Weight Training – When to Supplement

When you’re attempting to lose weight, weight training should absolutely be a part of your program. Muscle tissues continues to burn calories at a higher rate than other tissues, even at rest, so the more muscular you are, the more calories you’ll burn just sitting around. Weight training also firms up saggy areas and boosts the development of bone; that’s a real boon to women at risk for osteoporosis. Many people, however, believe that, if they’re doing weight training, they need to take special supplements to maximize their workouts, and thus, by extension, their weight loss. Here’s a look at some popular supplements for weight training.

One of the most common supplements is something you might not see as a supplement at all: sports drinks such as Gatorade. You’ll see folks at the gym toting these drinks around, but are they really beneficial? For the average person doing weight training for its weight loss benefits – not really.

Sports drinks, like the famous Gatorade, were formulated for athletes who were putting their bodies under extreme pressure for a long period of time, like football players, runners, and soccer players. The drink is formulated to provide not only hydration, but to replace electrolytes and salts lost through heavy sweating, and to replace glucose lost through extreme exertion. If you’re lifting moderate weights for half an hour, three days a week, you’re wasting your money. Good old water is just fine. Should you lift hard for over an hour, or participate in a full game of football, then pick up a sports drink.

Creatine is another popular supplement for weight training. Creatine is a naturally occurring substance in muscle tissue, and it’s believed to help you lift harder, longer, and recover faster. This is another supplement that, for the average weight trainer, isn’t really going to be of much use, especially if you’re a woman. Amounts of 3 grams a day or less aren’t harmful (except to your wallet), but they’re probably not going to do you much good, either.

One supplement you really should be taking is a good quality multi-vitamin. Whether or not you’re weight training, if you’re on a restricted diet, chances are you’re not getting everything you need from your diet. However, don’t buy a vitamin that has levels over the recommended daily amount; some vitamins are harmful in larger quantities.

Weight training is a great idea for weight loss, but you really don’t need to spend a fortune in supplements to get the most out of it. Do your research before adding any sort of supplementation to your diet, and consult your doctor with any questions. Lift safely!

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