One of the first questions I always seem to get from new clients is “what supplements should I be taking?” My answer is always the same: achieve a well balanced diet first and then we can talk supplements. If we have not yet mastered how to eat a nutrient dense diet, trying to add supplements into the mix is like trying to run before we learn how to walk. Supplements after all were intended to do just that… supplement a diet. It should be a priority to first figure out the diet aspect before we begin looking for holes to fill. In our modern day society, people unfortunately do not share this same viewpoint. Now a days we use supplements as a quick-fix solution to a solve a much bigger issue at hand which is a poor diet. What you may or may not know is that the majority of supplements people try to sell to you at Vitamin Shoppe or GNC can be found in the foods you eat. For example, you could spend $10-15 every month on fiber supplements OR you could just eat more of the foods discussed here.
Do Your Research
I could not have said it better than my undergrad nutrition professor when it comes to the topic of supplements. He told us to do your OWN research. I am going to use fish oil as a great example of why doing your own research pays off. In the last decade fish oil sales have increased dramatically. Almost anyone and everyone will try and tell you about all the benefits fish oil supplements have and why you should be taking them. What they don’t tell you, however, is that all of the data surrounding the benefits of fish oil come from the actual consumption of fish not from supplements. In fact, research surrounding the potential benefits of fish oil supplements have been inconclusive. From here on out, do your OWN research and always question any claims a supplement or the person selling it tries to make.
So with that said, I am going to share the supplements I personally take rather than tell you what to take:
- Creatine Monohydrate +Beta Alanine +BCAA (pre workout)
Protein Powder as needed to reach total protein goals
It is important to remember to listen to advice of your health care provider aka a doctor. If they recommended a certain supplement check and see if you can change your diet to meet those requirements. If not, supplement as need be. Always keep the mindset that a balanced diet is number one priority and should be addressed first. And finally, remember to do your research beforehand on any supplement you may be considering adding into your diet.