Should You Be Taking Sports Supplements?

There are various sports supplement products available on the market, including protein powder, amino acids, creatine, mega-dose vitamins, minerals, energy boosters, weight loss, and much more. 

However, the health benefit (or lack thereof) of these supplements has always been a heavily debated topic. 

Are Sports Supplements Safe?

Yes and no. The truth is that there isn’t a simple answer to this question. 

Most sports supplements promise unrealistic, rapid, and potentially unsafe changes in body composition or appearance. It is easy for young, impressionable athletes to get influenced by the media and become a target for these sports supplements, which is why products such as Monster and 5-hour Energy have become so popular. 

Also, workers at retail stores may not be able to provide accurate, reliable, and impartial information about these items for these supplements. In reality, they may not even have the educational experience to give an authentic review of such products.

Dr. Steven Cuff, a sports medicine physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, states that “In general, the risks of using supplements far outweigh the perceived benefits. Supplements are often expensive, are unregulated, and in many cases have side effects that can inhibit athletic performance.”

The type and amount of substances found in such products can be dangerous for young athletes’ health and their performance, significantly if it is misused. There have been numerous instances in the past where products were pulled from the market due to their adverse and potentially deadly reactions (Ephedra being one of the more prominent examples). Therefore, athletes must be aware of the potential dangers that are associated with the use of such supplements. 

However, that does not mean all sports supplements are harmful and should be completely cut out of your diet. If used properly, there are some healthy options of sports supplements as well that can provide health benefits. 

A Person Working Out Using a Barbell


Benefits of Using Sports Supplements

Although there are various types of sports supplements available, arguably the healthiest one you can consume is protein powder. 

Protein is an essential macronutrient and is used by our body to build muscle and repair tissue, as well as make enzymes and hormones. Protein powder is a popular nutritional supplement that helps people tone their muscle while aiding in weight loss. 

Here, we list Following are some of the main benefits of protein powder. 

Added Nutrition

According to the health recommendation, men above the age of 19 should consume 56g of protein per day, whereas woman should consume 46g. Some people, including those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, find it difficult to attain these requirements. In such situations, opting for a healthy protein powder supplement can help them reach their goals quickly. 

Additionally, it can also help athletes, weight lifters, and older people who require an even higher amount of protein intake. According to some research, athletes who follow an intense training regime can benefit from doubling their protein intake. This can be not easy by just following a healthy diet but can be easily achieved by taking protein supplements. 

Muscle Growth

The main reason most athletes and gym enthusiasts consume protein powder is that they believe it tremendously increases muscle mass when following a fitness plan, and they are not wrong.

Protein is an essential nutrient for muscle growth. An analysis of 49 studies suggests that the muscle size of healthy adults was significantly improved with the help of proteins supplements. 

The effectiveness of protein supplements was similar irrespective of the gender. However, since older adults have higher proteins requirements, the effectiveness may decrease with age. 

Helps Reduce Inflammation

Short-term inflammation is necessary as it is part of the body’s natural response to damage. However, it can become chronic if it doesn’t heal in a few days.

Chronic inflammation can be very dangerous and can increase the risk of various other diseases. It may also be a sign of underlying health problems or bad lifestyle habits. 

High doses of proteins supplements have shown to significantly reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a key marker of inflammation in the body. 

Can Potentially Enhance the Body’s Antioxidant Defenses

Antioxidants are substances that reduce oxidative stress in the body, reducing the risk of various chronic disease. Glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants in humans. However, unlike most antioxidants that come from diet, glutathione is produced by the body. 

The production of glutathione is dependent on the supply of several amino acids, such as cysteine, which is sometimes of limited supply. A regular intake of protein supplements will provide the body with the amino acids needed to generate glutathione, which can enhance the body’s antioxidant defence over time. 

A Person Drinking Protein Shake on the Beach

To sum up, there are various benefits of adding protein powder to your diet. However, it is essential to ensure that you are aware of each product’s ingredients and only purchase them from reliable suppliers. 

Other sports supplements such as energy drinks don’t provide many benefits, and shouldn’t be consumed.