I’m not a supplement person and never really have been. Even though I’ve been accused in the past of taking “enhancement supplements” I can say with 100% fact that I am, and always will be a natural athlete (Apparently people can’t just work hard, be disciplined and committed to reach goals, they must be “cheating” in some way or have a magic pill.)
You hardly ever hear me talk about supplements due to the fact that in all honesty, they aren’t really necessary. I also refuse to profit from playing the game of lying to you and making you think you “need” something you don’t. I will only recommend supplements if:
-I truly feel you actually need them.
-I myself have actually taken the supplement that I truly feel is necessary for you and you can get benefit from.
-They have been scientifically proven in some way and backed up with research.
-They are safe.
The truth is, no matter what the bottle says, no matter what it claims in the advertisement, no matter what the meat head says at the gym, no matter what you’ve read online, and no matter what the high school kid or “expert” at the supplement store tells you, 95% are useless wastes of money.
Why? There is NO supplement, shake, pill, or drop out there that will make up for a poor diet and lack of exercise. The best supplements in the world don’t do a thing if you lack the foundation necessary for them to work for you, and you don’t get the important stuff down first.
So are there any supplements actually worth taking? Yes, and sometimes certain people need certain supplements because they are deficient in some areas, or have certain medical conditions. I recommend getting blood work done to see if you actually have deficiencies vs. taking something just because Dr. Oz said you needed it. (Sorry Dr. Oz fans..)
So, what do I take and recommend? I’m not saying you have to take any of these things, and by all means discuss with your physician before taking any supplements. Here are mine and why:
- Multivitamin or Greens Powder-I personally take a greens powder. I look at it like an insurance policy in case I don’t get my recommended daily dose of veggies/fruits in, and it helps with my energy levels.
The downside is the greens powders are sort of pricey, so if that’s an issue for you, multivitamins are the next best thing to fill in nutritional gaps. I’ve had questions like, “But if your nutrition is spot on, then I heard you don’t need a multivitamin.” Yep true statement, but you’re nutrition is not spot on… trust me.
- Fish oil-There are varying opinions about fish oil out there as well as mixed studies. I’ve seen more positive studies than negative and this supplement is one of the few that has actually been well researched. Without boring you to death, I’ll give you a few of the health benefits of fish oil: Improved cholesterol, reduced inflammation, increased blood flow, better immune function. As an athlete and advanced trainee, I like the improved blood flow and reduced inflammation aspect which enables me to train a little harder and recover faster.
- Probiotics-I used to take an actual probiotic supplement, but now my greens powder already contains probiotics so no need to take extra. Probiotics are live microorganisms that may be able to prevent and treat illnesses as well as promoting a healthy digestive tract and immune system. Once again, this is another widely studied supplement. I happen to use probiotics because of digestion issues I’ve had in the past and really notice a difference when I’m consistent with taking vs. not taking.
So there you have it, those are the supplements I personally take and recommend and feel everyone could benefit from in some way. You can take my word for it, but I suggest you do your own research as well, or if you want more information or have questions feel free to ask me, I’d be more than happy to help you out.
Here’s an analogy I came up with to help you better understand how supplements work:
It’s freezing outside. I’m talking -20 degrees and you’re shivering from head to toe. Unfortunately, you have to leave your house and go out in the frozen tundra. You have your winter coat (Foundation) and a scarf (Supplement). Taking a supplement with no foundation is like wearing your scarf and then going outside naked in the winter. At that point it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a scarf or not, you’re still going to freeze your little ass off. Having the scarf enhances the winter outfit. It keeps you a little warmer than if you didn’t have it. Understand? Without proper nutrition/exercise the supplement does you no good. It’s there to assist, but not take the place of.
Eat real food. Put in work. Be consistent. Be Patient. Have Discipline. And that…my friends…is the magic pill.