Busting the most believed myths in the sports supplement world

Busting the most believed myths in the sports supplement world
Hey guys, i'm Josh, the owner of Hakamount - we're a supplement brand aimed to fuel your sports performance, without nasty filler ingredients. We've teamed up with the guys at Lockr Space to give you the lowdown on supplements and the most common myths.

Sports supplements can be an intimidating place at times. There are 100s of different types of products you could use for different occasions. Combine that with an excess of marketing and you could be left very confused. So, let's start with why we take supplements.

In my view, we take supplements to improve. Very simply, a supplement is designed to help us improve something. That could be more energy in our workouts, better recovery, or to even improve our time efficiency.

If you're not taking a supplement to improve something, then you're probably taking them for the wrong reasons.

For example, many people often chug down a protein shake after their workout to aid recovery. However, if you're already consuming enough protein in your diet, why is a shake necessary? It's not! (And that's coming from the owner of a supplement brand).

On the other hand, one benefit of supplements that often goes underrated is convenience. A multivitamin like our Daily Driver Multivitamin is an effective and convenient way of ensuring we are consuming adequate vitamins and minerals. If you're someone who lives a busy lifestyle and struggles to always get a wide variety of food, then a multivitamin can help plug that gap.

To improve. That's the why - but how do supplements do that?

I think it's important to have an understanding of what supplements are designed to do (and what they are not).

Supplements essentially enhance what food can do for us. This is usually done by grouping ingredients together that aren't typically found in 1 type of food. For example, coffee has caffeine which is great for energy before a workout. But what it doesn't have is a significant amount of sodium and other electrolytes which can improve performance. A pre-workout product typically combines these two to provide you with a convenient way to get more out of your workouts.

I mentioned time efficiency earlier - what exactly is that. In my books, time efficiency is literally being more efficient with your time. We all lead busy lives and if we can reduce the time something takes to do, then I'm all for it.

Supplements can be helpful in this regard, for example, a protein shake. As I mentioned earlier, it's a quick and easy source to increase your protein intake for the day which should improve your recovery.

However, what I see and hear a lot of people talking about is a special 'recovery window' after your workout. Unfortunately, chugging a protein shake 5 minutes after your last set isn't going to speed up your recovery. Actually, it may hinder it as your heart rate and nervous system will still be recovering.

This idea was pioneered by bodybuilders in the 90s and because they looked huge, people copied their methods. Unfortunately, the science shows that consuming foods within a 30 - 120 min window post-workout is more optimal.

I also think we need to be realistic with what supplements can achieve. I hate to be cliché but supplements 'supplement' your life. They don't take over it. You still have to invest your resources into Food - Training - Sleep. These are the 3 pillars of fitness success, supplements aid them. However, if you're curious and would like a little more info on how certain vitamins can improve our performance, then head over to our Health Benefits page.

I mentioned earlier that there are 100s of different supplements, so which ones should we be considering?

Supplements can be great but they can also be horrendous.

The three I would advise caution on are:

Fat Burners - Typically these are packed with ingredients that have no scientific backing. The 'fat burn' comes from the heaps of caffeine put in there which in turn increases your heart rate in a bid to burn fat. It's an awful idea!

Detox Teas - These are marketed to make you feel healthier and 'cleanse' your body. Unfortunately our body has its own 'cleansing' tool - it's called The Liver. These teas make us feel lighter due to lower food consumption combined with the diuretics typically in these types of products. It's a no from us.

Testosterone Boosters - Again, the majority of these are filled with ingredients lacking any sort of scientific evidence. Studies have shown that these types of products can actually lower testosterone.

However, if you're looking for supplements that actually work and provide a benefit for you, then I'd recommend considering the below:

Multivitamin - They provide immense convenience and effectiveness whilst covering health and performance (in some multis).

Creatine - Again, heavily researched and proven to improve muscle performance and strength.

Protein Powder - There's no special tricks to protein powder, it's just protein. However, a lot of us struggle to hit our daily protein goals. A shake makes it a lot easier (and cheaper) for us to do.

Electrolyte product - These can come in many shapes and forms like sports drinks (Lucozade sport etc.) or you can buy them as a powder and mix at home. Sodium in particular is key here, a key driver in muscle performance and endurance.

And that's a wrap. Hopefully that provided you with some useful guidelines when choosing supplements to support your goals. It's important to look beyond the marketing noise and focus on products with proven effectiveness.
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