How effective ‘it’ is, depends on the pedestal you give ‘it’
Belief is a powerful thing. That’s why knowing a girl likes me (for a fact) makes it much easier to flirt and dare I say ask her out! I even find myself flirting with her far more than I ever could/would with a random woman on the street.
Or it could be instinct, knowledge and being aware of subtle (very subtle sometimes) signals. Belief is king though, whatever I do and say is going to go down well and she’ll love it. It’s great, I feel invincible. Whereas if you have no real idea whether she ‘digs you’ or not (as I usually don’t), the interaction game is a lot trickier. The potential is there, but the belief isn’t. Add in belief and winning at anything becomes a hell of a lot easier.
Getting back to business, supplements are everywhere in the fitness world. From fat burning to muscle building to meal replacements and greens drinks. While research supports the majority of these supplements, are they really needed? And I mean REALLY essential? Do they make or break you? Notice the question was for you. I really believe for the vast majority of cases, your own subjective answer can really do most in determining just how much power you summon from your Creatine, Whey protein, BCAA’s, Carnitine, multi-vitamins and whatever crappy, over-hyped, coffee in a bottle, pre-workout supplements some guys swear by.
This is where ‘bro-science’ and legitimate science get a little mixed. Let me state I’m not opposed to either. Bro science is nothing more than one’s anecdotal experience and evidence using or doing a given concept. I actually believe genuine bro science is underrated. Don’t they say the wisest man in the room is the one with the most experiences? On the flip side, you get people that are so dogmatic scientifically that they mind fuck themselves fretting studies and rubbishing real experience that may oppose the tone of certain literature.
Supplement doesn’t mean ‘requirement’.
It’s dumbfounding how many people can’t grasp the sentence above. That’s the power of the supplement industry’s marketing ploys. They’ve literally drilled it into naive newbies’ heads that things of lesser actual importance are critical. They’ve hoisted all their products up on a sky-high pedestal. This may sound like an anti-supplement tangent. It isn’t. This is a mere argument that we need to resort back to using words and terms in their original context and applying their correct definitions.
To supplement means to add something of need, or something lacking in your diet/overall nutrient puzzle. The vegan struggling to meet their protein minimums (which are lower than you’ve been led to believe). The guy doing lots of training (athletes) unable to get access to quality food for considerable periods, BCAAs could be required. Even the unhealthy couch potato with severely distorted tastebuds, that “doesn’t like any vegetables” (no sympathy for these people; try harder!) could exploit the benefits of greens shakes and veggie combos.
On the flipside……….
You get someone like myself, who is very OCD about what he eats and is very much a dietary and lifestyle extremist. Do I need any of the above? With my protein rich, nutrient dense diet and relatively moderate training volume? My approach is simple: I have a BCAA tub which only gets used on days I have to do classes and subsequently go longer than I’d like without quality food. I don’t take BCAAs day in, day out and round the clock like the manufacturers would love…….because there’s really no need.
I don’t use creatine because I don’t feel I need a boost of any sort. Black organic coffee covers my pre-workout ‘needs’. Obviously I have supplemental vitamins in the form of vitamin D3, fish oils (Omega 3) and magnesium. I live in the U.K. where we have a grand appreciation ceremony break out every time we see that giant hydrogen ball in the sky. Alas, my natural vitamin D levels would be low.
(I must concede that the British weather stereotype is justified)
With the omega 3’s, I have no trouble eating and enjoying natural sources as provided by salmon, sardines, mackerel and yellowfin tuna – to name only a few. On days I eat fish, I don’t take any fish oil caps. Simple.
As a quick sidenote, I mentioned magnesium, the form I’ve currently been using is glycinate. This is one of the very best and it’s price reflects that. I’ve been using it as a sleep aid and overall ‘yin’ to the ‘yang’ in my life. The improvement in my sleep has been amazing! I would definitely recommend those vulnerable to insomnia give that a try. Or could this be my own placebo effect?
Related: (5 Amazing supplements to get your sleep here it needs to be!) (5 natural and supplement free ways to enhance your sleep)
Everyday occurrences –
I’ve had many a conversation with guys asking me if they need to invest in a protein powder/shake. To which I always ask: “How’s your diet? Do you eat much meat?” They’ll tell me they eat a solid serving of meat at every meal. End of discussion. Usually after I explain protein powders are more a convenience factored supplement, or if you for some reason need to consume mammoth quantities of protein daily (usually only drug ridden bodybuilders), then practicality comes in too.
These guys have honestly been led to believe their Whey protein does something to the body that wholefood doesn’t. It’s mad. They look baffled when you don’t support what the ‘bros’ have told them; they need between meal protein shakes on top of the meat they eat at every meal.
I didn’t know marketing was this easy!
And finally, creatine is also high and mighty on it’s artificial pedestal that these ‘bros’ have given it. Now I’ve not used creatine at all, and I’m aware how scientifically ‘sound’ it is. But when guys tell me they’ve just started taking creatine, and they’ve added 10 lbs to their previous 5 rep max on a lift and now done 8 reps with it…………..that’s not creatine. That’s the power you’ve given creatine with your belief in creatine.
If you really want results in this game, convince yourself – truly convince yourself – that whatever you’re doing will work.
Why not attach that level of belief to a good, old school routine with a clean wholefoods diet to go hand in hand?
Where the mind deems possible, the body follows.
Hasn’t that been said before though?
JR @ Straight-Talking-Fitness View All
The 'brains' behind StraightTalkingFitness, a site all about discovery that leads to strength in all formats; fitness, mental, emotional and spiritual. Everything starts from within and projects outwards. Master the body, master anything and everything.
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