Unlock Your Health Goals with Supplementation

February 27th, 2015

So you’ve decided to get healthy.  You have started working out.  You are eating right.  You are getting enough sleep.  These are all great ways to get healthy, but are you meeting your goals?  Is your goal to lose weight or gain muscle?  Is it to just make sure your body is getting what it needs?  What else can you do to help you reach your goals?  Consider supplements.

Supplements are a great way to help you reach your goals and help ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to meet those goals.  But they are only great if the supplements you are taking are really doing what they claim.  As shocking as it may sound, not all supplements are made the same and not all are reputable.  On top of that, not all supplements really do what they are claimed to do.  To reach your goal, it is important to know the truth about supplements and what they can do to help you.  The following are the top three searched categories in supplemental health.


Weight Loss

This is a big goal and one that can be difficult for some.  So many claims are made daily        that promise big results.  The first thing to realize is that there is no miracle pill.  Once you have resigned yourself to that fact, you can now turn to a natural healthy way to help your meet your weight loss goal.

What works:

-Yohimbine: 0.2mg per kg. This requires a higher does than most supplements. It actually works on the fat cells but the effects take a few weeks to kick in. You have to be diligent with it and watch for anxiety side effects.

-Fucoxathin: 5mg.  The dose is usually between 2.5mg and 8mg.  It is to be taken daily with meals.  It causes fat loss and is not a stimulant.  It works through heat production.  It also requires a long term commitment and takes about 5 weeks to kick in.  It is healthy and potent.

What doesn’t work:

-Raspberry Ketones: Never been tested on humans and has no evidence of promoting weight or fat loss.

-Garcinia Cambogia: Unreliable.  Tests show only a 2kg loss in 3 months.

-Hoodia Gordonia: This is possibly toxic and inefficient in weight loss or appetite control.


Muscle Building

This is probably the second most common goal in those trying to get physically fit. And like with all supplements, you have the good and the bad.  In muscle building, a lot of the help from supplements will also depend on the amount of work you are putting into your training.

What works:

-Creatine: Improves power output, promotes leaner body mass, increase in energy, pulls H2O into muscle cells.  Remarkably safe and well researched.

-Whey Protein: Promotes muscle protein  synthesis and increase in muscle growth in time.  It also prevents fatigue.

-Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA): Promotes muscle protein  synthesis and increase in muscle growth in time.  It also prevents fatigue.

What doesn’t work:

-Vanadum: Non-essential mineral, possible use for diabetics but shows no muscle building properties.

-Brassinosteroids: No research on this – not on humans.  Found in mustard and does not show much promise at this time.

Promising but not researched:

–Capsaicin: Shows results of muscle protein synthesis in rats but tests on humans incomplete. This is the same capsaicin found in hot peppers and pepper spray.


Joint Health

A lot of time, exercise and discomfort can go hand in hand.  A lot of athletes cause                 strain and wear and tear on their bodies, specifically their joints.  There are a few supplements that can help.        

What works:

-Cissus Quadrangularis: This is already being used by athletes with some success in joint pain management.  There have been a few studies done but none with total success.  It has been long used before testing, for aches and feminine menopausal issues.

-Glucosamine: This has been around awhile and has been proven to reduce the collagen, or joint tissue, rate of decline.  It’s pain relieving properties have not proven to be more effective than ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

-Rose Hips: This has been proven to alleviate the pain and inflammation of the joints.  It also has some immunosuppressive qualities.  Not recommended for those with compromised immune systems.

What doesn’t work:

-Chondroitin: Though this is often found together with Glucosamine, it shows no proof of having any effects on joint pain or inflammation.

-Fish Oil –  Though it has shown some help, it is limited.  It is a general supplement and it is concluded that the benefits from eating fish are better and fish oil supplements are not needed then.

As with anything you choose to add to your training, you need to do your homework.  There are tons of websites ready to offer you information and supplements that will claim just about anything to get you to buy it.  Most of this is hype as there is no magic pill to make your fitness dreams reality.  What there is, though, is a lot of options that can enhance this training and improve your overall fitness.  There are several websites that will happily list a bunch of supplements that will help in several areas.  Be vary wary of these sites for 99% of the time they are sponsored by a large corporation shilling their products.  Instead, choose a site, such as examine.com or labdoor.com that actually show the research and testing to back up their claims.  They will not make a claim of any kind, unless it is backed by reputable studies and research.  This is very important.  Though most people assume supplements are safe, there are interactions and side effects that are present in some.  Some are contraindicated with pharmaceutical grade medications.  The best advice is to do your research before adding any supplementation.  If you have certain medical conditions that can be effected by medications or glucose levels, check with your physician before starting supplements.  It is also wise to stick to name brand, 100 percent natural supplements.  Again, you will need to check the ingredients.  There has been a recent problem with store-brand supplements and it is best to stick with a non-store brand label.  You may pay a bit more, but, your product will be pure.

Supplementation is a fabulous addition to your training and can help you achieve your fitness and health goals – you will just need to be smart and consistent to get the results you are looking for.