Supplements 101

Posted: February 3, 2014 by dannytwoguns in Articles

A question I get and we get fairly often at Twoguns Training Systems is in regards to supplements. Im not 100% sure the answer they think Im going to give is, probably one of Dr. Oz’s 184 miracle fat loss cures, but they are usually surprised with my answer.

“So what should I do for supplements?”
“What supplements should I be taking”
“What do you think of supplement/multi-level marketing scheme (X, Y, Z)” etc etc

My answer almost always starts with, “How is your diet?” or “You pay how much for what?!” (But that one is a different story altogether…)

After they tell me all the things they do in their diet incorrectly, I tell them that no supplement in the world, miracle or standard one is going to make up for not drinking enough water, not eating enough protein or green veggies, eating too many grains, eating artificial sugars etc etc. And that has to be the starting point.

Then the question becomes, “After I fix my diet, what supplements should I be taking?” After a face palm I usually give in.

So I tell them all of the supplements I recommend…

A high quality multi-vitamin (absolutely)
A high quality protein powder (maybe)
A high quality krill (fish) oil (maybe)

And that is it. The “average” client who we get, looking for a major body transformation and fat loss do not need anything more than that. No 24 day challenges, 8 week miracle supplements and patches. Also notice how I prefaced them all with high quality also.

No matter how much we will it to be so, there are no miracle supplements. None that will make you not have to workout on a high quality training program, none that will make you not have to diet and none that after a high quality training program and spot on diet will expedite those results significantly. Im sorry but that is the way it is and anyone who says otherwise is likely trying to sell you something. There are other types of supplements that do have some merit in some situations (a greens supplement, creatine, extra vitamin D etc), but all of the ones that promise the aforementioned, there are not.

Back to the “high quality” component. Supplements are a billion dollar industry and an industry in which there is no major governing body that says what is in the product HAS to be in the product. Because of this, there are tons of low quality supplements masquerading as things they aren’t. It can say it is 100% of say Whey Protein Isolate (or whatever) when in fact it is less than 5% whey protein isolate, mainly the inferior and cheaper whey protein concentrate and other fillers and charge what a whey protein isolate would cost – or more.

This is a hard issue to circumvent because pretty much all “supplement store” supplements fall into this, especially protein powders, multi-vitamins and fish oils because they aren’t cheap to make, they are popular and can easily hide filler ingredients to make them cheaper. It makes it hard to know which companies to trust.

Don’t buy this…

One thing that always made me laugh that I hear from people is, “I took a multi-vitamin but it always made my stomach hurt or didn’t make me feel good so I stopped.” A multi-vitamin should be made from natural things like fruits and vegetables and should by no means in no way make your stomach hurt. The ones that do have things in them that they don’t mention, shouldn’t be in there or are synthetic garbage. Most walmart brand supplements fall into this. Spend $30-40 a month on a high quality multi, it matters. Even the best diets can use some back up and it is very hard to get everything we need through food.

I recommend krill oil to people who are having joint issues or a couple of other things and it usually helps. I also recommend protein powders to people who often need a meal on the go or have a time restricted meal or some other similar scenario. If possible, eat “real” food.

Some companies like ProGrade and TrueNutrition hold the high credential of a GMP rating which means they actually answer to a governing body that says what is in it HAS to be in it. This is the easiest way to trust a company and know that you are getting high quality ingredients and no fillers.

Bottom Line
– Workout/Train correctly
– Proper diet and nutrition (eat more protein, more green veggies, less grains, more water)
– Multi-vitamin is a must (I have some at the studio if you need)
– Maybe a high quality fish or krill oil
– Maybe a protein powder, but maybe not
– Say no to things spouting false promises and ridiculous claims
– Trust a professionals/fitness professional’s advice. They are the ones to trust, not your friends who found themselves through a cleanse, detox etc.

That’s it for this installment, if you have any questions, as always don’t hesitate to ask either on here or on Facebook.

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