If money wasn’t a factor, let’s face it, most of us would have free reign to buy things we want with little thought as to how much we’re spending. This is especially true of health and fitness items, which often get left to the wayside when money is a factor in our lives (which is most of the time for many of us). If only it were so straightforward, so cut and dry, that we could pick and choose the health products of our choice without batting an eye at the price tag, so it can be a challenge finding supplements to match our individual budgets.
Luckily there are some staple health and fitness supplements that don’t have to break the bank, we just need to prioritize and figure out which ones are the best/most necessary for an optimal fitness regimen and work that around our finances. For women who don’t have a high budget to work with, this means keeping an open mind and being open to products, making use of the essentials to ensure you get everything you can out of your healthiest life yet. Then when you’re able to invest a little more, you can add additional supplements to this solid lineup.
So, how do we decide what the essentials are? Well, if we opt for those products and supplements that are backed by strong scientific research and data, those are always going to be the best option as their track record of results will speak volumes in any research. Now, sometimes when scaling back on luxuries due to budget constraints, it means we’ll have to compromise a little. Not on quality, but on convenience. Sure, those supplements that come chock-full with every single component you could possibly want or need are on the market – with a high price tag of course, so as much as possible, keep with the basics and build up your fitness frontier yourself! There’s also a sense of accomplishment in doing things from scratch, so it’s a win-win.
Where to start?
Let’s start with five basic supplements that should get you going on your health and fitness journey.
Creatine – This is a compound which produced in small amounts naturally within the body. It is also found in meat and fish products. When partaking in high intensity activity, creatine is thought to play a major role in releasing energy to enhance muscle performance. This means we’re able to go longer and harder, all whilst creatine helps provide ATP (adenosine triphosphate) to our cells so that our muscles maintain energy levels for a more sustained period of time. Also helping to reduce fatigue and increase endurance, this is one supplement that shouldn’t be missed off the list of bare necessities if we want to see gains that don’t hit the wallet hard.
Whey Protein – This supplement is the backbone of a basic workout regimen. It is one of two proteins comprising milk and more importantly, it digests quickly releasing the branched chain amino acids contained within it, and these guys are crucial to muscle growth. Whether for the sake of growing your muscles or maintaining them, whey is a great supplement if only just for it’s ability to help you recover, post workout.
Vitamin D3 – This fat-soluble vitamin is synthesized when we’re in the presence of sunshine. With increasing amounts of time being spent indoors rather than out, it can be easy to become deficient in this vitamin, so providing the body with an outside source of vitamin D will help keep you healthy. Additionally, it aids in keeping your immune system functioning on top form as well as helping with calcium absorption for the purpose of maintaining strong and healthy bones (which themselves can be put under stress during strenuous or weight bearing exercises), so this is definitely a must in a basic supplement list.
Beta Alanine – This amino acid helps to top up our stores of carnosine, which in turn helps to reduce fatigue and increase endurance, performance and muscle growth. So, if increased muscle mass is what you’re aiming for, this supplement can definitely help, after all, more muscle means more calories burned.
Multivitamin – Now whether or not your diet is well-rounded, a multivitamin can help boost and/or maintain your health. If you consume the same foods pretty much daily, how are you to know whether or not you’re getting every nutrient your body needs, in the quantity it requires? Taking a multivitamin ensures that if you come up short in your diet, the supplement will help fill in the gap. As intense exercise increases micronutrient needs, it is of prime importance that we get the goods into our body.
Whether for muscle gains or just to maintain, supplements will help you reach your goals. Financial constraints needn’t completely eliminate your ability to provide your body with the extra little bit that can boost your performance and in turn, your rewards, all you have to do is work within your budget and stick with the basics.