Yesterday I went to the grocery store and noticed that a new "nutrition" store had just opened up next door so I decided to go in and take a look. Right away I was surprised because this "nutrition" store had nothing but pills and capsules lining the shelves. Nutrition has been defined as the sum total of processes involved in the intake and utilization of food substances by living organisms. Notice the word "food" in that definition. I find it disheartening that society now believes that proper nutrition comes from pill bottles and pharmaceutical labs. I am in my last semester of gaining a bachelor's degree in exercise science so I consider myself to have a pretty good base knowledge when it comes to health, exercise, and nutrition. However, when I stepped foot in this store I was completely lost. The only substance that I actually recognized was creatine monohydrate. That got me thinking that if I am this confused, " What does the average person think when they walk in here?" I am guessing that they choose the supplement package that promises the most weight loss, the most potential to lose fat and gain muscle, or just ask the guy sitting behind the counter. All of which are pretty poor choices.
Now when I was in the store I actually started talking to the guy that worked there. He seemed like a nice guy with good intentions, and also seemed pretty knowledgable. He said that "their store" was different from the others because all of their products are created by a doctor and all of their employees have to have science related bachelor's degrees. It kind of bothered me though that he said he had a degree in exercise science yet he was pushing all of these different supplements. Research has consistently shown that the proper way to lose weight, gain muscle, and enhance health is through a proper diet, a progressive exercise routine, and smart lifestyle choices. An exercise educated person should know that.
I have to admit that I am writing this with somewhat of a biased. I firmly believe that all exercise related goals can be achieved through the consumption of whole, natural foods. The only "supplement" that I take, or recommend to my clients, is protein. I know that some studies have shown success with others, such as creatine, but I am still weary about putting certain substances in my body. The only other time that I would recommend a supplement is if you know that you exclude a certain food, or food group, in your diet. For example, if you know that you do not eat fish than you could take a fish oil capsule to reap the widely known benefits of fish oils. That being said I certainly do not think that anything is necessary, just optional.
I guess that I should probably get to my point. The take home message here is that people should not feel that they have to spend money on supplements to get the results that they want. It is expensive and ,in some cases, hazardous to your health. You can achieve any goal by manipulating the ratios of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) in your diet. So please do not fall for the advertisements that promise rapid, muscle building, fat scorching, testosterone boosting, energy enhancing, health improving weight loss in a pill form. Not gonna happen!
, Amerson Fitness