If I’m honest, generally I’m not a fan of exercise supplements. Genius marketers make us feel like we need supplements to reach our fitness goals, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Supplements might help you get fast results, but those results aren’t always sustainable.
Keep things natural
When I say “supplements,” I’m not just talking about protein powders. I’m talking about those pre-workout powders and other unhealthy options. Many fitness supplements include chemicals and unnatural ingredients and some pre-workout and fat-loss supplements have proven to be very dangerous for your health when used incorrectly.
I recommend avoiding supplements and fueling your body with natural, whole foods. This is especially important if you’re new to exercise, as you learn how your body reacts to different workouts and healthy meals.
Where supplements help
With that said, there is a time and place for supplements. If you’re competing in the fitness world and need to get ‘show ready’ or if you’ve reached a plateau in your training (aesthetically or performance-wise), supplements may help you get over that hurdle. In both cases, they should only be consumed for a short period of time until you reach your goal.
Some supplements can be toxic in excess so more is not necessarily better. If you’re reaching for supplements, there are some that I recommend over others. Try to keep things as natural as possible by choosing a simple multivitamin and proteins – things that are required or produced by the body naturally. Creatine, a supplement you might have heard of before, can increase muscle mass but it is unclear if this is due to water retention or increased protein synthesis. We get some creatine from our diets, mostly from meat, fish, and poultry and our bodies make the rest. Some evidence shows that creatine might help with sports that require sudden bursts, like HIIT, weightlifting, and sprinting, but it may not be effective for everyone. I suggest adding creatine as an exercise supplement only after you do extensive research or talk to your primary care physician.
Before you start taking supplements, try to feed your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients via wholesome nutrient-dense foods in your daily diet.
For healthy, nutritious meal plans that are tailored to your personal goals and training needs, download the 8fit app.