An athletic body and a healthy lifestyle have become much more than just a status symbol over the past few years. Social media is virtually ruled by aesthetic bodies and tanned muscles, and large trade fairs like Fibo enjoy an almost endless stream of visitors. Apart from the pure hobby as a sportsman, there are already plenty of opportunities today to turn this passion into a profession and fill your everyday life with it. However, anyone who is involved in fitness or competitive sports will already have come into contact with the so-called dietary supplements. These preparations are especially popular in fitness sports. Above all, the powders and tablets are supposed to support muscle building, fat loss and weight loss. But what is really true? And what are the little helpers good for?

These chapters await you:

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What are supplements?

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Supplements, or also called dietary supplements, are preparations that are supposed to help support the physical development of an athlete. As the name suggests, they are not basic foods but only supplements. 

In any case, care should be taken to ensure that the normal diet is not neglected. The preparations are not only popular in the fitness scene, but also in regular nutrition and diet planning. At the latest since the fitness hype of the last few years, people have become much more conscious and healthy in their diet. 

This includes, among other things, a look at the quality of the food consumed. Micro- and macronutrients have long since ceased to be part of scientific terminology and have arrived in the midst of society. However, as it can be very difficult to absorb all the nutrients in question, supplements can provide a welcome help. Particularly when it comes to sports, the various nutrients can be supplied in concentrated form instead of having to be absorbed over hours of capaciousness. 

How do supplements help us in everyday life?

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In everyday life, supplements can help above all to cover the body’s nutrient requirements. However, the clichéd notion of powders and tablets as the sole aim of muscle building does not have to be served. For quite some time now, various supplements have been available that also fulfil purely health-related functions. 

Vitamin and mineral supplements can for example strengthen and improve the immune system, metabolism and skin. Some of the preparations even praise the fact that taking them alone accelerates the fat metabolism and thus helps to burn fat. This effect is due to the acceleration of the metabolism, whose increased activity has some advantages not only with regard to the dwindling physical fat reserves. 

A more active metabolism can not only help with weight loss, but also means a better utilization of the nutrients absorbed. Not only the immune system, but all physical functions benefit from this.

→ You can learn more about the metabolism here.

Reasons for taking supplements

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The mere intake of the preparations usually has a bad reputation from the point of view of the non-users already in the run-up to the treatment. Much too quickly the bridge to steroids and anabolic steroids is built. However, the pure supplements have absolutely nothing in common with such hormones. In fact, there are a number of health-related factors that speak in favour of taking food supplements on a regular basis. On the one hand, the time factor is of essential importance. Especially people with a full schedule are grateful for a quick and uncomplicated meal. If it is also healthy, one has killed two birds with one stone. Secondly, the composition and concentration of nutrients is also considerable. For example, protein, healthy carbohydrates and vitamins can be incorporated into the diet in a targeted manner without taking up unavoidable additional nutrients, as is the case with regular foods, for example. Whoever therefore wants to consume pure protein is certainly better off with a whey protein shake than eating cheese, which, in addition to protein, provides a lot of fat. This principle can also be applied to vitamins, micronutrients and minerals. In addition, most supplements are much healthier than a whole meal.

→ Further information about vitamins and minerals can be found in the vitamin guide or mineral guide.

Do dietary supplements replace a healthy diet?

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Nevertheless, food supplements are no substitute for a healthy and balanced diet

Even though many points speak in favour of the preparations, especially with regard to the composition of nutrients, a healthy and balanced diet should still consist of full meals and a wide variety of nutrients. 

Because, as the name suggests, these are merely supplements. Important nutrients such as trace elements and healthy fats are only found in small doses in the supplements. Although it is certainly beneficial to use protein shakes, especially for muscle building and weight loss, in order to cover the body’s protein requirements, the body also needs other important nutrients such as fats, vitamins and carbohydrates in order to regenerate the muscles sufficiently and allow the fat to disappear.

The complexity of a balanced and healthy diet cannot therefore be reduced to a few supplements and tablets. There are, however, a few preparations that are an effective aid, especially for muscle building and weight loss, and support the diet in this respect. Which supplements are available, how they work and for what purpose they should be taken can be read in the following guide. All important facts and figures are explained in detail and can be called up at any time.

→ Here you learn how to create a healthy nutrition plan.

Here you can find articles about the individual supplements

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