Health Supplements vs Performance Supplements



Most of us have tried supplements either for their weight loss benefits, to keep us healthier or to improve our performance in the gym. Now, although we're not all professional athletes, there are certainly supplements that can help us achieve our goals both from a health and performance perspective.  That begs the question: which are intended for your health versus those that are intended to improve your training performance, recovery and therefore your overall results?


Health Supplements


No matter your goal on a fitness journey, your priority should always be your health, not exclusively the goal you have in mind. So think of health supplements as supplements that aid you towards your goal but ensure that you are in your healthiest state possible. They are there to be used as part of a balanced diet not as a replacement for. Some health supplements are there for when your diet is deficient in certain nutrients or even for immunity boosting purposes. But are there any that are universally applicable, or must they be used on a case by case basis when you don’t receive enough nutrients? Realistically they should be a balance of both.


Multivitamins and Vitamin D3

 If you're looking for health supplements that should form a staple of your day to day living it would be beneficial to consider a good Multivitamin, an Omega fatty acid supplement and in places like the UK, that can receive very little sunlight, Vitamin D3. Western diets are often deficient in nutrients and it's often hard to pinpoint exactly which nutrients you are not getting in from your diet. So a good multivitamin will fill those gaps and optimise your health. This can mean that the multivitamin leaves you feeling more alert or better energised, or just better on the whole. The nutrients contained within a multivitamin are of course essential to pretty much every function within your body every single day. Vitamin D3 is one example where you can actually pinpoint that you may be deficient. That's because our usual source of vitamin D is from sunlight and in climates like the UK has, there are often long spells where we don’t get enough sun.

Omega Fatty Acids 

 Finally Omega 3-6-9  fatty acids are usually found in fish like salmon. Omega-3’s are particularly important as they are considered essential fats because our bodies can't produce them. They are essential for our cell membranes as well as for brain health and joint health. Once you have covered the various aspects of health, be it exclusively through your diet or with supplements, you will find that it is far easier to achieve your physique goals especially when those essentials contribute towards weight loss!  


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    Performance Supplements


    Now if health supplements can aid weight loss how come they aren't considered performance supplements?! The subtle difference between the two is that, although they reach the same outcome, they reach the outcome by a different means.  

    For example, better health can induce weight loss the same way greater output in the gym can also induce weight loss. The real difference is that health supplements look after your body’s well being whilst performance supplements make you better pre, intra and post training. Some are even great to help with weight loss! In the same way that there are some health supplements that can be used universally there are also some performance supplements that are applicable to any goal.


     Studies have shown that one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day is optimal for muscular development and can help during fat loss phases both because of its thermic effect during digestion as well as its role in building and holding on to muscle. Therefore, a good protein supplement can be considered essential especially when your insight needs to be so high. 


    Similarly, creatine can be a fantastic performance supplement and as it can be used whether your goal is weight gain or weight loss because of its influence on your energy systems. it is the most thoroughly researched sports supplement, is safe to take and its role is to aid weight training and progressive overload. Progressive overload is key to your bodies development so if it is being used as a performance supplement in a calorie surplus, it will help you to train harder and the calorie surplus in turn will allow you to build muscle. When dieting it again will help you train harder whilst in a calorie deficit allowing your muscles still to develop but whilst losing weight.


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    Which supplements are more important?


    It is important to look after yourself so health supplements should absolutely be your priority especially in a weight loss phase however both the health supplements and performance supplements will steer you toward your goals and better equip you for the tax that you put your body under through training. When combined with a good diet that meets your goals and training to meet your goals, you enhance the power of both the health supplements and performance supplements you’re using.

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