Guest Blogger: Jenna
Anyone who has been to the gym has probably seen their fair share of supplements that are said to be required before working out and after working out in order to keep your weight loss and muscle building on track. These supplements come in a variety of forms from shakes to pills to food bars. With so many items available to gym goers at any given time, it’s only natural to wonder if those things are actually required or if they could potentially harm you.
It should be stated first and foremost that using natural vitamins is a great choice, because overall, they’ve been seen to have beneficial effects on those who work out regularly. In addition to general health benefits for the body as a whole, these vitamins may specifically help rejuvenate joints and muscles.
That being said, when it comes to taking new or unknown supplements before working out, experts generally say it’s a bad idea. While it’s definitely a good idea to eat something light before a work out to keep your energy and sugar levels balanced while you exercise, supplements tend to do the exact opposite. A recent study showed that those people working out after they had taken health supplements began to show increased insulin levels in their bodies a few weeks later and ended up really raising the risk for encountering diabetes. They also didn’t see any benefits to having taken these before working out.
While that wouldn’t be necessarily bad, when you’re working out, your body is in a constant state of motion, which means anything in your body will be in motion as well. Taking supplements of any kind before working out increases the chances of nausea, headaches, dizziness, cramps, and fatigue depending on what was taken and what it was mixed with. The chemicals released into the blood stream during a workout don’t mix well with pre-workout supplements so you should only be taking them if you’re already deficient in something.
Taking supplements after a workout is a much better idea. There are quite a few vitamins and supplements that can really help you restore your body after working out and help replenish everything you’ve just lost. Milk is actually a great thing to drink after working out because it helps balance out the free radicals that you release while you exercise.
There are quite a few to avoid, however. Although many people believe that this is the prime time to get your energy levels back up, caffeine supplements or vitamins that promote energy should be avoided at all costs. Taking these has the potential to shock your system as it’s just beginning to wind down before the energizing supplements take effect to wind it back up again. Likewise, over the course of time, these types of supplements, though very popular, have the potential to really do some damage to your nervous system as well as cause a lot of heart problems if you don’t discontinue use. Many supplement drinks also have the tendency to dehydrate you, which is the last thing you need after a workout.
Supplements for before and after a workout are very popular with those who exercise regularly and while there are a few good ones out there, there are also some pretty bad ones. Keep in mind the different properties of each supplement you ingest and try and see if it will mix well with the current state your body is in – it will give you a much better idea of what is safe and what isn’t.