This is not the first time I write about this topic, but since it keeps coming up here are few pointers.
Supplements can be divided in three groups:
1. Meal replacements (protein powders, protein/carb mixes, protein bars, etc.)
2. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals)
3. The rest, ranging from the better researched items such as creatine to the ever popular steroid replacement or fat burner.
Taking it from the top, training, diet, and recovery will be responsible for 95% of your physique. Supplements are somewhere in the 3-5% range. Protein powders fall somewhat into the diet part and can be very helpful, especially for larger athletes or when traveling.
What about the rest? Glad you asked.
1. Zinc and magnesium deficiencies are very common among athletes, so a ZMA supplement at night will be helpful to restore balance and also help with sleeping.
2. Vitamin D3 levels are chronically low, especially during the upcoming (ugh!) winter months. Think 2,000 to 6,000 IUs a day.
3. Creatine is one of best researched supplements and has proven time and time again to work very well in terms of enhancing recovery and building up strength.
4. Adding Omega 3’s by consuming fatty fish, such as salmon, or a fish oil supplement, has been shown to enhance muscle growth and increase testosterone levels. Up to 3 grams per day of fish oil supplementation is beneficial in order to balance our ratio between dietary Omega 3 and Omega 6.
5. And to answer what everyone really wants to know:
Fat burners = overpriced caffeine pills
Steroid replacements= why would NFL players risk their career using the ” real thing” if they could just take the latest “as seen on CNN” herb?
And just to hammer in what really matters: nothing, not even steroids will work without proper training and diet.