When to Use Supplementation for Rigorous Workout Programs

supplementsIn the last post we talked a little bit about natural supplements and weight loss pills, and pointed out why they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for diet and exercise when trying to lose weight.

I don’t want to imply, however, that these products should never be used. They do have their place within the exercise world, and can be extremely beneficial to a good workout program, if they’re used properly.

Here’s when you should think about using workout supplements.

You Exercise Rigorously 5 Times a Week

Before you even think about using supplementation, you already need to have established clear and consistent habits of exercise.

A good rule of thumb is that you should be working out at least 5 times a week, and when you work out, you are working out rigorously, and incorporate muscle-building activities, such as weight training, into your routine.

If you only have a light exercise schedule that involves walking or jogging, but don’t strenuously work out, then supplementation probably isn’t right for you.

Your Diet Can’t Meet Your Needs

The other main reason you would want to consider supplementation is when your diet can’t meet the needs of your body. This goes hand in hand with the first reason above.

I don’t mean that your diet doesn’t currently meet the needs of your body, because you go to McDonald’s or make chocolate chip cookies every night, I mean it can’t reasonably meet the needs of your body, because you’re working your body consistently and it needs more vitamins than a normal healthy diet can provide.

In this case you might want to consider pre-workout supplements as a way to get a little extra caloric boost (without filling up and being unable to workout) before you start your rigorous workouts. You should only take these when you’re about to engage in a streneuous workout, such as weight training.

If you’re training seriously for an endurance sport, on the other hand, like a marathon or 100k bike race, you might consider taking a few natural workout supplements after your workout. One common form of this is to mix a little protein powder into a juice shake, which will replenish your body after a long workout.

I hope these tips help you to think about when you might want to consider supplementation for your workouts. Again, please note that these products are not intended to replace a healthy diet, but for when your diet can’t keep up with the demands rigorous exercise places on the body.

As always, consult a physician or other health professional before incorporating these products into your routine, or read more about when to use supplements.

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