Do You Really Need All Those Supplements?
Good morning all,
I bet you're tired of having a bunch of internet charlatans shoving different bunk supplements in your face... so, what should you really be taking?
What is MAP's take on supplements?
It’s important to note that supplements are going to be the 1-2% improvements to your health and fitness goals. They’re there to LITERALLY supplement the things you’re not getting or able to get from your diet. These do not replace a well-rounded diet or will do much of anything if the bigger picture things aren’t in check first.
If you aren’t sure what those bigger picture things are, take a look at this graphic taken from The Muscle and Strength Pyramids by Dr. Eric Helms.
It may surprise you that we only recommend a short list of supplements and some of them are conditional. For dosing, benefits, risks and all information pertaining to the supplements listed check out examine.com!
A generic multivitamin to cover any nutrient deficiencies you may have from your current diet. This can happen for many reasons such as lack of variety in your diet, food preferences, dieting on low calories reducing food variety and quantities.
Vitamin D3 is the vitamin we get from the sun! You would think we wouldn’t need to supplement with something we can get from going outside but most of the western world is deficient in vitamin D. If you’re not getting at least 20-30 minutes of direct sunlight every day, you’re likely deficient. This is especially prevalent in the winter months.
Whether you’re strength training, an endurance athlete, a concurrent athlete or just a living breathing human, creatine is for you! Creatine is the most researched supplement on the market. More and more research is coming out about the cognitive benefits associated with taking creatine. I tell my clients this all the time “5g every day any time of day for each and every day you’re alive”. Creatine is cheap and it works!
EFA otherwise known as essential fatty acids or Omega 3s! If you’re anything like me, you don’t have a lot of fish in your diet. For most of us our diets are filled with Omega 6s and a sad amount of Omega 3s. You can get Omega 3s in various ways but the most efficient is through fish oils.
This is the supplement that most of us FEEL when we take preworkouts. It’s that tingling sensation you experience in your hands, face and even tips of your ears. Some love it and others hate it. I PERSONALLY find it distracting. It can be helpful for endurance athletes, Crossfitters or any athlete that has to perform bouts of exercise lasting more than one minutes. Powerlifters and bodybuilders don’t get much benefit from this.
The most used and abused supplement for athletes and really, everyone in the world. Caffeine has a powerful ergogenic effect that can improve performance through lower rates of perceived exertion, lower rates of perceived pain, and increases in energy to name just a few awesome benefits it has. Timing of caffeine is important though as it does have a half life of about 9 hours which can impact your ability to fall asleep and get quality sleep.
Aside from these supplements, there aren’t many we suggest or talk about with our clients!
Yours in health,
Coach, Master Athletic Performance