Sports nutrition is a rapidly growing industry with proteins, energy gels as well as workout supplements being popular sports nutrition products only used by bodybuilders and athletes now being utilised by the bulk of the population. Research finds that as many as one in four (24%) of the South African public have taken a sports nutrition product in the past three months, with the highest segment being 42% of men aged 16-24.
SA consumers spent R66 million on popular sports nutrition food as well as drink products in 2015, up by 27% from 2013 when sales stood at R52 million. And it seems that as opposed to an occasional added extra, these products are now store-cupboard staples. Almost half (47%) of consumers who use the products say these are part of their everyday diet.
The Fitness World Is Full Of Tricks And Promises
Let’s face it, exercising is hard work, and if there’s one thing which human history has shown us, it’s that humans absolutely love a good shortcut. The truth is that there’s no real substitute for good old-fashioned hard slog. When it comes down to fitness, hard work means going to the gym, banging weights around, laying down miles, not eating junk food as well as making the effort to cut fat as well as make gains.
That said, it’s not all smoke and mirrors. Our grandparents got their strength from eating good and lifting big, but you bet your ass if they had the science and technology, we have today, they’d have explored the world of supplements, too.
However, in a space occupied heavily by nonsense wonder drugs as well as placebos, how are you meant to tell the difference between useful supplements versus nonsense? It’s difficult, to be honest, however the trick is to not buy into the magic pills or simple “programmes” that make it seem as if you won’t have to work hard in order to get the results you want.
Look for the products which aren’t trying to sell you something which sounds too good to be true. In the fitness world – as well as every other world – if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
Creatine is a molecule which is produced naturally in your body but also provides energy for your muscles in addition to other tissues. However, taking creatine as a dietary supplement may increase muscle creatine content by up to 40% outside its normal levels.
This affects your muscle cells and exercise routine, so boosting muscle gain. In fact, a large amount of research demonstrates that creatine increases muscle strength. This is wonderful news if you’re trying to increase muscle. Greater strength gives you the opportunity to perform better during exercise, leading to more significant improvements in muscle mass over a specific period of time.
In addition, creatine may increase water content in your muscle cells. This could cause your muscle cells to swell slightly and produce signals for muscle growth. Furthermore, this supplement may increase levels of the hormones involved in muscle growth.
When it comes down to building as well as preserving muscle mass, protein is one of the most essential and popular sports nutrition supplements all over the world. The regular consumption of protein, specifically in the ‘anabolic window’ that directly follows exercise, contributes to the significant growth and restoration of muscle fibres.
Protein is not gender specific. This means that its benefits can extend to men and women of all ages, body types as well as fitness levels.
The average individual requires approximately 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight every single day. However, this need is larger for those who frequently take part in endurance training (approximately 1.2g/kg) or strength training (approximately 2g/kg).
If you would like to learn more about sports nutrition then you need to do our Sports Nutrition Diploma. Read more about this here.