The dietary supplement market has expanded on back of rising awareness and the health issues caused by conditions such as obesity.
According to figures from Grand View Research, this market is expected to achieve a cumulative value of $278.02 billion by the year 2024. This will mean that the sector will have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% between 2016 and 2024, with this trend likely to continue well into the next decade.
At the heart of this industry is a diverse range of supplements that promote health and wellbeing, with new products hitting the market at a rapid rate. In this article, we’ll list the top five supplements on the current market, while asking precisely how they benefit consumers.
Essential Amino Acids
We start with essential amino acids, which have become one of the most widely used dietary supplements among seasoned athletes from across the globe.
In fact, a number of renowned Tour de France legends used a regimen of amino acids during their heyday, including Georgie Hincapie and Viatcheslav Eckimov. The disgraced Lance Armstrong also took these supplements on a regular basis while competing, before his spectacular fall from grace in 2013.
Amino acids are essentially tiny building block of proteins, which make up a large proportion of the cells, muscle and tissues that exist within our bodies. Almost 20% of your body mass is categorised as protein, and this plays a pivotal role in various biological processes that take place within the body.
As a result, amino acids underpin a huge number of bodily functions, synthesising hormones, enzymes, neurotransmitters and metabolic pathways in the process. These acids also afford cells their structure, making them capable of delivering innumerable health benefits to users throughout the world.
One of the key benefits of essential amino acids is that they help to repair damaged muscles and aid recovery post-workout. As a result, they’re a key part of modern recovery powders, while they also play a seminal role in various endurance formulas on the market.
At the same time, essential amino acids work to increase the growth of muscle. This is because the BCAA leucine activates a specific pathway in the body that stimulates muscle protein synthesis, aiding significantly quicker growth in the process.
Cannabidiol (or CBD to me and you) is a relatively new supplement to hit the market, but it’s also one that has already had a seminal impact on users.
The CBD marketplace has certainly grown exponentially in a relatively short period of time, and it’s expected to expand at a CAGR of 31% between now and 2022.
CBD is extracted from the hemp plant, while it’s also diametrically opposed to cannabis as it contains only trace levels (less than 0.3%) of the psychoactive agent THC. It’s also particularly flexible in terms of how it’s consumed, with vendors selling it in the form of oil, isolates and even e-cigarette vapour.
This compound has been proven to have a seminal impact on the human form, by interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors that exist in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Through these various interactions, CBD helps to balance a host of bodily functions while also enhancing our body’s immune response.
There’s even a growing body of research which confirms that CBD is extremely impactful on the CB1 receptors that exist within the brain. As a result, it can influence a number of neurological processes, including the regulation of appetite and the management of anxiety.
In fact, a study by the University of São Paulo found that CBD significantly reduces the symptoms of anxiety in subjects, due to its effects on activity levels in the limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
This will be of interest to both professional and amateur athletes, who must find ways of coping adequately with performance anxiety and expectation. From a physical perspective, athletes will also be interested to note that CBD is an extremely effective recovery aid, while this compound also has the potential to reduce inflammation.
CBD can be consumed in many different ways, from edibles, e-liquids, water soluble CBD and CBD oils which can range from 250mg to 10,000 mg!
On a final note, you’ll need to understand that there’s no fixed daily CBD dosage thanks the variable consumption methods and the differences that separate us as individuals. However, standard consumption guidelines suggest that you should take 25mg of CBD twice daily, before gradually looking to increase your dosage over time.
There are some fat-soluble secosteroids that are relatively scarce in food, including the elusive example of Vitamin D3.
This is most prominently absorbed through direct access to sunlight, but given the lack of sustained warm weather in the UK it’s little wonder that around 50% of Brits have at least some form of D3 deficiency.
The issue here is that this Vitamin plays an important role in the human body, impacting on everything from our energy and mood levels to our overall well-being. Vitamin D3 is also integral to healthy bones, teeth and muscle growth, so it is something that we can ill-afford to do without in the modern age!
There’s also proven or accurate way of measuring how much sun exposure is required to balance our Vitamin D3 levels, as absorption is dependent on multiple factors including your skin type, dietary intake and the prevailing weather conditions.
With these points in mind, the importance of Vitamin D3 supplements in the UK is hard to argue with. These are particularly important if your exposed to minimal amounts of sunlight during the average day, with a minimum daily dosage of 2,500 IU recommended.
Ultimately, taking a Vitamin D3 supplement regularly can ensure that your body absorbs the requisite levels of calcium and phosphorus, aiding normal immune system function in the process. This will also help your bones and teeth to grow healthily, while it may even help to combat serious conditions such as heart disease and multiple sclerosis.
Some recent studies have also shown that Vitamin D3 might help to combat the symptoms of depression, along with anxiety and continued performance stress.
This list would not be complete without OMEGA 3, which is unique in that it contains essential (and healthy) fatty acids such as EPA, DHA and ALA.
ALA is commonly found in various nuts and seeds, of course, while EPA & DHA are located almost exclusively in fish. So, if you have a nut allergy or live as a vegetarian (or vegan) it can be extremely difficult to consume the requisite levels of OMEGA 3 through your diet alone.
This is where convenient and accessible OMEGA 3 supplements come into play, as they can instantly augment your diet without forcing you to compromise on your principles.
These supplements also negate the need to consume fish that may contain high levels of mercury, which can be dangerous in certain circumstances.
The effects of OMEGA 3 are also impressive, with this grouping of fatty acids providing numerous health benefits. It certainly lowers triglyceride levels in the human form, contributing to lower blood pressure and minimising the threat of heart disease in the process.
Triglycerides are essentially esters formed from glycerol and three fatty acid groups, and are known as the main constituents of natural fats and oils. They can have a cumulative impact on the body over time, so naturally reducing their levels is crucial as you age.
OMEGA 3 may also improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation in joints, while enhancing your mood considerably.
The recommended daily dosage here is between one and six grams per day, although once again we’d recommend starting with a lower dose before hiking this incrementally over time.
Last, but by no means least, we come to multivitamins, which provide a diverse range of vitamins and minerals to help combat an array of physical and mental impairments.
This not only helps you to cover a number of bases with a single supplement, but it also plugs various deficiencies that may exist in your diet.
Typically available in tablet form, this type of dietary supplement is extremely accessible, and can be consumed easily with food or before you go to sleep.
There are a huge number of illnesses in existence, and the failure to access the requisite vitamins and minerals can often hinder a quick recovery. According to the National Institutes of Health’s MedicinePlus, taking a multivitamin can help to negate this risk, enabling the body to absorb essential nutrients and recuperate in an optimal time-frame.
Recent innovations have also seen multivitamins provide prenatal health boosts to women, alleviating birth anomalies in the process.
According to an August 2006 analysis published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, these vitamins have actively helped to decrease the risk of various congenital anomalies in unborn children, while boosting the health of expectant mothers in the process.
The Last Word
That completes our list of the top supplements in the current market, although there’s a wide range of alternatives that we could have selected.
The key takeaway here is the dietary supplements are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the promotion of health and wellbeing, particularly as awareness grows and we see a global rise in the number of vegetarians and vegans.
So no matter what supplements you consume, the key is that you identify potential deficiencies in your diet and look to correct these as quickly as possible.