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The Untold Truth
We would all appreciate knowing the facts of anything we spend our money on. That is exactly why we compare brands, products and even retailers for both - the quality of the product and the cost. With the growing demand for supplements, there is a huge market for such products. The less informed you are, more the benefit to all those trying to sell different products to you. It is not just the money part of it but also the effect these products can have on your health and well-being. We will decode some of the common lines you must have heard on starting your fitness journey.
You got to have “so and so amount” of a supplement
What works for one person may not work for another but still most products are advocated as though each of us would require it in the same amounts. For instance, protein supplements propagate the use of 24 g of protein uniformly to everyone. There should be many “ifs” and “buts” with that recommendation. Keep the following points in mind before you confidently think that 24 g of protein is the right thing for you too.
- What is your daily requirement based on your height, weight and exercise regime?
- How much of your requirement are you already meeting through your diet?
- How are you distributing your requirement of the nutrient throughout your day in all your meals?
BCAA should be had in addition to your protein
Very few of us actually know that the whey protein supplements we consume already have BCAA as part of the whey protein composition. So if we accurately know what supplements we are consuming, there would be no need to have a whey protein supplement and BCAA.
Creatine monohydrate is good or bad?
Creatine monohydrate is the most researched supplement. There are many studies that have proved the importance of creatine, especially in the monohydrate form. Although some suggest that a loading phase is important, it is not always necessary to get the benefits.
Glutamine is an absolutely essential amino acid
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that is present in the body. It is easily available through one’s food. The only time we could run out of our stores is when our body is under prolonged stress. Also, the bioavailability of glutamine through most supplements is also a big question. Be sure that you are not falling prey to marketing advertisements that make glutamine look like the most important amino acid.
Arginine is vital for a workout session
Arginine too is a conditionally essential amino acid. The primary purpose to consume this amino acid is the belief that it increases oxygen supply. There is insufficient research to establish significant benefits from arginine consumption.
Protein is all you need to build muscle immediately
Only consuming protein would not lead to a significant change in body composition. Just adding more protein to your diet without an exercise regime or calorie check can also result in weight gain. Further, too much of protein could add to the load on other body organs as well. The protein content is important but it will not magically build muscle. So use protein judiciously.
Protein has to be had only post workout
Protein is definitely important pre and post workout depending of the kind of activity you are doing. However, it is more crucial to meet your protein requirements throughout the day, either through foods alone or by adding a supplement to increase the protein content along with having normal food.
Is water intake really that important?
Yes, it is the key component that will help in the processing and flushing out components. Dehydration can affect your exercise routine. Regular and good water intake (10 to 12 glasses) not only helps in hydrating the body but also aids in getting rid of toxins and wastes produced by the body.
This supplement provides you is “high, low, free of” (health claims)
Never choose a supplement based on the health claims you see. What you need to check is the ingredient list in detail and the quantity in which it is present in the product that you are consuming. Not all supplements that say sugar free are actually free of other forms of sugars.
This is the best supplement because it gives you 100% whey protein isolate
If your products claim over its ingredients such as 100% whey protein isolate, check the ingredients section to understand if it really does provide you with an isolate or whether it is a blend of components.
This is a kickass supplement with 90% protein purity
Protein purity is nothing but the percentage of protein in grams that is available per serving in grams of the supplement. The higher the percent, the better the value for money. But did you know that through amino spiking, the percent purity can show a false high value? In protein spiking or amino spiking or nitrogen spiking, free amino acids that are usually cheaper in cost are added to the final product to increase its protein content. However, do not confuse amino spiking with fortification of products. Supplements that mention on the label of the addition of amino acids and list them in the ingredients have not spiked the product but fortified it. Some of the points to keep in mind to avoid buying a product that has merely been spiked by amino acids are:
- The direct mention of amino acids in the ingredient list. Most labels list the main ingredient first followed by those added in lesser amounts. If on the label you notice a name of amino acid immediately after the main ingredient, it may be a spiked product.
- If it is too cheap to believe, it may definitely be spiked.
- If there is a direct mention of blends and/or the quantity of these ingredients are not listed anywhere on the label, then look before you buy that.
1 scoop of so and so grams is one serving and still the last scoop has either too little or too much
If all your servings are accurately taken, when your supplement is almost coming to end, you should have had the exact number of scoops mentioned on the label. There should not be a residual amount that does not make a full scoop. However, that is almost never the case. We all know that 1 scoop has how much protein but none of us can be sure that we are consuming 1 scoop as per the serving recommended. Wouldn’t it be so much easier with exactly portioned 1 serving of the supplement without worrying about levelling the scoop or heaping it? So how about portioning your intake?
This product has the most secure and hygienic packaging
While every product provides a packaging that is secure enough, a demerit of all supplements is that once opened, it cannot be kept as safe as it was before opening the packaging. Who can eliminate the contamination caused when we put our hand in to scoop the supplement out? What about the clumps that form in the powder due to exposure to moisture? Again, the best way to eliminate these contaminations would be to weight out your daily dose and pack them individually with air tight packaging.
This is the best product
Make sure that when you say this line it truly is the best product for your health and your pocket. Check every claim by reading on research done with the ingredients. It is a one-time effort that will help you choose the right product throughout. Know the blends used and verify the information at hand.