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Are Dietary Supplements Necessary?

We are barraged by advertisements that say we need dietary supplements for many nutrients, claiming we cannot achieve good nutrition through food ingestion alone. For the most part, I disagree.

As far as supplements like metabolism enhancers, creatine, fat loss pills, energy drinks and such, I do not condone them nor do I recommend them to any of my clients. 

I do believe there are some herbal supplements that may offer great health benefits, but that is not the topic I wish to delve into here today. The focus of this page is macronutrient supplementation, namely protein.

PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION IS RUNNING AMOK! 

Protein supplementation is probably one of the most popular supplements on the market. It’s gone rampant! That’s why I’ve chosen to spotlight it in this dietary supplements article. You can click here for a more in-depth look at my viewpoint on this subject.

Most experts believe that exercising individuals need more protein than nonexercising individuals. That is pretty much a given; it just makes good sense.

The question remains: Is it necessary to supplement protein intake? Further, can protein supplementation possibly be detrimental?

I believe you should try to get your daily requirement of all the macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) through food as opposed to a supplement whenever possible. Always choose food over a pill or potion!

Check out this article for the science that backs up my beliefs! It's a real eye opener!

I do not believe it is healthy or wise to use protein supplementation to ingest more than the recommended amount in hopes of adding more muscle. 

Everyday, I see people who might work out anywhere from twice a week and up, supplementing protein like there's no tomorrow. Maybe for athletes in intense training this could be appropriate, but for the average person working out for weight loss, general fitness, or even in hopes of muscle hypertrophy (growth), I have to wonder if it is truly necessary or healthy to supplement protein for proper nutrition and exercise. Methinks it's gotten out of hand!

If you think you are not getting enough protein, I suggest you diary your food intake to see where you actually are with that. If you truly are falling under your required amount, try eating more protein. If for some reason you cannot, then you could consider protein supplementation.

You have to admit, they do look yummy!

I used to drink a protein smoothie with whey protein, soy milk, a banana, and fresh strawberries immediately after an intense strength training session.

Let me make this clear: I do not recommend nor condone my clients or you, the reader, to use protein supplementation or any kind of supplementation for that matter. This was my personal choice, my experiment, with my body. I was also training intensely about 2-3 hours daily, 6-7 days a week and was very active. 

Fast forward about 7-8 years and I no longer see or feel the need to supplement. My views have evolved across the years due to experimentation along with education. My workouts are not as intense as they once were. This also has morphed as I age and my needs and goals change.

Click onto any muscle-building website, flip open any muscle magazine, or walk into any GNC and you will be blown away with the plethora of supplements and their claims that good nutrition and exercise just isn't enough.

But consider the sources and ask yourself if you really believe these people have your best health in mind, or rather the lining of their pockets with your desperately-seeking-a-quick-fix, hard-earned cash. Sort of makes you stop and go...hmmmmm, doesn't it? 

My Advice? Spend your money on healthy food choices! Supplementation may be right for athletes in intense training or in particular situations where time constraints or circumstances don't allow for regular meal consumption; otherwise, eat your nutrition in the form of whole, healthy food choices whenever possible.



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