A question we get asked a lot is, “what supplements should I be taking?” For most of us, the answer is actually slim to none.
Unless you are a pro athlete, or someone that has their nutrition so dialed-in and is still needing a little extra, all you may really need is more veggies, lean protein, or more water. So if you’re someone who just likes to workout, run, lift or ride your bike here and there, supplements may not be the answer you are looking for. The vast majority of us can and should find all of nutrients and dietary needs in our food.
Commercials and social media really make this hard for people, sending some pretty mixed messages. For example, you see commercials with pro athletes, laying on the floor after a strenuous workout, drinking their Gatorade, or eating an energy bar or protein shake. And the intended message; “if you want to be like a pro athlete, you have to drink/eat this!” Reality is, we aren’t anything like professional athletes, plus these people are being paid a lot of money to be in a commercial for something they may not even drink/eat in their actual lives. Us “regular” people really just need to eat real food. That’s the message we should be promoting.
Now, there are some supplements that will benefit you once you have all of your lifestyle factors in check. When I say lifestyle factors, I mean sleeping at least 7-9 hours a night, taking care of your body in between workout sessions (mobility and stretching), and eating lots of meat, veggies, healthy fats, quality starches, some fruit, no sugar, and lots of water. Even when all of these factors are nailed down consistently, the supplements are pretty simple. Fish oil, vitamin D, whey protein and magnesium. Fish oil and vitamin D can help fight inflammation that training causes, whey protein helps us repair our muscles, and magnesium can aid in our sleep.
So even when considering adding supplements to your life, it still doesn’t have to be complicated.
There will never be a healthy supplement that will make you lose 20 pounds in two weeks, only hard work and consistency will get you there. No matter what you see on television or what different articles on the internet say, it never has to be complicated.
Now are all supplements bad? Certainly not. But for someone who just wants to move, and maybe lose a few pounds, you really don’t need much. Instead of looking for shortcuts to the issues of health, performance and weight management, we need to focus on lasting results. Those come from hard work and real food over a long period of time.
Again, if you ever have any questions regarding food, supplements, training, or anything else health related, never hesitate to ask Nathan or I. We will either get you the answer, or refer you to someone who is better suited to answer if we don’t know!