In this stream of consciousness loosely titled “SUPPLEMENTS RANT”, I will share some of my thoughts about the colossal supplement industry
Supplements (often disingenuously) offer us the promise of change through the consumption of a product rather than through consistent effort and behavioral adjustment. I myself have experienced the instant gratification and sense of progress when purchasing a so called”fat burner”. I did lose the weight, but it took months of ensuring that I remained in a caloric deficit through a combination of adding exercise and reducing intake. The fat burner was ultimately little more than an overpriced caffeine pill.
There are few (legal) supplements that have been proven to have a measurable effect, and even then they certainly do not replace the actual work itself.
You do NOT need a “fat burner”
You do NOT need a “test booster”
You do NOT need BCAA’s
You do NOT need creatine (although this has a proven measurable effect)
You do NOT need protein powder (although if your diet provides inadequate protein, supplementation is great)
You do NOT need pre-workout (although if you are tired it can help get you through a tough session – I’d be looking at sleep and stress rather than relying on it though)
Unfortunately, the supplements that REALLY work, are (fortunately) illegal
I hear so often from people “I want to lose some weight so I’ve bought myself some fat burners online and now I just need to get into some exercise”. I mean, have you considered just reducing your food intake, maybe adding in more vegetables and whole foods?? Why did the fat burners come BEFORE the exercise? Did you at least walk to the shop to buy them???
I’m not meaning to insult anyone (as I mentioned I’ve bought “pointless” supplements myself). I feel this is a failing of the “fitness industry” itself and an unethical subversion of your desire to make a healthy change. There is a huge market for solutions to the “problem” of not being satisfied with our bodies. Supplement companies pay people in incredible shape (often illegally “enhanced”) to hold a tub of their latest flavour of whatever supplement and make a few hyperbolic claims, and we fall for it.
There is nothing glamorous about making a habit of buying and preparing healthy foods and eating in moderation. You can’t take a pill for that, but unlike the pills and powders, it IS effective. There is nothing instant about training week in and week out for years and eventually seeing modest results, often meager in comparison to the models promoting supplements, but you’ll be damn proud of the work you put in to achieve them.
In short “supplements” are meant to be just that. They are no substitute for real work, real food, and good sleep. Don’t feel you are hindering your progress by not taking advantage of them, despite how loudly and boldly they claim to be necessary.