Do We Really Need Supplements To Get The Body We Want?

Whey Protein, Iron supplements, multivitamins. We see all of these ads for the supplements to help us burn fat faster, recover better and not miss out on the “anabolic window”.

But the question is do these supplements really matter? For those of you who don’t want to read the whole

For those of you who don’t want to read the whole post the short answer is no.

Now for those of you who want to now why, keep reading…

You need a good diet first

When one of my clients asks me if they should be taking a protein supplement or if they should be taking X, Y or Z product the first thing I always do is check how their diet is first. There is absolutelty no point in taking any type of supplement if you don’t have a healthy diet first. The type of food you consume, what those foods are made up of and the amount of vitamins and minerals you get from those foods on a daily basis is way more important than taking a supplement. You can’t supplement something that’s already broken.

Supplements are like trying to put air in a leaky tire. You can keep putting more and more air into it (putting supplements into your diet), but until you patch up that hole (eating right) it’s going to keep leaking. So you can keep spending money on supplements and putting them into your body but you’re not going to get the best results from them if your diet isn’t on point.

The right food choices can always provide you with the nutrients you need

Do you need to have a whey protein shake every day? Absolutely not. You can get enough protein by having 1 palm-sized serving of meat at every meal if you’re eating 4–5 times a day. If you eat less than 4–5 times a day then I would suggest having 2 palm-sized servings of meat at each meal. Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian or you just don’t have enough time to cook there is no reason you need to have a protein shake.

What I would suggest though is if you are someone who doesn’t have time to cook during the day, or you just don’t eat meat this is where a protein supplement can come in handy. But I strongly recommend that you focus on getting your protein from whole foods first.

The same can be said about other supplements you’re considering taking. If you’re eating enough vegetables, lean meat and healthy fats you’re going to get all of the nutrients you need. You don’t need to buy a vitamin C tablet if you’re eating a few pieces of citrus fruit every day. You don’t need to go and buy an iron tablet if you’re eating red meat, liver, and leafy green vegetables.

Nearly everything can be taken care of with healthy eating first.

They want your money

The supplement industry is a business which is the first thing you need to realise. A business wants to make as much money as possible so they can grow and make more money. The way they make more money is by selling more products. That’s why you will see supplement companies pushing all of these different things to you. Whether it be a pre-workout, a protein shake or any other product the more they can convince you that you need to take these supplements the more they can sell. Just think about this, when you’re training with your trainer, talking to a physio, a doctor or any other health professional do they tell you that you need to be taking more pre workout? Do they say you should have a mass gainer because you need to put on muscle? Not likely (unless they’re getting a cut for every supplement they sell).

Whether it be a pre-workout, a protein shake or any other product the more they can convince you that you need to take these supplements the more they can sell. Just think about this, when you’re training with your trainer, talking to a physio, a doctor or any other health professional do they tell you that you need to be taking more pre workout? Do they say you should have a mass gainer because you need to put on muscle? Not likely (unless they’re getting a cut for every supplement they sell).

I’m not saying that the supplement industry is a money hungry industry and all they want is your money, but i’m not saying they always have your best interest at heart either.

Get yourself tested

The best way to see if you need a supplement for any vitamin or mineral deficiency is to go and get a blood test. People who say you “could” be deficient in a nutrient don’t actually know and the only way to truly know is to go to a naturopath or a functional medicine doctor and ask to do a blood check. Once you get the results back, you can then determine what type of supplements you may need to take. It may cost you some money to do a full check, but that investment a few times a year and save you a few hundred dollars on consuming supplements you don’t even need to be taking in the first place.

Action Steps

The first thing I would recommend is recording the food you eat every day on myfitnesspal to see if you’re actually getting enough protein.

Then I would also recommend going to see a doctor and get your blood checked. Once you have your results, you should sit down with either your trainer, your doctor or naturopath and discussing what actions need to be taken.

Then before you decide to go and buy a supplement check to see if you can add foods into your diet to fix the deficiency. Can you just bump up your protein by eating an extra serving of meat at dinner? Can you increase your calcium intake by eating more greek yogurt? You can use google to look up “foods high in Vitamin X” or “high protein foods” to get some ideas on how to fix the deficiency.

You can use google to look up “foods high in Vitamin X” or “high protein foods” to get some ideas on how to fix the deficiency.

Add these foods into your diet and see if anything changes. If it’s too hard to do this, then I would suggest buying some supplements.

Oh and before you go, don’t forget to add me on Snapchat: Tysonbpt