That’s a pretty vague title. Well, it’s a pretty broad category. What exactly are we talking about here? The supplement industry is a billion dollar industry. Why? Lot’s of great marketing, sure, but because supplementing just plain works. No matter what your goal is when it comes to your physical being, at some point, if you’re not supplementing your diet then you’re missing the boat. Now, before I get all the health nuts throwing tomatoes at me let’s back up a bit.
Why supplement your diet? Well, unless you are eating 100% pure food you’re getting stuff you don’t want in your body and NOT getting stuff your body needs. How do we balance that out? By finding out what it is we are lacking and adding that through some other vehicle. Should the every day, normal, non-physically active person use supplements? Yep!! However, that would probably look more like multi-vitamins or something along those lines. My first experience with supplements started when I was 15 years old. I weighed about 120 lbs and loved playing football. Bad combination. While at “The Mall” I picked up a Muscle and Fitness magazine in the book store. Inside were pages full of advertisements for supplements. I bought the magazine, went home and mailed in my order to Anabol Naturals. I don’t even remember what it was that I bought but they were filled with white powder and were absolute horse pills. I went to the library and checked out a book on weightlifting then hit the local YMCA in force!! Long story short, I never ended up looking like the guys in the magazine.
That was about 30 years ago and I’ve learned a lot in between. Having been pretty heavily involved in the fitness industry, owning CrossFit of the Ozarks, forced me to expand the breadth of my knowledge. I’ve always used my own body as my own personal laboratory. I’ve used everything from Creatine and Pre-workout to actually shooting Testosterone Enanthate. The testosterone was my favorite but it had its downside, but that’s a whole other story. My wife and I eat pretty “clean” as do our children, when forced. I started taking supplements pretty religiously around 2005 when I needed to get bigger and stronger. Creatine was my go-to along with a LOT of protein. Which, naturally, led to the protein farts. I was living amongst a group of guys in Booger Eater Land so that’s just what we did. Gym, Run, Shoot. Our food was of poor quality so we had to supplement to fuel our activities. About that time my wife did some working out and I turned her onto Creatine. It worked well for her and helped with her recovery after her workouts. What I always tell folks is to do their research. Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid in the body. We could really draw this post out and talk about how our cells react to different foods and supplements, the purpose of fat, protein and carbs and how they act in the body, yada, yada, yada. But I want to keep this simple.
Bottom line is this, if you’re not eating “right”, most people aren’t, you should be supplementing your diet. The catch is that we need to fill our body with fuel that will support our activity. My recommendation is a good source of protein. I’m a plant-based protein guy because dairy wreaks havoc on my gut. I usually take a pre-workout with some Beta Alanine in it, some B12 and other Branch Chain Amino Acids. I’ll drink my amino acids during my workout and after my workout I have a protein shake with some Glutamine and Creatine in it. I’ve done this for years and that’s what works well for me. I’m not body building or competing so I don’t need much more than that. Again, your activity will dictate your supplementation. I also “try” to eat as properly as I can. The supplements I use primarily are from Driven Nutrition. They are a local company and I know the owners. Support your local business type of thing. Not to mention that their products are VERY good. Do your research and play with supplements and your body. You’ll find what clicks best for you.