“Supplements, do you need them.”
A Wise Man
The sports supplement industry is huge. In fact it's bigger than huge, it's gargantuan, and over the last decade it has grown exponentially with hundreds, if not thousands, of sports supplements companies cashing in. I predict it will continue to grow as mainstream society are becoming increasingly body conscious and the motion of being increasingly mindful of ones health is becoming more fashionable.
But are supplements really as important as their marketing ploys claim, or is it all just a waste of time and money and are we all in fact, pouring our hard earned cash into misleading jargon. Here are my thoughts...
The average person in the western world has the need only for one supplement. Fish oils. More specifically fish oils that are high in Omega 3; a fatty acid your body is unable to produce naturally within itself. This is because the 'Western Diet' is particularly high in Omega 6 which is derived from a diet high in gluten based foods…and without going into too much detail, an Omega 6 imbalance is detrimental to your health in various ways. (This article explains somewhat the problem with having too much Omega 6 if you are feeling curious - .
To learn more about the various benefits of fish oils check out this article by Charles Poliquin - http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1273/Eight_Amazing_Benefits_of_Fish_Oil_That_You_Might_.aspx
You could argue that everybody will have varying deficiencies as every single person on this planet is unique, however that digresses from the point of this article. Generally speaking, the average person with the average diet and the average energy expenditure will not require any sort of supplement to help maintain their average life. Sounds simple right? It really is, but it's amazing how many people buy into things they believe will help them lose weight, build muscle or be healthier without lifting a finger or changing any other aspect of their lifestyle.
A supplement is exactly what it says on the tin; it's there to 'supplement' your existing diet. There are no supplements alone that will do the magic you wish for, you have to be willing to do what's necessary to get the full potential of the supplement you're taking.
Now if you're a regular gym goer, athlete, amateur fitness fanatic and train hard and regularly (at least twice a week), then congratulations, you are no longer average. Your energy requirements are different from your average counterparts. Your body goes through more stress, it gets broken down, your muscles get inflamed, your hormones will be more unbalanced, your immune system will be working harder and your mineral & vitamin stores will be much more depleted. Therefore, your nutritional requirements are likely to need supplementing in order to ensure your body is able to recover and is able to function optimally.
There is no magic pill that will make you lose weight or build muscle super quick. Even those using performance enhancing drugs like steroids still have to work there arse’s off in order to utilise the drugs they are taking - it's not a case of inject the needle and get jacked; if you don't put the work in then most supplements will just pass through your system creating very expensive urine. Yet so many people buy into the marketing of many supplement brands looking for quick fixes without really understanding how to use the products they are purchasing.
For most supplements, it takes a long period of consistent use and effort to reap the rewards, so when results aren't seen immediately most lose patience and never allow themselves a chance to accomplish what they set out to. I recommend before buying any supplement do the following:
Ask yourself what your goal is.
Put a training and nutrition plan in place.
Ask an expert what supplements will help assist your efforts and ask them when and how best to use them.
Choose a supplement company that has a proven track record of quality manufactured products – cheap products are cheap for a reason.
Give yourself at least 6 weeks of consistent use to start feeling and seeing results.
If you do these things then not only will your pockets be heavier, your body will also look and feel increasingly more how you once imagined it would. A lot of sports supplements companies are very cunning in their marketing strategies – offering quick fixes and false promises; that you can look just like there poser boy or girl in weeks, when a lot of the time that poster boy or girls probably doesn’t even use the products they are endorsing and have likely used a number of different supplements over many years to get in to such shape. Aspirational though it may be, this is very misleading and unrealistic. Don’t be fooled, be aware and become educated on what exactly it is you are putting inside of yourself – you only have one body so look after it!