If you’re a newbie in the fitness world, you might find a lot of things exhausting. It can be a lot to take in, from choosing what to eat to the reps you have to do. And you can’t dedicate all your time to researching, so you go with what you know. Chances are, you might end up seeing no results at all. That’s how some neophytes lose their interest in fitness. They’re disappointed with the unanticipated failure.
One subject that confuses most newbie lifters is supplements. All those powders that they think they need to drink, to be specific. There are even people who think they didn’t need these until they did. But if you’ve just got into fitness, you’re going to get confused with these “powders” you might or might not need to take. Researching alone might give you headaches. What more with the application?
So what are these powders that many gym rats are going crazy for? Well, to explain it more thoroughly, these powders are supplements—specifically, dietary supplements.
Who Can Drink Them?
That’s one of the most asked questions about these supplements. Who needs to drink these powders? It depends on what they need. For example, mass gainers are for people who find it hard to gain weight. Whey protein is for people who want to build muscles.
The thing is, these products are dietary supplements. They’re used to supplementing any nutrition you can’t get from eating foods. For example, you want to gain weight, so you eat more carbs. However, it’s a bit impossible for you to eat carbs more than the amount you’re required to eat every day. Mass gainers can make up for those missing carbohydrates you can’t get from food so you won’t miss your calorie goal for the day.
So what’s the difference and when should you take any of these?
If you’re always at the gym, you might have heard people talking about whey protein. Bodybuilders typically take whey protein to gain muscle mass. The most straightforward explanation of what’s whey made of is this: Milk is composed of two proteins, casein and whey. They separate whey from casein, and that’s where whey protein is made of. It’s the purest form of protein. Many know whey to have benefits in muscle building and recovery after intense training.
Mass gainers contain fat and carbohydrates. People who struggle with gaining weight usually take mass gainers first. It’s used to build your frame for you to become more prominent. People take mass gainer if they struggle with getting bigger or the practice bodybuilders call “bulking.” In contrast with whey protein, mass gainers are made up of other proteins aside from whey. It also has more carbohydrates and fats than whey protein. That’s the simplest way to explain it.
Unlike the two supplements previously mentioned, creatine isn’t whey protein. Creatine is a substance that naturally occurs in the body. It turns into creatine phosphate and helps make adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. So what is this ATP for? This substance can transfer energy to cells. Hence, it can help with muscle contraction. Creatine is known as a supplement to help muscles development and recovery. Most people take this along with their mass gainer or whey protein.
When to Drink Them?
Drinking any of these will depend on your body goal. This sounds cliche and ambiguous for some. But to give you a little more in-depth yet simple answer, you have to know your eating habits first and your body goal.
You’d want to eat more calories if you’re gaining weight and eat less if you’re doing the opposite. How do you do it? First, you have to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). It’s the calories you burn every day, taking exercise into account. You can use a TDEE calculator to get this. The number you’ll get is the number of calories you need to take every day.
If you want to gain weight, you have to eat at least 300–500 calories more than that number you got. You can cut about 500 calories from the number you got if you want to lose weight. You can test the results by following your required caloric intake. Buy workout clothes that you can wear at the gym to see any progress you’re making.
What about Supplements?
This is where supplements come in. If you’re struggling with eating more than the required daily caloric intake, you can take mass gainer. If you’re aiming for a leaner gain, you can take whey protein. You just have to take creatine along with them to help you gain strength in exercising.
Hope this enlightens you about the most common supplements gym buffs talk about. There’s a lot of things that you might still need to know about nutritional supplements. Do more research and take information from reliable fitness and medical sources online.