What Supplements Can Do For You

True Protein Blog Avatar Fallback reviewed by our Nutrition Team 17 May 2024

Supplements serve as an excellent means to bridge dietary gaps, but it can often be difficult to know which products will help you reach your specific goals. We've assembled a comprehensive guide outlining how supplements can support various health and fitness objectives.

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What Supplements Can Do For You

When it comes to nutrition, we always encourage a food first approach, however, sometimes this isn’t feasible. Supplements serve as an excellent means to bridge dietary gaps and ensure our bodies receive essential nutrients. Depending on your goal, you may want to use a supplement to help you on your journey. Your specific goal dictates the nutrients you should prioritize. For instance, someone aiming to boost immunity may use different supplements than someone focused on building muscle. We've assembled a comprehensive guide outlining how supplements can support various objectives 

 

Goal: Increase protein intake 

Protein is an essential macronutrient that offers many structural and functional characteristics crucial for maintaining optimal health. Protein is made up of amino acids that the body uses to create hormones and enzymes and build and repair cells, muscles and bones, among other things. We can find protein in lean meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes, beans, fish and seafood. However, it can sometimes be challenging to reach your daily macronutrient target if your protein intake is insufficient; this is where protein supplements can be helpful.  

Products to help increase your protein intake: 

 

Goal: Improve micronutrient intake 

Micronutrient is a term used to describe vitamins and minerals which are necessary for the proper functioning of your body. Vitamins are organic compounds found in plants and animals and minerals are inorganic and found in things like soil and water. Vitamins and minerals are vital for growth, immune function, brain development and can even play a role in preventing and fighting disease. While you should be getting enough micronutrients from the fruit and veggies in your diet, supplementation is also an option to fill any gaps there might be. 

Products to increase micronutrient intake: 

 

Goal: Improve recovery  

Improving recovery after exercise is essential for maximising performance and reducing the risk of injury. When it comes to recovery, it is all about replenishing what our bodies have lost during exercise and feeding our muscles what they need to rebuild and repair. We need to be consuming a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients to support muscle repair and replenish energy stores. 

Products that will aid your recovery include: 

 

Goal: Build muscle 

If your goal is to build muscle you should focus on three things: resistance training, protein intake and eating in a calorie surplus. During exercise, muscle tears and is broken down. After your workout, your body repairs and rebuilds damaged muscle, usually bigger and stronger than it was before. This process occurs during rest and is aided by the macronutrient protein. In addition to consuming enough protein, you need to ensure that you are providing your body with enough energy to build muscle. When you consume less energy than you burn, your body turns to muscle and breaks it down to use as energy, therefore, stunting your muscle growth. Eating in a calorie surplus will provide the necessary energy for muscle building. 

Supplements to help you build muscle: 

 

Goal: Weight loss 

Weight loss occurs from a combination of eating in a calorie deficit and engaging in physical activity. While there's no "magical" supplement that directly causes weight loss on its own, some supplements may support weight loss efforts indirectly by aiding in appetite control, increasing metabolism, or offering a low-calorie option. However, it's recommended to prioritise a balanced diet and regular exercise as the foundation for weight loss. 

Supplements to assist you on your weight loss journey: 

 

Goal: Improve performance 

While supplements are not a substitute for proper training, nutrition, and rest, they can complement a well-rounded approach to performance enhancement. Supplements can help boost energy, power, and focus, thereby potentially improving overall performance. 

Supplements to support your performance: 

Goal: Improve hydration  

Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being. Water is essential for regulating body temperature, removing toxins, transporting nutrients and oxygen to cells, aiding digestion, and supporting cognitive function. Proper hydration is particularly important during physical activity to prevent dehydration, optimize exercise performance, and reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, impaired concentration, and decreased physical and cognitive performance. By drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day and paying attention to thirst cues, you can ensure you remain hydrated, however, if you find this isn’t sufficient you can supplement with electrolytes. An electrolyte powder helps to transport water to the cells to ensure you are hydrated to the optimal level. 

Products you can use to enhance hydration: 

 

Goal: Reduce refined sugar intake 

Refined sugar refers to sugars that have undergone processing to remove impurities and minerals, resulting in a highly concentrated sweetener. These sugars are found in a wide range of processed food and beverages and provide empty calories devoid of any nutritional value, making it a significant contributor to excess calorie intake and various health issues when consumed in excess. Cutting out refined sugars can help weight management, blood sugar control, heart health and dental health among other things. Focus on whole, minimally processed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods are naturally low in added sugars and provide essential nutrients and fibre. Our supplement range is free from refined sugar, so many of our products are suitable for someone wanting to cut down on refined sugar but still enjoy a sweet treat. 

View complete range here.

 

Goal: Improve gut health 

Gut health refers to the well-being of the gastrointestinal tract, which houses trillions of microorganisms crucial for digestion, nutrient absorption, and immune function. A balanced gut microbiota is vital for preventing digestive disorders and maintaining overall health. Promoting gut health involves adopting a balanced diet rich in fibre, fruits, vegetables, and probiotic-rich foods, managing stress, getting regular exercise and staying hydrated. Prioritising gut health is key for overall well-being. 

Support your microbiome diversity: 

 

Goal: Achieve a balanced diet 

A balanced diet is one that consists of a variety of whole foods from all food groups, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. You want to limit processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats, whilst also making sure you’re staying hydrated and are drinking enough water. Planning and preparing meals in advance is a good way to make sure you stay on track to achieving a balanced diet that supports overall health and wellbeing. Supplements can help you achieve some of the diet-related goals above, so you can eat in a more balanced manner. 

 

Key takeaways: 

A food-first approach is always recommended when it comes to achieving your goals 

Knowing the roles of certain foods is essential for reaching your health and fitness goals 

Do not neglect certain nutrients or foods because they do not support a particular goal, they may still be beneficial for other essential processes in the body 

Always aim to eat a balanced diet rich in whole foods 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: all content provided here is of a general nature only and is not a substitute for individualised professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and reliance should not be placed on it. For personalised medical or nutrition advice, please make an appointment with your doctor, dietitian or qualified health careprofessional.