supplement:something that completes or makes an addition
The most useful application of dietary supplements is to fill the small gaps in specific amino acid or vitamin/mineral gaps. Not many of us truly know which we need more of, and which we need less of. More is not better in this case.
Too often I see or hear individuals speak of supplements as if they are the “magic bullet” that they’ve been missing. Their poor results, their genetics, or their state of mind can all be altered and corrected by using this new potion, snake oil, pill, fat blocker, stimulants, oxygen water, etc. The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar business and capitalism responds to demand. It’s unfortunate but the industry keeps pumping out outlandish claims and products because people buy them.
The answer to fat loss, muscle building, or body transformation is not in a pill, potion or lotion. Do not become another one throwing away their money just to further support the money suckers, and fit the bill of another stupid consumer.
The four products I’d tell a loved one to take.
Multivitamin/mineral- The vitamins A, B’s, C, D, E, K, are paramount to function properly. Deficiencies in these areas can induce all sorts of symptoms. Even the most balanced diet can leave a few holes for absolutely optimal function. That’s what we’re all after anyways, right? One study suggests “Appropriate supplementation of multivitamin/multimineral can facilitate the recovery of the psychology, physical ability and neuroendocrine-immune system in young males…”
Whey protein- Just about everyone has heard the role protein supplementation plays in the building of muscle and hunger satiety. I’d argue that the more high quality protein intake you are ingesting, the less of the processed fake foods you’ll be eating. There are no benefits to just adding this supplement to an otherwise crappy diet.
Creatine- Creatine has probably been the most studied sports supplement in the last thirty years. Many different things have been said about it, but the consensus is just that it helps build muscle, makes you stronger, and helps treat muscular degenerative diseases. Research suggests that 5 to 20 grams day is quite safe, as well. No loading phase or cycling required. Additionally, it appears to make you smarter.
Fish oil-omega 3’s cannot be produced by the body. The body cannot use omega 6’s to make omega 3’s. We who eat the western diet get plenty of omega 6, not enough 3. You need them. The laundry list of benefits and symptom reduction is staggering.
P.S A few other supplements that have given me good results are BCAA’s and caffeine in the form of black coffee. I have periods of 16-20 hours a day with no caloric intake, so I find that a BCAA supplement provides my blood stream with some amino acid profiles, similar to the amino acids which are derived from dietary protein, without the calories. For a great article by Charles Poliquin on BCAA uses, check this out.
Caffeine (black coffee) peps up the central nervous system and has also been shown to increase strength. Not bad for such a great tasting morning starter.