The Quick Supplement Guide.
Health supplements are a huge industry now, with seemingly endless products demanding your hard earned cash and promising you the body of your dreams. With the global supplement industry worth a whooping $233 billion dollars you can bet there is people out there just trying to make a quick buck selling you snack oil.
I have complied a simple list of supplements that actually have some benefits to your health and some that you’re best to steer clear from.
Creatine is one of the most thoroughly researched supplements to date, also making it one of the safest around. In fact the only “health risk” is you may experience slight bloating the first time you use it.
Often seen as a muscle building supplement it actually has many benefits to us ordinary folk. It’s main purpose is help us produce ATP (one of the main energy sources of our body) allowing us to workout for longer with a higher intensity. Apart from this, it has also been shown to lower blood sugar, treat fatty livers and slow down muscle wastage in old age.
The dosage is simple; 5g per day is enough. It can be taken any time of the day with food or by itself. It’s usually tasteless and mixes with pretty much anything. Just ensure you are buying Creatine Monohydrate (it’s the best one).
Protein is probably the most popular supplement we see today. But, I want to make one thing clear: YOU DO NOT NEED THIS. Yes, it can be beneficial but you should always try and get your protein from whole foods first. This is a supplement, it’s designed to supplement your diet not replace anything.
Now that we have got that out of the way. What are the benefits?
Protein aids in muscle repair throughout the body. An active person may benefit from a higher protein diet. A simple way of judging how much protein we should be having daily is 1.2 - 1.5 gram of protein per kilo of body weight. E.g if I weigh 100 kg I should be aiming for between 120g - 150g per day (that is including food sources).
Another benefit of a protein supplement is to reduce hunger cravings. Scenario: it’s late at night and you are craving a sweet treat. Instead of reaching for the Cadbury, a protein shake might be the smarter choice (1 protein shake has the equivalent of 4 squares of Cadbury milk chocolate).
A strange thing happens when humans live further away from the equator. Life expectancy drops, and there is an increase in mortality rates from things like cancer and diabetes.
The answer? Further away from the equator = less sun exposure = less vitamin D, a vital part of our immune system.
Several studies have also shown that an increase in vitamin D can lead to less fat, more muscle as well as increased orgasms in women (gotta get that… D).
Dosage is pretty simple as this supplements is easy to come by at most supermarkets. Dosage of 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 (best absorbed) a day will do the job.
This right here could be the greatest scam known to man.
Multivitamins sounds like a good idea right? All our essential vitamins and minerals in one place.
Unfortunately, the majority of these have poor ratios of vitamins and minerals, or just too broad of a range to actually have any real effects.
Have ever taken a multivitamin and then realized your urine is now fluro in colour? That is literally money being flushed down your toilet. Our body releases excess vitamins and minerals through urine, turning it this colour.
No…… Just no.
A little quick knowledge bomb for you guys. If you are not in calorie deficit (consuming less than maintenance calories) you will not lose fat.
It even says right on the bottle. “May result in weight loss in combination with a healthy diet and resistance training”. So, if you just do the healthy diet and training will you still lose weight?……. YES. And you will have more money left over.
So please please don’t fall into the trap of buying these. No matter what fancy ingredients they say they have.
Similar to fat burners pre-workouts have fancy labels and strange ingredients promising amazing results.
In reality they are just pumped up coffees full of chemicals to make you have a potential heart attack (okay maybe not that serious but still).
The main component of most pre-workouts is caffeine, which on its own is a great supplement for added energy and increased mental/ physical performance.
What we don’t need is all the shit they put with it to not only bump up the crazy feels and tingles, but also skyrocket the price.
A simple short black will do the trick at a fraction of the cost.
So there you have it. a simple list of some do’s and dont’s when it comes to supplements. As always, we should aim to get the majority (if not all) of our nutrients from whole foods and only supplement when needed.