Where to start?

Where to start?

As mentioned on many of these pages, if you're eating a balanced and healthy diet, high in complex carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fats, then this should be enough to keep you in general good health. It may also be sufficient to replenish the energy and nutrients used by a basic exercise programme.

On the other hand, if you exercise regularly and intensively, a supplement can be an effective and convenient addition to your diet. Whether used to prolong endurance, enhance recovery, reduce body fat, increase muscle mass or minimise the risk of illness - whatever your specific training goals, there are hundreds of supplements to choose from. So where do you start?

Naturally, every training plan should have a long-term aim and lesser short-term goals - each designed to bring you to the peak of your physical capacity. When you're clear about them, you can then decide on your nutritional strategy and which supplements might help.

Your next task is to consider both the quality of the products themselves, as well as to understand their unique effects upon you.

Define your Goals

So much depends upon who you are, your metabolism and general biochemistry, what level of exercise you're involved with and how far you want to go. Ask yourself 3 key questions:

What do I want to achieve?
Is a supplement needed or is my diet already adequate?
If I need them, which ones will help me to achieve my goals?

More than any other area of training and fitness, seek professional advice before you decide which supplements are most suitable for you. These may include supplements to aid muscle growth and repair, to gain muscle mass, strength and help you train harder, to aid fat and weight loss, to improve hydration and recovery after exercise and supplements to aid performance.

For more advice on how to build tone and condition...