Open up almost any kind of fitness magazine, and it’s loaded with advertisements for supplements.
Supplements are a massive, multi-billion dollar business, and most people don’t know that many of the magazines they buy are owned by supplement companies. The supplement companies use their magazines to push their own products on you.
And most of these magazines give you just enough crappy articles and workout programs to keep you buying each month.
You read the magazines, see the fitness models, and crave the quick fix to look just like them. Then on the next page, you’ll see an ad for a magic potion supplement that promises amazing fat loss and lean muscle in just days. And in that ad, are the before and after photos that were most likely taken within minutes of each other. Only in the before photo, there’s no grease or spray tan, they’re sticking out their gut, and have a sad look on their face! Minutes later, they’re greased up, have probably done a quick workout to pump up, and they “pull everything in” to look 100% better.
Regardless of the shape you’re in right now, I know you can make yourself look better and worse with these little tricks.
Because of the heavy advertising push, lots of you think that supplements are a must if you want to get back in shape.
But the truth is, very few people need any supplements at all. In fact, unless you follow the “90% Rule” of nutrition, you shouldn’t be taking ANY supplements at all.
With a proper diet, you should be getting everything nutritionally to help you reach your goals, no matter what they are, with no need to supplement.
What Supplements Are
So before you consider supplementing your nutrition (and really, that’s exactly what supplements are for – to SUPPLEMENT your diet), make sure you have your diet in check first. You can follow the AW Nutrition Plan, and make sure you comply with at least 90% of your meals before adding supplements to your diet.
Having said that, for some of you on the go, you may need to supplement from time to time with a meal replacement, or a protein shake, for convenience to ensure you are complying with your nutrition plan a full 90%. And that’s absolutely fine, as long as the majority of your diet is coming from whole foods.
Even more, following a proper nutrition plan 90% of the time, with a proper training program (like the AW Training Plan) will give 90% of you all the results you could ask for – without supplements.
When To Use Supplements
Still, there will be some of you that are looking to reach that next level. This is where supplements have a true place in a fitness program.
Even with a good nutrition and training program, some of you may need to supplement to make sure you are getting all of the nutrients you need to achieve your goals.
Supplements To Consider
There really are only a few supplements I would recommend the average guy or girl take anyway. Here the list of supplements I use, with a little information about each one:
A proper diet will provide a more than adequate amount of protein for most people. But whey protein is a great alternative for those meals you can’t eat, or cook a whole food protein source. Just try to limit your whey protein servings to once per day. Whey protein may also be used to concoct the perfect post-workout shake.
BCAA’s may help with muscle recovery, and may also help to improve metabolism and decrease appetite.
Creatine may help improve power and performance during high-intensity training by speeding up recovery between sets, and creatine may also help promote muscle growth.
May help to reduce inflammation in the body along with numerous other health benefits such as the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Greens may help increase energy, recovery, and bone health. Greens may also help neutralize acid build up in the body from both intense exercise and a high protein diet.
If you do choose to use supplements, make sure you use a reputable brand, and always check labels to make sure there are no additives, and that you are actually getting what you need, and no more.
For the next week, leave the caps on your supplements. Keep a food journal and check your compliance at each meal with the AW Nutriton Plan.
Only with solid compliance to your nutrition plan should you consider supplementing.
Remember, supplements are not supposed to replace a good nutrition plan; they are supposed to supplement a good nutrition plan.
Note: Image courtesy of tungphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net