Training Truths #9: Supplements are not required
You don’t need supplements- Supplementation is something that needs to be understood. It is undeniable that if you are training hard, especially in search of becoming more muscular, then you need to eat more calories and some more protein to support muscle growth and recovery. However this increase is nowhere near the level prescribed by the magazines and in general the whole supplement game is one of the biggest pillars supporting the overall misdirection, and profitability, of the fitness industry.
When I first started I believed it all: I saw my favorite athletes drinking a protein shake or energy drink and I listened to the PR hype from the companies about making sure you maximize your results by drinking 2 shakes a day. I even remember reading the label of one which advocated taking 6 scoops of their powder a day at my body weight in order to reach my goal of muscle size. I used to think about my protein requirements at all times and bought weight gainers and pre-workouts, all following the advice of the ‘pros’ who insisted it was how they reached their physiques.
Well obviously I wasted a lot of money and if I could go back I certainly would not be going down that road. The reality is that with steroids and PEDs so prevalent in pro sports and fitness the athletes advertising the supplements probably didn’t even take them, or if they did that supplement played about a 0.01% part in helping them to attain their physique. This is why companies will try so hard to convince you that all you need to do is want it bad enough: forget the fact that there is a finite limit to how much muscle you can hold naturally, supplements will take you there.
Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t have a big appetite or you find it hard to find the time to eat due to a busy schedule then shakes and powders can be a convenient alternative. When you exert abnormal pressures, i.e. training your body needs extras to help it recover. But just be aware that these powders are nothing revolutionary and above all don’t believe the hype around the new powders that come out every week showing steroid users on the label and promising ‘ultimate anabolic mass’. Find one that is well priced, that digest and tastes well with you and use sparingly.