Being involved in the health and fitness industry I often get asked two questions, “What do you think of X supplement?” or “Do you want to sell some supplements for some extra cash?” The answer to the first questions is varied. The second one is always a polite no, this question in particular can quickly become annoying when you have worked in this industry for as long as I have. It is often also followed by another question, “What do you take?”
That one is an easy question, the two main supplements I take are fish oil and a magnesium powder with zinc. I take 2-6g of fish oil a day, I do this because there are many proven benefits to taking fish oil. If you want to know the benefits just do a Google Scholar search. But mainly I take fish oil because I am not a big seafood eater. I started to eat some fish in recent years but I am not a shellfish, crustacean fan at all. My partner says I am crazy and perhaps I am but I can’t get past the fact they are the vacuum cleaners of the sea.
I take the magnesium/zinc supplement because I find many of our foods are deficient in these two nutrients, mostly due to farming practices. Being an active male these two nutrients are needed for the body to work well, such as improved Testosterone production (if you don’t have enough zinc) and improved immune system to name a couple. On average I take the Mag/Zinc powder every three days or so because if I take it daily I get powerful dreams. Not bad or good just powerful, this is reported in a variety of Mag/Zinc supplements. It also improves my sleep which is a article for a different time.
I don’t intend to take supplements like protein powders or creatine on a regular occasion because I believe my diet is generally varied enough. And in regards to the supplements I do take I am doing so to supplement my diet because I lack those things. But the issue I take with the supplement industry is the way they have convinced people that these things enhance you like superman. Let me say this simply supplements are created to give you something you are not getting in your normal diet. They do not and will not give you some kind of hulk like strength or other superpower. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are looking for the quick fixes and supplements are one of those things that are always touted to be just that.
One of the most common supplements I get asked about is Testosterone boosters which really costs a pretty penny. Firstly how does anyone really know if it works? You would really require regular blood tests to really note a difference. Even for those who swear they feel different, it is impossible to rule out a placebo effect. Also if the person was a young adult male then he most likely doesn’t need Testosterone.
There is no doubt that the supplement industry is massive and to be honest they have some really smart people working for them yet what sells and what is best for you are two different things. This can also be seen with large energy drinks companies touting that they have the formula to improve your workout. Yet a recent study showed no improvement to performance Doug Dupont does a great breakdown. http://breakingmuscle.com/supplements/study-puts-red-bull-caffeine-and-taurine-to-the-test
This leads me to the latest craze, Pre-workout “enhancements” not supplements. They are sold as supplements but they are enhancers. To be honest I have seen this stuff work but over time the effects seem to fade and they can be adverse to your health. I have heard this first hand from someone I weightlift with. He told me that whilst it improved his performance he had trouble sleeping and his heart would race like it was going to pound out of his chest. I guess this can draw a parallel argument in some ways to drugs in sport and that some people will do anything to get the extra no matter the results.
WARNING: I am not a dietician or a doctor I am not providing advice on what supplements you should take and you should see a dietician or doctor to obtain their professional advice best for you and you individual situation. You will notice I do not have any affiliate links to the supplements I use as I am trying to sell anything in regards to supplements or enhancers.