The most important thing is to get a good diet in place, and to consider it to be a full part of your exercise plan. You will need to eat enough protein to help your body build lean muscle mass, and to give you enough energy to pound the treadmill! Once you’re limiting your treats to once or twice a week, it’s worth taking a look at what’s on offer in terms of vitamin and mineral supplements that will give your workouts an extra boost – the combination of a healthy diet plus a little help can have a remarkable effect.
Don’t think that using supplements is in any way unnatural or constitutes ‘failure’, and don’t expect any sudden miracles either – you won’t lose fat or grow huge muscles just by taking a vitamin pill every day. You might also believe that as you aren’t a professional athlete, that you somehow don’t need or even deserve to supplement your diet to improve your workouts – don’t forget that professional athletes have coaches and nutrition experts on hand all the time to fine-tune their regime. You’re just making sure you’re working out at your best too.
Knowing which supplements to take can be a minefield, and it’s also dangerous to overdose on some vitamins and minerals. You might wish to consult your GP for advice, and also have a blood test before you start taking supplements that could do you more harm than good. It can be harmful, for example, to take larger doses of iron or Vitamin B if you don’t need them.
One good place to start for everyone, and in particular if you’re approaching middle-age, is to introduce a protein powder to help muscle repair. These often include concentrated levels of amino acids, essential for the growth and repair of tissue. Caffeine supplements can also help with a boost to your workout, increasing the time you can exercise before you become fatigued. However, you would probably enjoy a strong cup of coffee more!
If you have anaemia, or other disorders where your iron levels are either low or abnormally high, you may wish to work out your supplements to your diet with a specialist, especially if the depletion is due to serious illness or medical treatment. At Harley Street at UCH, you will not only receive advice and treatment, but full bloodwork, enabling you to make safe decisions on which supplements you take to be your very best.
Do you take any supplements in addition to your training?!