This is a topic that often stirs up one heck of a debate amongst fitness enthusiasts and professionals.
One side of the argument will make strong claims that we can obtain all the necessary nutrition from food, and the opposite end of the argument will suggest we cannot possibly get all we need from food alone and will need to invest in purpose made pills and powders to achieve optimal body composition and performance.
It is because of such indifference amongst individuals within the fitness world that many of us can become confused as to what, if any, nutritional supplements we should aim to invest in to help us achieve our goals.
It should be noted that the term ‘dietary supplements’ encompasses such a broad range of products that provide a broad range of proposed health and fitness benefits.
Dietary supplements can include vitamins, minerals, protein powders, amino acids, essential fatty acids, carbohydrates and much more that come in many forms including pills, powders, liquids, capsules.
It largely depends on our goals what we would use and how we would use it.
So, do we really need sports dietary supplements? My personal opinion about this topic has me agreeing with both sides of the argument.
I would agree that we do not need supplements or rather that they are not mandatory in the pursuit of our fitness goals i.e. fat loss, muscle mass and performance.
I believe that if we train hard and learn how to consume the correct amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats from natural sources of food we can successfully achieve such goals – there are clearly many people out there that have already achieved this, including myself in the past.
Despite this, i would also agree that sports dietary supplements can be helpful for many people.
To obtain all the nutrition we need from natural food sources is a skill and requires a certain level of education – not that lots of people are stupid of course, but the art of cooking and understanding relevant sources of wholesome foods began to die out a long time ago in the western world – sadly.
For people short of time, with busy daily schedules and a general lack of availability or opportunity to obtain nutrition from foods at every meal, supplements can become a useful and staple part of their diet.
Sports dietary supplements can provide a nutritious and convenient way to make up for the nutrients we require.
They can help us to supply energy, improve recovery, improve power and strength, support fat loss efforts and more at times when we may struggle to eat enough food in a given day – for me this is a massive advantage to anyone who wants to achieve consistent and pleasing health and fitness results.
One of the main benefits i feel i get from using supplements alongside a wholesome diet is that it keeps me focused and confident that i have got in enough nutrients to support what i am trying to achieve with my body.
This prevents me from giving up or missing exercise sessions because i feel i haven’t got the energy or to perform or recover efficiently.
Finally, a key point to remember here is that the term ‘supplement’ means to supplement your existing diet, an obvious statement i know, but many fitness enthusiasts and athletes fall into the pattern of supplementing their supplements with natural foods and its not a good place to be in terms of health.
Your health and fitness depend on a variety of factors, but adequate nutrition from natural sources is perhaps the most important of all.
What is your stand on this? How do you view supplements and is there any type you could not go a day without using for a particular reason?