Hey guys! Marcus from Fitness Room here!
There are tons of supplements out there. Pre-Workouts, Post-Workouts, Vitamins and Minerals, Creatine, Fat Burners and even more. Within all of these categories there are different types and brands claiming different things! So which ones are worth the money and which ones aren’t? We’ll stick to the most common ones today in order to help you make the best decisions about the supplements you use.
Before we begin, remember that while there are definitely some beneficial supplements out there, they are meant to supplement a healthy diet. Getting vitamins, minerals and macronutrients from whole foods is generally the best option. As with anything nutrition related, consult your doctor before making any extreme dietary changes.
These are the ones that the majority of people can use safely and are effective. We’ll briefly go over why they’re useful, but the most important thing is that all of these do work as intended.
Protein Powders (Isolate)
Everyone who trains should probably be supplementing some extra protein to aid with recovery and building lean muscle. Most people simply don’t get enough from food to hit that 1g per pound of bodyweight target.
This is extremely important for healthy bones and lowering the risk of disease. It also serves to help absorb calcium.
Omega 3 (Fish Oil)
Powerful anti-inflammatory that is great for your joints and for fighting heart disease.
Zinc and Magnesium
Zinc is something that people tend to become deficient in. Similar to protein, if you’re exercising, you may need to supplement zinc. Low zinc leads to lower testosterone levels, meaning recovering will take longer and building muscle will be even harder.
This is one that definitely works, but is not necessary. For those of you wanting to get stronger as a primary goal, creatine will definitely help achieve that, in which case it is worth buying.
These are a couple of common ones that are useless and maybe even harmful. There are a few others that could also be listed here, but they are not often heard about. As a rule, if it isn’t in the category above, it probably isn’t necessary.
Just like an all-in-one shampoo and conditioner isn’t a great choice, the same applies here. One size doesn’t fit all. We all have different requirements and a multivitamin only has preset amounts of the different vitamins and minerals it contains. Certain vitamins and minerals may even inhibit the absorption of others too!
This is something that you should really only get through food. Usually your body can regulate excess calcium if it comes from whole food sources, but not if it comes from a supplement. Excess calcium from supplements places stress on your kidneys and cardiovascular system. It may also contribute to kidney stone formation.
You can get all that you need from citrus fruits. At the very least, Vitamin C supplementation hasn’t been shown to fight off disease. At worst, it may actually work against your immune system.
These last ones are very popular, but might be unnecessary. They definitely can work and can be used effectively, but they may not be worth the price.
These can definitely make a difference to your energy levels, but they can also be expensive. If you’re eating well and sleeping well, then having a pre-workout supplement is not very necessary. If you’re feeling run down, it might be a good option, but it also may not be much better than simply having a coffee!
There are fat burners that work, but the ones that ‘really’ work aren’t something you can buy in a supplement shop. The ones commonly sold can assist with weight loss if you’re doing everything else correctly, (calorie deficit, eating healthy and sleeping enough), but once again, they aren’t necessary to see great results.
Thanks guys! If you have any questions about something not on the list, let us know!