Have you ever noticed that some sports supplements are single-ingredient products, ready to be used by themselves or mixed up by you at home. But others are offered as a formula, developed by a team of experts and ready mixed at just the right combination and dose?
If all the ingredients in the formulas are out there available for purchase, why spend a little extra to buy a ready-made formula?
Like a lot of things in sport and fitness…. “it depends”.
Formulations can be a useful starting point if you’re new to sports supplements, or if you want to try certain ingredients without buying an entire bag of the pure ingredient.
As you get more knowledgeable about ingredients, and work out what does (and doesn’t) benefit you, you might consider buying the single ingredients to build your own custom formula.
And once your goals narrow down, from beginner to fat loss, muscle gain, strength, or competing, you may want to build your own formula which precisely delivers exactly what you need.
But at first, a good formula can be a hassle-free way of trying out different ingredients beyond the very basics.
What Type Of Formulas Could You Try?
Meal replacements shakes – these should contain a form of protein (or perhaps a blend of protein sources), a carbohydrate, and some healthy fats, and might also have added vitamins.
Mass gainers/weight gainers – like a MRP, a mass gainer shake will be like a meal in a shake but are typically higher calorie than a normal MRP.
Pre workouts – pre workouts contain stimulants (like caffeine), BCAA and other amino acids, and common pre workout ingredients like citrulline malate, beta alanine, and AAKG to support energy and focus.
Intra workouts – a good intra workout formula will combine ingredients and a fresh taste to give you energy and mental focus, plus nutrients to support anabolism and recovery.
What Makes A Good Formula?
Not all formulations are created equal, so be sure to do your homework (or at least read the label!). If a formula seems heavy on the fillers, thickeners, or – worst still – “proprietary blends”, steer clear. A proprietary blend can be anything at all – it’s an undeclared mix of ingredients. At best, you could be paying for cheap, unnecessary extras. At worst, you could end up ingesting ingredients which are harmful or even on the banned list of some sports.
Make sure you know exactly what’s in the formulation and understand why those ingredients are there. Take a look at our Pro Series – you’ll see why it gets consistently great feedback. It’s easy to understand each formula, and we are totally transparent about the quality, dose, and combination of ingredients. We pay extra attention to the quality of base ingredients (using whey isolate over concentrate, for example) and add in premium branded extras (like DigeZyme®) which a lot of formulas just won’t bother with. The dosages in our formulas are planned and researched so you get optimum synergy between ingredients – there’s no point overloading on one ingredient (even if it is flashy and popular!) to the detriment of your entire formula!
Do you prefer formulas or creating your own?
About the Author:
Nicola Joyce has been writing for (and about) sport, fitness, nutrition and healthy living since 2004. She’s also a keen sportswoman: her background is in endurance sport but she now competes as a natural bodybuilder, most recently winning a world title with the INBF. When she’s not writing content, she can be found blogging. Follow her here www.nicolajoyce.co.uk and on Facebook & Twitter (@thefitwriter) too.