Do supplements really help your workout? Actually of all the supplements sold for working out, many do. The answer is, as with so many questions, it depends.
Part of how well the supplement will work is the quality of the brand. Poorer quality supplements are not always absorbed into the body well. If it just ends up being excreted, you will not receive any benefit from it. The workouts you are doing can also make a difference.
Creatine supplements, for example, have been shown to help a weight lifting workout. They make the muscle stronger and capable of doing more reps. Because you can lift more weight for more times, you will get more out of the workout and muscles will gain more in mass and size. However, creatine is only useful for anaerobic exercise. You do not get the same benefits when doing aerobic exercise.
Vitamin and mineral supplements are important for everyone, not just for working out. In order for your body to get the most out of your workouts, it needs to be functioning properly. It is extremely important to get a high quality brand of these as these supplements are frequently in forms difficult to digest and end up being excreted by the body.
Protein supplements have been popular for years and are sold as a way to build up more muscle. Whether this will help you or not will really depend on how much protein intake you have from your diet. You absolutely need the nutrition from protein to feed your muscles. If you are not getting enough from your meals then taking a supplement will help, ideally after your workouts.
You can help the recovery of your muscles by taking an amino acid called glutamine. It helps protect muscle from being broken down for fuel as well as to repair after. It is also an important nutrient for your immune system and will help keep you from getting worn down by your workouts.
Thermogenic supplements are ones that speed up the metabolism. In this category are kola nut, guarana, caffeine and ephedra, which is now prohibited for sale. Many people take these types of substances for more energy before the workout and to enhance the burning of fat. They should be taken with caution, however, because they speed up the entire sympathetic nervous system as well. Your physician should be consulted first if you have a heart condition.
There are many supplements that can be taken to enhance your workouts. First make sure you are getting good nutrition both in terms of your diet and any vitamin and mineral supplements. Then you can experiment and see what works best for you.