A common question we are asked by clients is, “why should I take supplements and how will they help with my goals?” There are a few factors that figure into answering that question:
How is your diet?
How often do you exercise?
How hard do you exercise?
I will be honest, supplements are not miracle products that will fix all of your issues. If you have 45lbs to lose, eat like crap and don’t exercise, a fat burner will NOT make you lose weight. Now, on the flip side, if you’re struggling to drop that final 7-12 lbs, you eat really well and you’re exercising hard several times a week, a fat burner MAY help you get over that final hump.
Can some supplements help bridge a nutritional gap in your diet?
Of course! If you’re working out hard and feel you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet, then the addition of a protein shake can definitely fill that void! More often than not we would still prefer to eat clean, whole foods but sometimes that just isn’t convenient for everyone. Stuck on a conference call and can’t hang up to go eat lunch? Mix up a shake! On the road for work and don’t want to ruin your gains (or losses) by eating fast food? Mix a shake or eat a protein bar or low fat jerky!
The main thing to remember about deciding if supplements are for you is that they are SUPPLEMENTS, meaning they are created to add to your existing nutrition and exercise regimen, not replace it. There are thousands of products out there and it can become overwhelming if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. My advice is to talk to a trainer, let them help evaluate where you’re at and be honest with you about which products may help push your body and health to the next level! Don’t waste time or money taking stuff that won’t propel you FORWARD!
If you’re looking to get started, a couple items you really can’t go wrong with are a quality multi-vitamin and a solid protein supplement. I always suggest following the directions on the bottles, but also ask your trainer if they’d recommend any other ways to use it, and ALWAYS make sure your Doctor knows and approves of any supplementation prior to you taking it.
Good luck, work hard, eat well and see you at the gym!
VP MFM and NPTI CPT