Supplements are big business and plenty of people use them. In my opinion, supplements should not be used as a replacement for food. We should practice good nutrition and use supplements to fill the void left by the nutrient deficiencies in our diet. I have interviewed several fitness professionals and one of my common questions to ask is whether they use nutritional supplements. The feedback has been mixed. Here are a few of the answers:
“Not too many supplements; nothing replaces real foods. I take fish oil capsules, flaxseeds and Amino Vital energy gels as needed.” [Rick Seedman, CPT]
“COMPLETELY NATURAL – NO SUPPLEMENTS OTHER THAN A MULTI-VITAMIN.” [Stew Smith, CSCS
“I never used any other supplement than multi-vitamins, whey & fish oil.” [Mehdi of Stronglifts.com]
“My supplement philosophy is that it depends on your goals and your needs. If you’re doing intense exercise and want to build muscle, it makes sense to take in some extra protein, especially if you normally don’t eat much.” [Son Trinh, Doctor of Physical Therapy]
“As far as supplements, I try to take Mega Omega (EPA/DHA capsules) regularly, but I’m not a pill person, so that doesn’t always happen. The same applies for my multivitamin, The Big One. Occasionally I will supplement with whey protein, and depending on what training program I am doing, I will use creatine.” [Aaron Harris, CPT]
“I supplement every day with a multi-vitamin, calcium, iron and whey protein smoothies after my more demanding workouts. These help my body recover and repair muscle & tissue damage. I don’t think our typical diet can provide us with all the necessary vitamins & minerals.” [Brad Seng, Professional Triathlete]
For the most part, they all seek their nutrition first from the foods they eat, which makes sense. I take a daily multivitamin in shake form because I’m not big on taking pills. I think the problem for many people is that they are seeking a quick fix solution. When choosing a supplement, it’s important to consider what your fitness goals are. A good supplement should help you to reach your fitness goals more efficiently.
Proper nutrition is also essential. You cannot continue to eat junk and take supplements in the hope that it will make up for your poor nutrition. How important are supplements for you? What are you taking?