Over the last couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to use supplements manufactured by NOW Sports. I was initially drawn to the NOW supplements because they are Non-GMO, vegetarian/vegan and/or dairy and soy free. This is not something you see in the dietary supplement industry. I applaud NOW Sports for taking initiative and creating products with Non-GMO in mind. NOW Sports is a great company and has been family-owned since 1968. Its a leader in the nutritional supplements industry and dedicated to providing customers with a comprehensive approach to wellness by offering a variety of high-quality, natural and affordable products. Founded on the belief that natural is better, NOW Foods is proud to offer more than 1,400 natural products that are specifically formulated to help support optimal health through good nutrition. NOW Foods product offerings range from nutrient-rich foods and supplements to personal care and sports nutrition items
The supplements that I am using are for various reasons. Below is information on each supplement and my thoughts about its effectiveness.
L-Leucine is one of the three Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) that is critical in muscle tissue structure. It helps to maintain already healthy glucose metabolism and insulin function, and may help to promote the use of fat for energy.
My thoughts: I like the fact that suggested use for this supplement is only 1-3 times daily. I tend to do better with using supplements when I don’t have to take them many times throughout the day. I only use this supplement once per day and usually with my morning fluid intake. I’m not sure I can say that this supplement specifically made me feel better or perform better, but I know that BCAAs are important. This is unflavored and I highly recommend mixing this with juice for flavor.
Protein is vital to hundreds of the body’s most basic biological functions. Unfortunately, many individuals can not tolerate some of the natural compounds found in whey, egg, soy and other protein sources due to their unique food allergies. NOW® Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder is ideal for those who live with allergies and sensitivities to these ingredients. This brown rice protein is also natural and pure, with no added ingredients.
My thoughts: This protein is awesome! While I’m not allergic to the compounds found in whey, egg or soy, but I’m also not a huge fan of how I feel after I consume those protein sources. My stomach never got upset with the Sprouted Brown Rice Protein and I’m a fan of that! This product is also very easy to mix into any fluid and it’s suggested us is only once per day, again making it easy to maintain use. I usually threw a scoop into whatever fluid I was drinking for lunch.
NOW® Pro-GH™ is an amino acid supplement formulated to support optimal sports performance. It has Arginine, Ornithine, Lysine, and Glutamine, which helps to promote muscle tissue growth and recovery. These same amino acids are also essential for the production and maintenance of nitric oxide (NO) within blood vessels, further supporting the body’s optimal response to intense physical training. Glycine, known for its role in glycogen synthesis, has been included to support muscular energy output. Finally, Glutamine and Glycine help to support healthy immune system responses, especially during times of physical stress and intense exercise. NOW® Pro-GH™ thus combines the amino acids needed to help you attain your training goals into one convenient product.
My thoughts: I am very active and I like supplements that are designed for sports performance. I did take note that my muscles recovered more quickly while taking Pro-GH and that I didn’t experience as much muscle soreness one to two days after a heavy lifting day. This is a supplement that is suggested to by consumed before bed time. For me, this makes it easy to take as I take several other supplements during the day which makes it easy to forget. I have made taking this supplement part of my bedtime routine.
Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that is an important intermediate in the urea cycle, functioning along with other amino acids to rid the body of ammonia, a byproduct of protein metabolism. Citrulline also plays an important role in the healing process and in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
My thoughts: Unlike the supplements above, this product is not a powder but in pill form. This also has a suggested use of 1 tablet 1-2 times a day, again making it easy to maintain use (which is key when using supplements). I don’t notice any direct evidence that this supplement is preforming, but I hope that it’s doing its job and keeping my immune system healthy.
ZMA® is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B-6 designed to maximize absorption and to promote recovery from exercise. Zinc plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair, as well as the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production and normal neuromuscular function. Because physical activity can increase the need for these two minerals, ZMA® is the ideal supplement to aid in their replenishment.
My thoughts: This is, hands down, one of my favorite supplements. I take this just before bed (its suggested time) and I feel noticeably better in the morning, especially after a tough workout. My recovery time is absolutely shorter and my energy level is up. This is a supplement you should consider taking as soon as you can!
In my opinion, supplements require trial and error to understand which ones work for you. I am a firm believer that you shouldn’t use a supplement that doesn’t work just because its the latest fad or because someone told you about it. Give it a shot and if it doesn’t work for you, stop taking it! Supplements, like many things in the fitness and health industry, are not magic pills. They are aides in helping you be the best you, but you still must get out there and do the work. I talk to many people who are taking supplements, but aren’t doing the work and they blame the supplements! Supplements can be amazing when used properly.
Check out NOW Sports online to learn more about the supplements mentioned above as well as many other great products. These supplements can be purchased through the web site or at many retailers. The site has a “find a retailer” function that will point you to a retailer close to you.
What supplements do you use? What supplements have you tried that just don’t work for you?