workout into high gear. They’re formulated to provide a boost of energy while aiding athletic performance. They’re carefully selected scientifically proven ingredients that give both power and endurance athletes that added edge. With 500mg beta-alanine, 500mg L-citrulline, 35mg niacin, 100mg caffeine, BCAAs, and only 1g sugar per packet, you’ll perform like never before.
Electrolytes are commonly found in a powdered form added to water, but why not try something super delicious and fun? Herbaland's New Piña Colada flavored Electrolyte Performance Gummies offer a unique, refreshing take on serious nutrition. Made with natural coconut water, each 50g serving is packed with all the essential electrolytes at the optimal ratios for your body’s needs--potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium, all with only 3g of sugar. Our performance gummies taken with some H20 will ensure that you, your neurons, and muscles are working to their best capabilities at all times!
Vegan Protein Gummies
Need a quick refuel after a workout to get your muscle repair process started? Herbaland's Vegan Protein Gummies are an easy, delicious snack or post-workout treat. Popular with vegans and athletes alike, they are a convenient way to fuel training (before or after) with additional protein, or for vegans and vegetarians to fill in the gaps in their dietary intake. Each 50g serving contains 27g fibre, 10g protein, and only 1g of sugar, with five delicious flavors to choose from: fantastic fruit, wild berry, banana, papaya paradise, and kiwi and friends’.
Written by Kali Pappas - Herbaland Nutritionist