30 Nov 2016

Should you Take Workout Supplements

The supplement shake has graced the hands and sports bags of many Australians, but the question remains … are supplements good for you? Do they make you healthier? Are you stronger?

Discover the truth about workout supplements here.


What is it? You’ll find creatine in some of the more popular muscle enhancers. It’s a protein based compound found throughout your body – in your muscles actually – influencing energy efficiency and muscle contraction. It occurs in a vast variety of supplement combinations, often forming the base for supplement stacking (mixing different supplements together) for pre, intra or post workout protein rituals. Just remember, even though creatine can help you work out harder for a lot longer doesn’t mean you should all the time. Supplements, like any diet choice, should be consumed in moderation and according to instructions.

What can it do? Many workout buffs use creatine to direct high amounts of energy to the muscle groups, extending total exercise time, intensity and speeding on recovery. Resistance trainers use it to increase overall lean body mass.

Who can use it? Creatine is recommended for those wanting to add an edge to their brief high intensity workouts. Weight lifting, sprinting and resistance.

Side effects: Be diligent against muscle cramping and stress injuries. Warm up before a workout and cool down in the last five minutes – do not skip either stage in order to get home faster.

Myth: creatine is a steroid

This is a lie developed to dismiss the effectiveness of supplements and further leverage the anti-supplement conversation popular on some online channels. We’ve already established creatine is a natural chemical produced by the body to channel energy through the muscles. Steroids, on the other hand, mimic the sex hormone testosterone, often leading to dangerous horror stories of misuse and dependence.

HMB (Beta-Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate)

What is it? You can see why we favour the HMB acronym… Beta Hydroxy-Beta-Methylbutyrate is a leucine derived metabolite with some hard hitting science behind its benefits. Stacking HMB with creatine can lead to improved anabolic and lipolytic performance, stabilising the cellular membranes of your hard-working muscles while reducing protein catabolism pathways.

What can it do? HMB can give you a power boost in the weights room, including pull force and rep effects, increased lean muscle mass, consistent fat loss and enviable definition.

Who can use it? Everybody and anybody searching for measurable results.

Side effects: HMB is a new supplement in the scheme of things – although it appears to be safe and full of great features, be wary of the natural balance of your body. Most people tolerate and metabolise HMB without adverse reactions over a long period of time.   

Myth: everyone will have the same experience

Just because one supplement works for you doesn’t mean it will work for your mates. Every person has a unique biological makeup, so while creatine in itself may have the same effects on most people, different brands will reap different rewards based on your needs. Trial a few varieties and measure the results – don’t be discouraged if the gym favourite isn’t yours; it’s a process of finding out what works for you and going with it.


L-Arginine ensures the human muscular structure is nurtured by blood flow, promoting growth and an increased rate of nutrient exchange. A popular amino acid for performance management, L-Arginine hasn’t earned the best reputation in the locker room; increases in strength are minimal, although science has discovered its importance in the treatment of cardiovascular disease in a controlled dosage. If your favourite supplement has L-Arginine on the label, reconsider buying up another barrel; a 2006 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found a daily 9-gram supplement can have severe effects, including fatal heart attacks. We do not recommend including L-Arginine in your protein powder mash-up.

Myth: if you've tried one supplement, you’ve tried them all

This is certainly untrue. Different brands have different recipes and expect varying standards of quality – some are purely capitalist, driven by a quick buck and an easy sell, feeding questionable materials into your cupboard in the pursuit of a booming market. Others dedicate time, money and research to finding the best combinations, ensuring their stock meets the needs of their clientele without sacrificing health and wellness. Never buy a supplement based on price – do your research, ask around and ask questions before taking home a colourful container.

Want to know more about training your body to perform at its peak? Become a qualified Personal Trainer with AIPT’s Complete Personal Training Course. Call 1300 616 180 today.

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