Ads for diet pills, protein shakes, and supplements are all over the internet and all through fitness magazines. Every product is proclaming itself to be the one thing you need to lose weight and gain muscle. How do you decide which is the one you should take, or if you should be taking anything at all?
Let’s take a good hard look at supplements in the health industry. Let’s find out who should and shouldn’t take a supplement, and what kind of supplement you should take, if you decide you need one.
Is there a Magic Pill?
One of the biggest drivers of the supplement industry is the magic pill mentality. People who aren’t willing to put the time and effort in to lose weight and build muscle end up turning to supplements and diet pills. They read the advertisements, and jump to make the purchase. The problem is, this mentality won’t produce real results. The customer becomes disillusioned and ends up quitting, or they end up buying a different “magic pill”.
If you want to build muscles, these methods just won’t work.
Supplements Only Support Your Hard Work
Your supplements can only help you if you are already putting in the work. If you have a strong and consistent workout routine and you are maintaining a healthy diet.
If you’re eating right, drinking enough water, doing the right workouts, working out consistently, alternating muscle groups and doing all the other things you need to do, then supplements can help give you that 20% edge to take you to the next level.
But if you don’t have the fundamentals down, supplements just won’t help. Supplements can’t be, have never been, and never will be a magic pill that can replace working out.
More Does Not Mean Better
Many supplements are based on the premise that more is better. In reality, more protein or more vitamins may not be what your body needs at all. You body can only use up a certain amount of protein and vitamins.
If you structure your diet right, you can get the vast majority of all the nutrients you need right in the food you eat.
Artificially adding more protein or vitamins through supplements can often be ineffective, expensive and potentially even harmful if your body doesn’t actually need it.
Who Should Use Supplements?
Who should actually use supplements, then?
Personally, I am not a huge fan of meal replacements or protein drinks like shakeology, it works, or herbalife. They are full of stuff you don’t need and you can make your own smoothies that are a lot healthier, and a lot cheaper.
On the other hand, supplements can be used if there are nutrients in your diet that you aren’t getting enough of. Only use supplements if you already have your fundamentals in order and want to get an extra boost to reach your goals faster.
If you already have all your nutritional needs handled, you might also want to consider an energy-boosting supplement like creatine. Unlike other supplements that focus on nutrition, these supplements actually make it so you can push harder during your workouts.
In general, muscle builders would be better off ignoring the majority of supplement advertising and focusing on building a solid workout routine. That said, if you have the fundamentals handled, supplements can give you a nice progress boost.