Free Women's Fitness Newsletter

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, Shape Up
Win Free Supplements and Other Great Prizes
Stay Informed, Stay Motivated and Win Free Stuff, Join Today!

Sign up free by sending an e-mail
Click Here For Free Weekly Women's Fitness Tips

Do I Need Nutritional Supplements: Part II

By: Ben Greenfield

Let's continue where we left off last week with a discussion of popular supplements found in the local gym. There's two more supplements of noteworthy application to the fitness enthusiast and athlete that I didn't have the time to address last week.

* Creatine

Some us associate creatine with explosive sports like football or weightlifting. This is because creatine is a component of your body's "high-energy" system, fueling activities that last for a very short 5-20 second period of time. After this very short effort is over, creatine levels are restored in the muscle and another brief, all-out exercise movement can take place. For individuals who need very quick bursts of speed or power, creatine can enhance the effort by providing a few extra seconds of energy, and a slightly enhanced recovery period. This is useful, of course, for all power athletes, as well as weightlifters who want to lift more reps with a slightly heavier weight for more muscle mass gain. For endurance athletes, creatine can increase force application, delay emptying of carbohydrate stores, and decrease recovery time between bike sprints or quick hill efforts. Some water weight gain and muscle cramping has been associated with creatine, but no serious side effects have been observed.

* Endurance Recovery Formula

An endurance recovery formula has a carbohydrate to protein ratio that differs from a "weightlifting" recovery formula. While most weightlifting formulas range from equal amount of carbs and protein, to a slightly higher amount of protein, endurance recovery formulas typically fall into a 3:1 or 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. Research has shown that this ratio results in optimal re-fueling and recovery. Since your body needs the amino acids from protein to repair and rebuild broken muscle fibers and other tissues, protein is a necessity in any endurance recovery formula. The carbohydrates help to restore the muscle glycogen, or stored energy levels. The 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of protein to carbohydrates allows for carbohydrate uptake into muscle tissue to be accompanied by very efficient protein uptake. This combo allows for enhanced response to the previous workout and a better workout the next day.

I could probably discuss supplements until I'm blue in the face, but the most important thing to remember is that not all supplements are for you. Pay attention to the label, ingredients, and indicated applications, and don't assume that just because it's there, you should take it. Most gyms and health clubs carry a supplement that would benefit almost anyone, but the actual supplement differs from person to person. My recommendation is to approach a personal trainer or coach with the supplement you're considering, tell them your goals, and see what they say.

An internet search engine can't always size you up and tell you if something you ingest will be beneficial or harmful, so talking to a "real person" is a good idea. If you have questions about certain supplements that you're currently taking, and if they're right for you, look into a Lean Body Nutritional Analysis from Pacific Elite Fitness.

Until next time, train smart,

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield holds bachelor's and master's degrees in sports science and exercise physiology (University of Idaho), and is certified as a National Strength and Conditioning Association personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach, a Serotta certified bicycle technician and an ISSN Sports Nutritionist. Ben is the owner of Pacific Elite Fitness www.pacificfit.net an online multi-sport coaching, nutrition and personal training service and is director of sports performance for Champions Sports Medicine www.champsportsmed.com He is also available as a private wellness coach or to speak at seminars and conferences. E-mail elite@pacificfit.net

Free Women's Fitness Newsletter

Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, Shape Up
Win Free Supplements and Other Great Prizes
Stay Informed, Stay Motivated and Win Free Stuff, Join Today!

Sign up free by sending an e-mail
Click Here For Free Weekly Women's Fitness Tips

© 2000-2016 WomensFitnessOnline.com