Common Sports Supplements

Fitness Expert
In the sport and weight lifting world, there are thousands of different types of supplements on the market, all designed to improve performance.  Of the many types of supplements, there are a few that are becoming very commonly used, even amongst recreational athletes and the general fitness population. 



In the past decade or so, high protein diets have become the norm for people with all types of goals ranging from weight loss to weight gain, or those that are just trying to improve their daily nutrition.  As a supplement, protein comes in many forms such as protein powders, protein bars, high protein cookies, and premixed drinks.  The most commonly used protein supplement is whey protein powder, but there are many other sources of protein, such as soy, egg, casein, hemp, and rice.  Depending on one's preferences and digestive needs, there should be a protein supplement out there to suit each person.  The average person should easily be able to get more than enough protein from their daily diet, so depending on your goals and needs, think first about whether you truly need to add protein supplements to your daily routine.


Hydration Drinks

Thanks to some high profile companies, hydration drinks are commonly seen not only at gyms, but in everyday situations, such as when driving or at work.  These drinks are often referred to as sports drinks. The general make-up of a sports drink is a combination of water, carbohydrates, and electrolytes.  The general purpose of a hydration drink is to help the body stay properly hydrated during long exercise bouts or prolonged activity in a hot environment.  They also help to regulate body temperature and provide energy for working muscles in the form of carbohydrates.  Because there is usually an added flavor, hydration drinks may also encourage people to drink more fluids during exercise than if they were drinking only water. 


Nutritional Bars

There are now a wide variety of nutritional bars on the market, including protein bars, meal replacement bars, high-fibre bars, and energy bars.  Because of their convenience, bars have become popular among the general population and are often kept on hand as a quick and easy snack.  Protein bars are usually used for a pre- or post-workout snack or simply to provide extra calories for those who are trying to gain weight or muscle mass.  Meal replacement bars are usually used by those who don't have time to prepare a full meal or those who may not be able to take a proper meal with them, such as on a long hike or when they are travelling. 



Thermogenics are another supplement that has become very popular and mainstream.  The basic definition of a thermogenic is that they cause a short term increase in the body's metabolism.  Caffeine is the most common ingredient found in most thermogenics and the purpose is generally thought to be for promoting fat loss in the body.  Sometimes, caffeine and ephedrine are combined as they have been found to work together in terms of temporarily raising one's metabolic rate more than caffeine alone; however, this type of thermogenic has been banned in many places due to the potentially dangerous side effects of caffeine and ephedrine combined.  

Regardless of the supplement, each person who is considering taking a supplement should be doing their research to find out if the supplement is safe and if it's necessary to be taking it in the first place.  Greater precautions should be taken if one has a known medical condition or is on any medications or other supplements.