Do You Need Supplements?
How much money do you spend on supplements? Do you really need to spend all your hard earned cash on them? Well the blatant truth is no, you can get great results without them, however they can most definitely speed up the process.
People often misinterpret supplements as something they are not. Protein powder should not be a primary source of protein. Multivitamins should not be a primary source of vitamins. You should be supplementing your diet, not dieting your supplements!
Get your diet and lifestyle in place first, then consider using supplements. Don't be lazy and try to use supplements to counteract your poor eating habits and lifestyle choices. If you don't have these things in place first, don't bother wasting your money!!!
Let me give you an example of how to use supplements to actually improve your performance, recovery and health. Let's start first with protein powder. Can a protein shake replace a meal? No. Can a protein smoothie with oats, banana, nuts and almond milk replace a meal? Yes. It contains all the macronutrients required to make it a sufficient meal replacement. However, you should always endeavour to eat real food and I would never recommend having more than two meal replacements like this in any given day. I would also never have two of these in a row. Maybe have one first thing in the morning then again before the gym in the late afternoon after a few meals in between.
What about a multivitamin? I am a firm believer that it's nigh impossible to get all the nutrients a human requires from their food alone, especially if you're following intense fitness programmes. However, you should still be getting the majority of the vitamins you require from your food. Eat plenty of vegetables (especially greens), some fruits, some nutrient dense foods such as nuts and if you're really adventurous, meat organs!!! (Not for me, thanks! The high vitamin content ain't enough to even tempt me haha!) The multivitamin should only be added in to help fill in the gaps.
I recommend that everyone who is taking or thinking of taking supplements pays their due diligence and does a fair amount of research before purchasing any supplements. There are great supplement companies, fair ones and also some really poor companies out there. It can be quite confusing at times - try not to get too drawn into the 'studies', as many of them can be biased due to the influence of money. To avoid any confusion, you should consider our Online Fitness Coaching as we provide detailed supplemental advice.
Always remember this; you will hear many so called 'experts' stating that you NEVER need supplements. This may be true for the general population, but if you want to be at optimal health and performing at your absolute best, supplements will definitely help you reach your goals.
Here are just a few of the supplements that we recommend here at BusyFitness:
These are good value for money supplements from reputable manufacturers. Bear in mind that the supplement industry isn't heavily regulated so you may not always get what you pay for. Sometimes you have to pay that bit extra to receive the best quality, however it's not always the case.
What supplements do you use? Leave a comment below to let us know what your opinion is.