Fitness supplements are a multi-million dollar industry. Every day through magazines and advertising we are buried beneath a pile of conflicting information about what supplements can actually do for us. To help you sift through the supplement argument it is important we take a look at some basic facts and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about supplements.
Supplements are Important to my Fitness Routine
Supplements make up less than one percent of what you should concern yourself with, whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle. The reason they have become so popular is because everyone wants a shortcut. But the truth is there are no shortcuts for the best things in life and that includes your physical health and well-being. Most supplements are things already naturally produced by the body. As we have stated many times a great body or a big belly happens in the refrigerator. Eating right will give you all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Plenty of people achieve all of their fitness goals without ever taking a single supplements.
Supplements are a Substitute for Working Out
The definition of the word supplement is something that adds to a bigger part of the whole. That should tell you something. If they were all you needed they wouldn’t be called supplements. As much as we all wish there was a magic pill that gave us a perfect body, this is perhaps the most absurd myth floating around. After you have started eating right, hard work is necessary. A good trainer will bring you along at a slow pace so that you don’t burn out from the beginning and make the work as fun as possible. But there is absolutely no substitute for proper exercise. Your body is something you have to live with your entire life. It deserves to be shaped without cutting corners.
If You Don’t Drink a Protein Shake You’ve Wasted Your Time
There is certainly nothing wrong with having a protein shake after a workout. But again we must stress that fitness begins with your diet. A tuna sandwich after a workout can be just as effective. Other great sources of protein are peanut butter, beans and meat. Even a lean steak can provide much of the protein and amino acids your body needs. If you like using protein shakes then that is great, but if you are only doing it because you think you have to, that is simply not true.
I Can Lose Weight Without Exercising
This is technically true but clarification is needed. If you starve yourself you will definitely lose weight without working out but you will also die. Weight loss is achieved by burning more calories than you take in. Methamphetamines and cocaine will make people lose weight without exercising, but you certainly shouldn’t do that. Weight loss supplements work on the same principle. They speed up your heat rate, which in turn burns more calories. If the amount of calories being burned exceeds what is coming in you lose weight. But using pills to speed up your heart rate is a dangerous game to play. The natural and healthy way is through cardiovascular exercise. Other supplements remove water weight from your system. The human body is made up of 70 percent water for a reason. Staying hydrated is very important to your health, much more so in combination with exercise.
Supplements Have No Value
Supplements can certainly help with your workout. But these benefits are minimal and they are really more for people who have already reached their goals and want to gain a slight edge. We are in no way trying to tell you never to take any supplement. A daily vitamin is a wonderfully helpful thing to take. Our point is just to encourage you not to place it above what needs to be done first, which is eating right and exercising.
Supplements can help but don’t think of them as an alternative to the work that needs to be done. The important thing to remember here is you only get one body in this life. It is the most important thing and it deserves more from us than taking shortcuts. Without the body there is no life in this existence so treat your body well and it will return the favour.