Supplement Trends for 2016

From fashion to food, every New Year welcomes a selection of new trends and the world of supplements is no exception to this rule. Here’s a guide on what’s set to be hot for 2016 in the supplements industry:

Creatine and Amino Acid chains

Creatine is useful for boosting the intensity of a workout and improving performance so it will definitely be in vogue at the start of the New Year as people head back to the gym to lose their holiday weight. It works by increasing ATP production, which helps to transport energy to the muscles and maximise training. Creatine is especially beneficial during high intensity exercise, such as interval training, spinning and boxing, because it pushes the body to go that little bit further with each workout. Creatine Hybrid Matrix from the XFN range is a blend of 6 types of creatine that make it suitable for a varied training program that combines cardio with weights. Amino BCAA Pro is Creatine’s ideal partner because it helps to create and retain new muscle mass after exercise and speed up recovery.

Protein powders

Protein is vital for creating new muscle and fuelling the body, which is why many bodybuilders eat lots of lean meat, eggs and chicken. Whey protein, that’s mixed into a milkshake, is designed to increase the body’s strength, power, muscle recovery and performance. Protein powders that are made with soy are set to be very popular among vegan and vegetarian consumers in 2016.

Superfoods

If you love superfoods you’ll already be eating plenty of kale, raw cacao powder, goji berries and chia seeds but get ready to add some new superfoods to your grocery list in 2016, such as:

  1. Baobab fruit powder, which is derived from the fruit of an African tree, has excellent probiotic qualities that make it perfect for maintaining a healthy gut.
  2. The bitter Gubinge pear, which is high in Vitamin C, is ideal for adding a kick to cereals and smoothies.
  3. Gluten-free Teff grains that contain more calcium, iron, fibre and protein than wheat.

It’s fantastic if you can adjust your diet with supplements and superfoods to obtain all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, it’s also good to top your body up with general A-Z multivitamin’s to fill any nutritional holes that act as a safety net that guarantees that you’re getting everything you need with virtually zero leg work.

 

Protein; the real pros and cons

The body needs protein to build muscle, which is why bodybuilders eat protein-rich diets featuring foods like chicken breast, cottage cheese, fish and beans. However, it can often be easier and quicker to drink a milkshake topped up with protein powder – it’s simple and takes seconds to prepare. Here are some of the other pros and cons of protein powders:

Protein shakes can be transported easily to the gym for workouts

After exercise it’s essential that the body is refuelled with a mixture of carbs and protein to aid recovery and boost muscle development. It’s great if you can get that fuel through protein-rich snacks but the reality is that it can be tricky to carry a cooked chicken breast and a sweet potato to the gym. A protein shake (that also includes carbs) is better suited for many busy people who need a quick hit of protein to enhance their endurance and energy levels.

Whey powder is fast-acting

Protein powders made of whey protein are absorbed quickly by the body, helping to deliver amino acids more effectively to the muscles. That leads to a better workout and a swifter recovery.

It’s easy to monitor how much protein you’re ingesting

If you’re eating plenty of natural protein it may be the case that you don’t require extra protein from the shakes – a gram of protein per pound of body weight should be more than enough to encourage muscle growth when combined with exercise. Your activity level will also determine how much protein your body needs to build muscle.

However…Protein powder is a supplement not a whole food

You shouldn’t rely on protein powder alone to meet your body’s dietary needs. Foods like beans and pulses that are protein rich also contain essentials like fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients that a healthy body requires.

Don’t go overboard

Overdoing it on a protein supplement can cause damage to the kidneys, which have the job of metabolising the body’s waste products. Too much protein can also leave the body dehydrated and, in extreme cases, increase the risk of developing kidney stones and gout.

Protein from natural foods does the same job as protein powder

Animal proteins and even vegan proteins, such as brown rice, fermented soy products and hemp, are just as good as protein from a powdered source. However, they can be harder to find and take more time to prepare than a shake.

A balanced diet combining plenty of natural protein sources plus protein supplements makes the recipe for enhancing training and boosting muscle mass.

Nutrition Tips for New Runners

Running is a fantastic cardio exercise that strengthens the lungs, improves the mood, relives stress and burns calories. Better yet, anyone can start whenever the mood strikes because there’s no equipment required.

Fuelling the body with the right nutrition always makes for a better run so here’s a handy guide for new runners on how to make the most of their jogs, marathon runs and sprints:

Carb up

Load up on carbohydrates the evening before and on the morning of a long run. Potatoes, pasta, oats and rice are absorbed by the body and stored as glycogen and glucose – these reserves spark into action when the going gets tough. Taking creatine, which boosts the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body and kick-starts energy release, is useful for distance runners too.

Wait it out

During training wait two to four hours after eating a big meal before exercising (30 mins is sufficient after a small snack). Avoid high-fibre foods, spicy meals and alcohol too as these can adversely affect the gut but do eat oily fish rich in fatty acids and take Omega 3 supplements or Flaxseed Oil to boost heart health. It’s worth testing out whether a meal plan is working by doing a ‘dress-rehearsal’ run before competing.

Hype up the hydration

Drink water to compensate for sweat loss when undergoing distance training in preparation for a marathon. Sports drinks can be really helpful for replacing water, sugars and electrolytes. However, the amount of fluid the body needs will depend on the runner’s weight, gender, sweat rate and the climate.

Drink to thirst

Many professional runners advise drinking to thirst to avoid overfilling their stomach with fluid. Short runs that are less than an hour long don’t require extra fluids during training.

Promote recovery

A snack combining protein to repair muscles and carbs to refuel the body, eaten within 30 minutes of crossing the finish line, will speed up recovery. Drinks made with whey protein provide a light and quick way to load up on protein after a run.

Stay safe in the sun

Running in the summer can be tough for beginners who aren’t used to hot temperatures. It’s vital to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water prior to a long run and sipping on isotonic drinks during training. Wearing clothing that reduces chafing and applying a lubricant over problem areas is also advised to prevent soreness. Protecting the skin from harmful UV rays by wearing clothing that covers the body and applying a sunscreen with a high SPF is essential to staying safe in the sun.