You may simply want to live a healthy life or be putting in the hard hours in the gym. You may get paid to play your sport. Whatever the reason, you want to do everything you can to get the best results. Sports supplements are everywhere. You can’t even take a trip to your local supermarket without seeing a shelf dedicated solely to supplements. Do they actually work? Who are they for? Do I actually need them? In this post I m going to cover a a little of what the science is saying.


Before We Start, Don’t Forget The Basics

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, you aren’t overtraining and your diet is on point. There is no point in shelling out in search of the top 1% change when you’ve got 99% wrong!

Read our post on the essentials of nutrition and recovery HERE.


Creatine Monohydrate

Arguably one of the most popular and heavily researched supplements out there. You have probably taken creatine in the past or know somebody that has. As a result, we have covered Creatine a in a couple of posts on our blog. The most in depth of which was “Creatine For Team Sports Performance”. However, we will cover the basics now.

Possible benefits include – Increased lean mass, better recovery during intense training, enhanced adaptations response. Furthermore, it is well studied and has been shown to be very safe. However, you may be one of the unfortunate ones who is a non-responder to creatine. YOu’ll have to give it a go and find out.

To start loading, take 0.3 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day for 5–7 days, then follow with at least 0.03 g/kg/day either for three weeks (if cycling) or indefinitely (without additional loading phases).


Vitamin D

Deficiencies can be identified through blood work. Consult your doctor or a qualified nutritionist before if you believe you have a deficiency to ensure safe practice. It is likely you can improve your intake via food and lifestyle changes.

Research suggests benefits in – Adaptation response from exercise, decrease risk in upper tract infections and decreases in stress fractures.


HMB or Beta-hydroxy Betamethyl-butyrate

Yes that’s actually what it is called! You’ve most likely heard it called HMB. I myself took this when I was a younger gym monkey wannabe! Despite some research showing mixed results, some studies have found positive outcomes.

Possible benefits include – Increases in lean mass, strength and adaptation due to decreased muscle protein breakdown.

Whilst these studies have found benefits in HMB supplementation, it is not clear whether adequate protein intake would achieve the same.


Do I recommend Sports Supplements?

Personal Training in Berkshire means that I come into contact with people from all walks of life. Some are athletes, some aren’t. Some have big goals, others don’t. What I generally find is that there are a number of lifestyle and recovery factors we can improve before we even think about supplementation. Don’t get me wrong, if I think you need it, I will tell you. However, if the foundations aren’t there, sports supplements wont become your magic pill!