There are so many supplements on the market today and while supplements can help you achieve your targets, some may also be detrimental. Increase of heart rate and blood pressure are just some known side-effects. Let’s glance at some popular health and fitness supplements of the day.  

Protein Powders

Protein is vital in feeding your muscles while you work out and in aiding the rebuilding process. Protein also helps to repair tissues and is used to develop hormones and enzymes to develop your blood, skin, bones and cartilage. Factually, you’d need to work your muscles and can’t expect to build muscles by just ingesting protein. For building body mass, take protein in conjunction with workouts while it’s noteworthy to take protein in proper measures. Taking more protein than you need could stress up your liver and kidneys. An accurate measure of intake is 1-gram per pound of body weight and you can take it in intermittent small doses throughout the day. Taken before workout, it helps to feed your muscles while taken at bedtime helps in the rebuilding process.

Amino Acids

After ingestion, protein breaks down into amino acids which are also called the building blocks of protein. Responsible for development of all your body enzymes, they aid in crucial body functions including digestion. They also help to repair and grow muscles when taken in conjunction with workouts. Categorised into two types, namely - essential and non-essential amino acids, essentials are reliant on food source as they are not produced by the body. Each amino acid has specific functions while recommended doses vary for each type. 1.5-gram doses taken 3-times a day is generally sufficient. Capsules are far better than tablets in terms of potency. For best results, take amino acids before and after your workout. Selecting amino acids largely depends on your goals but isoleucine, valine and leucine promote muscle growth. Glutamine on the other hand, helps provide glucose for energy.

HGH or Human Growth Hormone

HGH is released naturally from the pituitary gland in your brain. It provides energy and develops and repairs muscles. Be cautious with using over the counter HGH supplements or deciding on using any type of HGH. Some are claimed to be carcinogenic too. What spurs interests in HGH is that it depletes in your body after about age 30 and continues to deplete thereafter to even as much as 80%. Effects of HGH supplements continue to be unproven while there’s potential for serious side-effects. HGH is generally administered through injections, pills and mouth sprays.


Creatine has not been widely studied so the actual effects are arguable and debatable. Creatine which is produced by your liver, kidneys and pancreas is used by the body to produce adenosine triphosphate or ATP to provide energy to your muscles. Diets such as fish and meat also provide creatine. Immediate weight gain after taking creatine is attributed to water retention rather than muscle gain. As for increased athletic performance, it’s uncertain if these are actually attributable to creatine intake or merely psychological. Claimed side-effects include dehydration, seizures, irregular heartbeat and cramps but again these remain unproven whether it’s caused by creatine supplements. Use of creatine is highly-cautionary and usually taken in pills or powders in juices or shakes. Proper dosage is currently unascertainable.   


Responsible for development of glucose to provide the body with energy, Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid and it’s the largest quantity of amino acid produced by your body through other amino acids. Produced in your skeletal muscles, it helps in maintaining muscle mass and in recovery. Glutamine supplements are believed to replenish glutamine levels for those who train hard since intensive workouts deplete glutamine levels. As for proper dosage, studies have shown positive results upon taking 5-grams after an intensive workout followed thereafter by 5-grams more two hours later. Some studies have also shown that the body can tolerate at least 20-grams per day.

It’s recommended that you consult your doctor before adopting the use of any supplements.