The American research company Grand View Research predicts that the global sports nutrition market will reach $ 31 billion by 2027. This means that during this period it will grow by 8.9%. Experts associate this progress with a sedentary lifestyle, which people want to compensate for with activity outside the office - to train outside of working hours and monitor their figure. Also now the movement of amateur athletes is dynamically developing in the world, who are even more attentive to their training. Brands can only benefit from this! In 2018, even Amazon introduced its OWN PWR sports nutrition brand, which is now available on the online retailer's website.
It turns out that people (not without the participation of stars and opinion leaders) are becoming more aware of sports and fitness, the number of gyms and other venues is growing. As a result, the demand for sports supplements is growing. For many, a post-workout protein shake has become as commonplace as a morning cup of coffee. And sometimes it even replaces breakfast or another meal. But protein is only a fraction of what the supplement industry has to offer. How to start to understand them (and is it necessary?) And how to understand which supplements are right for you? Experts report.
Why are supplements needed?
Elite trainer of Encore Fitness Alexander Titov explains that all nutritional supplements are needed to eliminate the deficiency of those nutrients that are not enough in the diet of a particular (!) Person. That is why an individual approach is so important in this matter.
“I include both macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) as nutrients. In the first case, there are the following types of supplements: proteins (with a lack of proteins) and gainers (contain a large amount of carbohydrates and 20-30% protein). Weight gainers are rarely seen in the diet of exercisers. They are needed only if you want to gain weight and at the same time suffer from a lack of appetite. If your diet is low in fat, then you can use MCT (Medium Chained Triglyceride), omega-3 and oils in the form of dietary supplements. This is especially true for those who do not eat fish."
But Alexander recommends starting any intake of supplements by studying the diet, examining the body and taking tests. Otherwise, it doesn't make a lot of sense: “For a couple of days, write down and weigh everything you eat. Enter data into the program for calculating calories, and you will see how much protein, fat, carbohydrates you consume per day. So you will understand where the surplus is and what is lacking. And only then can you supplement your diet with the macronutrient supplements I mentioned above."
As for micronutrients, it is imperative to get tested. Without this, taking any supplements will be useless, if not harmful. “Among the vital micronutrients, I would first of all classify magnesium, zinc, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin D. The latter is not enough for almost anyone, so I recommend everyone to take it, and adjust the dosage based on the test results,” emphasizes Alexander.
This whole scheme looks understandable and as reliable as possible: take tests, consult with a specialist and select the necessary supplements, then take the tests again and look at the result. But you need to understand that such a positive "biohacking", which, undoubtedly, will significantly improve the quality of your life, not everyone can afford: the sum of all tests (excluding hormones) can go up to 50,000 rubles.
How to Choose Protein?
Protein is a high quality protein, a building block of muscle. Nutritionist and founder of the School of Comfortable Weight Loss Andrei Nevsky insists that if the diet contains the required amount of animal and plant proteins, it is not worth taking additional protein.
You can determine if you have enough protein by analyzing your diet. And here it is necessary to clarify: coach Alexander Titov specifies that we all need a different amount of protein, which is determined based on the training goals. If you want to gain weight and are not in a calorie deficit, then 1.5-2 g of protein per 1 kg of weight will be enough for you (this is the amount recommended by WHO). In a calorie deficit, if you expend more energy than you consume, you need more protein - up to 3 grams per kg of body weight. If you conditionally weigh from 50 to 60 kg, then with a calorie deficit, you need to consume 150-180 g of protein per day. This is necessary in order to protect muscles from destruction during an impressive calorie deficit. If at the same time you do not have kidney problems, then this amount of protein will not harm the body.Athletes can increase the amount of protein up to 4 g, but this should be done gradually so that the body does not experience severe stress and the digestion process is not disturbed.
“If a person does not have lactose intolerance, then any whey protein is suitable for him in principle: concentrate, isolate, hydrolyzate. They differ only in the degree of purification and the speed of assimilation,”explains Alexander. The hydrolyzate is absorbed quickly, but after it the feeling of hunger will come much faster than after the whey concentrate, since the second is absorbed more slowly and gives a feeling of fullness for a longer period. If you do not consume dairy products, then your option is egg or beef protein (very rare in the market for sports supplements). Andrey Nevsky also supplements the list with soy protein: "A good option for vegetarians, from plant proteins it is the most optimal in terms of acid composition."
Casein is the slowest-digesting protein in existence. It is found in milk (1 liter contains 30 g of protein, 70% of which is casein). Casein is used to make cheese and cottage cheese. Most actively exercising people consume casein from these foods. Alexander emphasizes that there is nothing wrong with eating a portion of low-fat cheese (no more than 100 g) or cottage cheese in the evening. For those looking to cut out excess fat and sodium, protein can be taken as a casein supplement.
How to Choose Protein Bars?
As a rule, the information on the front side of the packaging of such bars speaks exclusively of their benefits, which is why Alexander recommends reading the composition, which is written in small letters, and looking at the calorie content of the product. Despite the sufficient amount of protein in the composition, they often contain an impressive amount of fats and carbohydrates (if not sugar, then other easily digestible carbohydrates, which also carry calories). "If your goal is to create a calorie deficit, to lose weight, then you need to be very careful about such a snack."
What about amino acids?
The most famous amino acid supplements found on shelves in sports nutrition stores are L-Glutamine and BCAAs. But, according to Alexander, there are still no specific studies that would confirm their effectiveness. “L-glutamine has no specific beneficial effect. Moreover, it is contained in sufficient quantities in any protein food. There is no need to supplement the diet with this supplement."
With BCAAs, the story is more complex. It is a complex of three essential amino acids: isoleucine, valine, leucine. They are often taken by athletes during preparation for a competition with a severe calorie deficit. Dosages for some reach 30-50 g per day. This amount is justified only with enhanced strength training, an ordinary person does not need it. Alexander insists that people who eat a balanced diet do not need BCAA supplements: "These acids are found in any kind of animal protein, so it makes sense to use the supplement only for vegetarians and vegans."
Who needs fat burners?
“I am neutral about the use of fat burners,” says Alexander. “If a person has no contraindications, no heart problems, then light stimulants of the central nervous system will not harm him, but you need to take into account that all this is energy on credit.” Fat burners allow you to train more intensely, spend more calories during cardio or strength training, but then the body will require replenishment of all energy costs. For a person, this will be felt as apathy and fatigue at the end of the day or the day after training.
Pavel pays special attention to L-carnitine. This sports supplement is also considered a fat burner: “Keep in mind that it only allows you to transport fatty acids, not get rid of them. L-carnitine is synthesized in the body in sufficient volume, so there is no additional need for it. For a person, taking this supplement is more of a placebo effect."
Summarizing the above, both experts agree that the basic diet is natural, balanced food. Protein shakes and bars should be taken as a snack and only if there is a lack of protein from regular food and vigorous exercise. You don't need them if you can eat well for an hour after your workout. Replacing main meals with them is also not worth it. It is better to pay attention to the correct selection of the vitamin-mineral complex, omega-3 and vitamin D.
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