The things you put in your body will have a huge impact on the results you see. This is why nutrition is such a key aspect of fitness. You need to eat healthily and ensure your body gets all the fuel it needs. For many of us, this isn’t always possible through food alone. So, we turn to supplements.
A supplement is something that’s used to add a little extra to your diet. For example, many women use protein supplements because they don’t get enough protein through their meals. The question is whether or not we should be using supplements in the first place. Some people believe you shouldn’t ever use them, while others swear by them. I’ve looked at both sides of the equation to provide the most balanced viewpoint possible.
Supplements are great if you’re deficient in essential nutrients
My general rule is that you should only supplement things that you physically struggle to get through food and drink. There are people out there who are deficient in certain nutrients or vitamins, either because of genetics or their diet. For example, vegans don’t get as much iron as people who eat meat. So, an iron supplement is pretty essential. If you’ve had blood tests done and are deficient in certain minerals/nutrients, then you need supplements. Or, if you know that your diet restricts you, then supplements are very useful.
Some supplements can be dangerous
For the most part, supplements are usually fine for most people. They contain natural ingredients, and they exist to complement your diet. However, some supplements can be more dangerous. One that springs to mind is a pre-workout supplement. This is designed to give you a big energy boost, and it’s not a very good thing to take. You see, it almost has the same effect as a drug. It makes you feel buzzed and alive for a short period, then you have a comedown afterward. I mean, you’re hardly going to end up in a heroin addiction treatment center after taking a pre-workout, but it can definitely be addictive. Not to mention the excessive amount of caffeine in them. My advice is to be wary of some supplements, particularly the ones that directly alter aspects of your body/mind.
Supplements can push you to achieve your goals
A key argument in favor of supplements is that they help you reach your goals faster. I get this, and I think it’s worth thinking about. Supplements can be there for backup only if you don’t have the time to plan out your meals and track all the nutrient values, etc. In this scenario, if you didn’t have supplements, then you’d struggle to achieve your goals. Keep in mind though to try to always aim to get your nutrients from healthy foods .
To answer the question, you don’t have to use supplements, but some can be very beneficial. I suggest you choose supplements that are critical and designed for you. If you desperately need some added nutrients or minerals to reach your goals, and you can’t get them anywhere else, then a supplement is perhaps going to be helpful. Just be cautious of some of the supplements out there. Stay away from things that don’t necessarily add to your diet, but will change the way you think or feel.
This is a collaborative post.
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