For the people who are looking to improve their performance and reap the ultimate benefits of physical exercises, there are legal, natural supplements that can be utilized to help them achieve their goals. To see noticeable results quicker and feel the health benefits of weight training or exercising, there are nutritious and easy-to-obtain performance enhancing agents that are not illegal, nor do they require a prescription from a doctor. They are just as effective as the synthetic controlled substances, without the dangerous side effects.

These natural supplements are also more cost-effective than controlled substances which are very expensive. Also known as ergogenic aids, they safely contribute to giving those who participate in any type of physical exercise, a physical edge. Although I personally don’t use supplements, I’ve learned a lot about the various natural supplements out there while studying for my personal trainer and advanced nutrition certifications and wanted to pass some info along!

Chromium Picolinate

Chromium or trivalent chromium is a mineral and is considered an “essential trace element” that is vital to bodily functions. Chromium provides the potential for substantial weight loss, burning fat, raising energy levels, and increase lean muscle mass, especially when engaging in resistance weight training. It is sold in health food stores, grocery stores, and drug stores as chromium picolinate. It is most beneficial when no more than the recommended amount is taken on a daily basis.

Creatine

Creatine is a natural substance found in the body, mostly in muscles, that is converted into creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate contributes to the manufacturing of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy for muscle contractions. Creatine is the most popular of all the performance enhancing supplements because it is thought to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise, and contribute to short bursts of power. Creatine is also easily accessible because it is sold in grocery stores, drug stores, health food stores, and online.

Carnitine

Carnitine or L-carnitine is an amino acid, which is a building block for proteins and is created naturally in the body. It helps the body produce energy and it also helps with muscle function, endurance, and counters fatigue that results from exercising for long periods of time. Carnitine is also believed to contribute to fat loss because of its appetite suppressing abilities and it prevents the body from storing fat. L-carnitine does come in capsules, tablets, and liquid form and can be bought at drug stores, health food stores and online.

Hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB)

HMB is an amino acid that is produced in the body. It is believed to enhance and strengthen muscles, and slow the breakdown of muscle during exercise. HMB improves physical performance while strength training, slows lost muscle mass when reducing caloric intake or when muscles have atrophied, increases muscle protein synthesis, and aids in the growth of new muscle tissue. It is recommended that HMB is taken 30 to 45 minutes before any kind of physical exercise for maximum effect.

Natural supplements that are believed to enhance physical performance and contribute to weight loss, building lean muscle, burning fat, muscle recovery, building endurance and strength are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration because the FDA doesn’t have the jurisdiction to regulate them.

Even though these natural supplements are emulations of natural chemicals that are produced in the body or are precursors to create natural chemical reactions in the body, they are considered food products, not medications or drugs. They aren’t subject to the same strict standards governing the sale of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and can be found easily in almost any physical or online supplement store. The FDA also doesn’t have the authority to enforce regulations on natural or nutritional supplement companies because they don’t manufacture drugs or medications, but instead, they market and sell natural substances believed to have health benefits.

There has been research and studies conducted on natural supplements but not as rigorously as they are performed on drugs and medications. Natural supplements are simpler to obtain and inexpensive in comparison to the controlled substances the FDA regulates, and are probably just as effective.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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