Are Your Supplements Really Doing Anything?

Supplements today are a rather hot topic. Everyone seems to be taking them and swears that the brand they’re taking is the best thing since sliced bread, when in reality most of what they experience is a result of the placebo effect. The supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that feeds off of modern society’s obsession with vanity and the desire to look like “insert famous person here.” So before you go and dump hundreds of dollars into your local supplement store, it may be worth your time to ask whether or not the desired “fat burning this” or “muscle building that” is actually going to deliver what’s promised on the label.
For starters, the majority of supplement companies are primarily in the business of marketing, not nutrition. At the end of the day their bottom line is what’s important. Ever hear the expression “buy low, sell high”? Most products are designed to sell for the most money possible, while at the same time minimizing the costs to the producer to the greatest extent possible. This is done at the expense of using quality ingredients and in the proper amounts. A great example of this is “nitrogen spiking” protein powders which I discuss in a previous article.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t any supplements that work. Quality supplements in conjunction with proper nutrition can help you achieve better results in a shorter amount of time, the only problem is that quality supplements among today’s brands are few and far in-between and typically come with a much higher cost than what you were probably expecting. That old adage “you get what you pay for” has never been more accurate in this case. We also need to remember that supplements are not drugs. They will not provide instant gratification like a drug and will not give you the body of your dreams in the short time frame of a month or less. Your fitness idol’s physique is the result of years of proper nutrition, training, and discipline (assuming they are truly natural).
Another reason people will typically “buy into” a supplement is because the public figure or celebrity they idolize recommends or sponsors them. This is the biggest grab for young men ages 18-25. People will purchase the products their idol uses in the hopes of emulating that specific physique, without knowing that the vast majority of these shredded fitness models are using low doses of anabolic steroids to attain their physique. This is highly misleading and isn’t very ethical, but that’s a discussion without an end.
At the end of the day, there is no replacement for proper nutrition. People have attained incredible physiques and won competitions without supplements in the past. If you’re not eating in way that is conducive to building muscle and burning fat, all of the supplements in the world won’t make a difference.

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