Fitness Nutrition Forums

The Only Reason You Should Ever Take a Supplement


The workout supplements fad is rampant among casual gym-goers and die-hard workout enthusiasts alike. Even though sucking down various shakes and pills might make you feel like you're revving up your body's natural ability to build muscle mass, the effectiveness of most supplements is marginal at best, especially considering independent physiological make-up. Genetics dictate your body's ability to build rock-hard muscle mass more than anything. Scientifically engineered powders aren't necessarily going to change that. Nutrition is a vital component of a complete strength-training regimen, although spending hard-earned cash on a cabinet stacked with jugs of powder won't turn you into a mirror image of a magazine cover model.

Reality Check

There are few reasons why you should actually use workout supplements. The primary reason lies in the word "supplement"--so, the products you ingest should do just that: supplement your diet so that maximum nutritional intake is achieved. Bodybuilders may take issue with seemingly under-valuing the importance of commercialized workout supplements, but few active gym-goers aim to transform their bodies into exhibits tailored for the World's Strongest Man competition. Let's be honest: most gym-goers just want to stay in shape. You don't need to adopt a 20-pill per day dietary habit in order to accomplish that.

Multivitamins & Protein Powders

The infamous Google search goes like this: "What supplements should I take?" If you're led to type those words into a search engine, you're bound to be misguided by propaganda-like articles featuring a specific product. Those articles are tailor made to entice you to buy something you probably don't need. If you're indeed interested in purchasing supplements for nutritional purposes, consider multivitamins and protein powders. These basic supplements will help your body operate at high-efficiency pre- and post-workout. The average person does not ingest enough vitamins and minerals in his or her food on a daily basis, which makes multivitamins a necessity for many. A pure protein powder (e.g. one that does not contain other ingredients, such as whey) is beneficial for supplying the body with the fuel it needs to optimize post-workout muscle recovery.

Branched Chain Amino Acids

You might have come across the acronym "BCAAs" at some point during your bout of savvy Internet research for workout supplements. Unlike powders and pills that contain several ingredients which are "guaranteed" to get you ripped, branched chain amino acids have been scientifically tested to promote protein synthesis, which means they can help you build muscle mass. BCAAs have also been linked to increased workout intensity, enabling gym-goers to exercise at peak exertion rate. In addition, BCAAs have also been linked to fat loss, decreasing a consumer's need to purchase a potentially harmful fat-burning product. But, just like other supplements, BCAAs have not been FDA approved.

Bottom Line

It should be noted that all workout products warrant individual risk. The average person doesn't need a storage bin of workout products to enhance his or her fitness level. Staying in shape is much simpler than that. You should only use workout products to supplement your diet. And make sure to consult a dietitian or physician if you're considering taking a cocktail variety of supplements.

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John Shea is a team sports fanatic and fitness aficionado. His work has been published across a wide platform of online audiences in the realm of health and fitness. His passion for fitness is exemplified in his writing, as he aims to help readers improve their overall well-being.

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