One iron capsule, one vitamin C tablet, one spoonful of magnesium, three scoops of protein … Many swear by the consumption of supplements (also called dietary supplements) and also A wide variety of preparations are commonplace, especially in the fitness scene. It is not uncommon for trainees to have whole doses of pills, which are otherwise only known from sick people, and believe that they are optimally covering their micronutrient requirements. Is it worth the effort? In most cases not, unless you are on a longer diet.
Why are most supplements superfluous?
The use of vitamins or other supplements is – as long as you do not exaggerate excessively – is not hazardous to health. In principle, you can supplement anything if you want – but only in the rarest of cases can you really benefit from it. Why? All the nutrients and trace elements that the body needs are included in your meals – provided you eat a balanced diet. Would you like some examples?
- Vitamins and minerals occur in varying amounts, especially in vegetables and fruit. The body can do more with this because natural foods contain numerous accompanying substances such as secondary plant substances, which make up the actual health-promoting effect.
- Protein is often consumed as a powder, but is found in many different foods. The selection is accordingly so large that you do not have to resort to preparations. For inspiration, read my blog article on protein.
- Amino acids or BCAAs are often taken before, during and / or after training. What many do not know: protein consists of amino acids. Those that can be bought have only been filtered out of one protein source. You can already see: Then proceed as in the previous point and treat yourself to something else, for example a nice piece of meat or fish or legumes or eggs or … 😉
Still enough micronutrients
If your diet is balanced and you consume enough calories, you can save the money on tablets, capsules or powders. Better to invest in nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods or eat out well. How about a steak, for example?
In the article on macro distribution you can read how you should best put your meals together in everyday life.
Avoid supplements completely?
No. I also take supplements, albeit not on a daily basis (with the exception of creatine) – because it is convenient and I can meet my personal needs more easily. Here I list the four most important ones in my opinion and briefly explain their benefits (it wasn’t enough for five 😉):
My top 4 supplements
1. Whey. The increased protein requirement for strength athletes can be covered more easily, and it is uncomplicated to take. Due to the many flavors, it is, in my opinion, a good change from the other protein sources. In addition, it has a high biological value, i. H. the body is well supplied with it because it contains all amino acids.
2. Creatine. This substance is also found in meat and makes you more efficient in training by improving the supply of energy in the muscles.
3. Vitamin D3 + K2 (MK7). D3 cannot be taken in directly with food, but is almost completely absorbed through the skin – provided it is exposed to the sun. Taking D3 in conjunction with K2 (can be bought as a combination preparation) is particularly recommended in the winter months when you don’t like to run around without your upper body. It helps against winter depression and has a number of other benefits (e.g. it has a positive effect on bone density, the heart and circulation and the immune system).
4. Omega 3. These essential fatty acids are found in oily fish and some nuts. Because I don’t consume either of these on a daily basis, and certainly not in sufficient quantities, I also take capsules as needed. Omega 3 acts z. B. anti-inflammatory and is the “antagonist” of omega 6 – both fatty acids should be consumed in a balanced ratio.
If I had to expand the list, I would add zinc and magnesium – these two trace elements are in one A balanced diet but also available in sufficient quantities.
When the body’s stores are full, it makes no sense to consume supplements in addition to nutrition – these are excreted unused. The placebo effect should not be underestimated: many hope for benefits even though they are adequately supplied and believe that corresponding positive effects come from supplements. If you eat healthy and sufficient, these are unnecessary.
Why are they still selling well? The manufacturers are behind getting their products to men / women – and the demand is there. In the fitness industry in particular, the market for supplements is now huge and even in drugstores there are all sorts of preparations for everyone, but it’s very simple: a balanced, healthy diet – nothing more than that is needed. 😉