Supplements: The good, the bad, and the ugly
My Philosophy on Supplements
Despite owning a supplement company and extensively researching supplementation I do not hold a whole lot of stock in sports supplements in any performance or nutrition intervention. Here is why.
Supplements are named as such for a reason – they are supplemental. Protein powder is inferior to food. Caffeine is not a substitute for sleep. And fat burners will not make you lean alone. Supplements are the icing on the cake to proper nutrition, training, and lifestyle.
That being said, I am in the industry for a reason. Supplements can work very well if you take the right ones, and also many people have lifestyle limitations that supplementation can help with.
These listed supplements are some of the sports supplements that I think are safe and effective. Supplements make this “nice” list by have substantial bodies of research supporting them, being reliable, and accessible.
- creatine monohydrate
- protein powders
This list is by no means exhaustive, but is a decent core of priducts that can benefit most people. There are plenty of more supplements that work well in context. For example, joint supports, sleep aids, preworkouts, vitamin and minerals, etc.
This naughty list is some of the supplements that are unethical, do not work, or are particularly unhealthy.
- Fat burners
- Excessive stimulant preworkouts
Again, this list is not exhaustive by any means, but still relevant. The resource linked at the end can help you see what supplements are good, bad, or ugly.
The ugly category is reserved for supplements that are dishonest. Because the FDA does not regulate sports supplements, amongst other reasons, there are far too many products that do not have what the label says it contains. There are some common offenders:
- Herbal supplements
Not all of these are inherently bad, but many companies have been found over the last decades with discrepancies in those above products.
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When it comes to supplements do your research. Make sure what you take has science backing it and that you can tell what is in it.
HERE is a resource that you may plug in any individual supplement that you may have questions about to see a very readable report of the current research.
Use that link and plug something in.