Does your workout really count if you don’t guzzle a protein shake straight after?

Sport Supplements, also called ergogenic supplements, are used to improve performance. It is thought that 20% of people who go to the gym more than twice a week are regularly consuming a sport supplement. Widely debated, it seems people are either strongly for them (‘how else would you get gains?’) or resolutely against them (‘they’ll ruin your kidneys’). With too many to mention, I’ve just focused on three.

  • Whey Protein

    A great way to get protein into the body fast, especially after exercise. An easy addition to food, as it can be included in most recipes such as smoothies and porridge. Generally seen as safe, especially in low doses and when bought from a reputable supplier. However, excessive, long term over consumption can lead to kidney problems as excess protein is removed through urine.


  • Casein

    Derived from milk like Whey, it supplies Amino Acids, Carbohydrates and 2 essential minerals; Calcium and Phosphorus. Casein forms a gel like clot in the stomach which provides a slow release of Amino Acids into the blood, which is long term and gradual, unlike Whey which is fast and plentiful. Not suitable for those avoiding dairy and can cause bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea.

  • Creatine

    Increases performance during short term, high intensity exercise by converting into phosphocreatine which is stored in our muscles and is used for energy. Used alongside intensive exercise, can further gains in fat free mass. However, it is redundant unless you are putting the work in at the gym. Creatine can draw water, which can cause cramping, so it’s vital to drink plenty of water when using.

Tips for Safe Supplementation
  • Just eat real food!: For the vast majority, if you are following a healthy, balanced diet, you do not need a supplement, you will get adequate protein, vitamins and minerals from your food alone.
  • Use in conjunction with real ingredients: If you are taking a supplement, mix with real food so you aren’t missing out on vital vitamins and minerals. Taking Whey after a workout? Mix it into a smoothie instead of water!
  • Stay safe: Not all supplements bought online are quality checked, and some have been found to contain other substances other then what’s on the ingredients list, so only buy from reputable brands to avoid inadvertent doping, especially if you are involved in sport.
  • Ask for advice: If you are unsure, speak to a Nutritionist. Speak to one of us at GourmetFuel, where we have oodles of Sports Nutrition knowledge, and will help you towards any fitness goal.

Speak with a Nutritionist

Every individual’s goals are different, therefore a tailored plan to achieve your desired fitness goals can often be the best way to get where you want to be. As everyone hits the gym at a different time, structuring a meal plan around your day personally can aid in getting the best from your time at the gym. Speak to a Gourmet Fuel expert nutritionist to help you reach your fitness goals!


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Katie Kavanagh

Katie Kavanagh

Katie is a registered Associate Nutritionist with the UKVRN through the Association for Nutrition. Katie completed her Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Health in Glasgow Caledonian University and her Bachelors Degree in UCD in Health and Performance Science. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked in a kitchen catering company, and for Our Lady’s Hospice Harolds Cross and is heavily involved with UCD Boxing Club. Her areas of interest are Vegetarian diets, disease prevention and Sports Nutrition.

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