Fitness & Nutrition

How Natural Products Can Make Exercise Easier

By Harris Wheless
Bruno Nascimento

Whether you’re looking for pre- or post-workout supplementation to add into your routine, there are many natural products that can give you an added boost in your performance, or help you wind down after a hard workout. Any good workout routine includes proper preparation before the session and a good cool down afterwards. In addition to stretching and hydrating, you can take certain supplements before or after your workout to perform at a higher level and promote better recovery.

Many medical professionals recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. And while regular exercise has many health benefits, it can also take a toll on the body. In order to continue reaping the benefits of exercise, you need something that ensures muscle recovery and soreness reduction. Taking a natural supplement before or after a workout can help you achieve this effect, and promote long-term wellness advantages.

How supplements can benefit your exercise routine

Depending on your age and physical condition, the sweet spot for your exercising frequency can vary. Additionally, if your workout goal is to lose weight, your exercise routine and supplementation will be different than someone else who is more focused on strength training.

Moderate to intense aerobic exercise can temporarily increase heart rate and blood pressure. If you have type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or a condition that requires you to carefully regulate your exercise routine, you should be cautious with how often and how strenuous an activity you choose to participate in. Natural supplements can help those with these conditions regulate weight loss, muscle mass, and cholesterol levels among other things. And for those who are hitting the gym to build strength and muscle, or to maintain a high level of fitness, these supplements can assist with pain management and exercise-induced inflammation.

Natural products to use pre- or post-workout

  • Creatine monohydrate — Studies show that creatine enhances exercise performance, strength, and muscle mass. While it is found naturally in muscle cells, creatine supplementation can give you that added boost of energy that helps you achieve peak performance. Creatine is most effective when used for brief, high-intensity activities like weight lifting. It works well as a pre- or post-workout supplement, providing energy for a training session, and promoting recovery afterwards.
  • CBD — CBD is a natural ingredient found in cannabis plants. CBD consumer products are derived from hemp rather than marijuana, and can be used as alternative treatments for conditions as varied as anxiety, insomnia, and exercise-induced inflammation. Athletes who participate in yoga, running, swimming and other activities use CBD before a workout for its ability to calm and reduce tension, and afterwards for its pain management and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Beta alanineBeta alanine is a non-essential amino acid that results in reduced lactic acid accumulation in your muscles during exercise, which leads to better performance. Beta alanine is a popular supplement because of its ability to reduce fatigue, increase endurance, and achieve increased results in high-intensity activities. It pushes back your time to exhaustion and allows you to exercise for longer periods of time. By reducing muscle fatigue, beta alanine can help you perform at a higher level while also recovering more effectively.
  • Whey protein — Milk contains two kinds of proteins, casein and whey. Whey contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is low in lactose content and offers many health benefits, including lower cholesterol levels and leveraging weight loss. It also has the potential to reduce blood pressure and lower your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. In terms of exercise-related results, whey protein can increase the release of hormones that stimulate muscle growth and muscle protein synthesis to provide you with a more effective workout session.
  • Calcium — Calcium works well as a supplement because it helps to regulate muscle contraction, including the beating of the heart muscle. Calcium plays an important role in the body as it aids in the maintenance of proper blood coagulation, as well as strengthening your bones and slowing bone density loss. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body, with most of it found in the bones and teeth.

Choosing the right natural product for your fitness routine

If you’re shopping for workout supplements, keep in mind that no one size fits all. Read clinical studies, research benefits and side effects, and consider which of these best match with your body and exercise goals.

Pay careful attention to what’s on the label and look for a product that will provide you with good long-term results rather than just a temporary reward. If you’re unsure of how to go through this process, consult with a medical or fitness professional. They may be able to make an informed suggestion based on your medical history or fitness goals, and help point you in the right direction.

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