Are Supplements A Waste Of Money?
“It still remains irresponsible to deny the science behind the supplements that are effective.”
As fitness enthusiasts continue to take advantage of social media platforms to reach their communities, consumers are beginning to smarten up about the supplements they purchase and rightfully so. With that said, there is a bit of misinformation floating around about supplements being a complete waste of money, and we would like to take a moment to clear this up:
1.) First and foremost a blanket statement such as “supplements do not work” is false. All supplements are not created equal. That shiny new fat burner your favorite YouTuber just released should not be categorized with highly researched supplements such as creatine and protein.
2.) Currently, there is no clear line between opinion and fact with a lot of the information professionals are sharing. For example, it is common for fitness professionals to tell the general public that supplements have no effect on a users body (they don’t work) versus telling them that they do in fact have an effect, but, they personally do not see the minuscule effect said supplement has as a good investment.
3.) Most supplement studies pushed by brands endorsing said supplements are set up in a fashion that makes the supplement look good. This is obviously good for sales. A good example of this is BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids.) Companies claim BCAA’s are backed by a lot of hard science, and they aren’t wrong, they just aren’t sharing the entire truth. BCCA’s (as a supplement) have a heavy dose of an amino acid called leucine. Leucine serves as an activator of a type of protein we call mTOR, mTOR is known to induce muscle protein synthesis. This chain reaction tells us that BCAA’s are a no-brainer, must purchase, have to have it today type of supplement. However, the supplement companies fail to announce that we get adequate amounts of leucine in a proper diet, especially if that diet is supplemented with whey protein powder. They also fail to declare that an excess of leucine in the body at one time is scientifically useless. At the end of the day the supplement company isn’t lying to you, they have the science to back up claims of their product working, they just skip telling you their product is most likely useless to you because you’re already receiving more than enough of whatever they’re trying to sell you. Here’s the kicker, you’re probably getting most of your leucine from the same company’s supplement shelf via a different product. Tricky.
4.) Some supplements are a topic of debate based on the fact that their effect is mostly left up to user perception; enter pre-workout. Pre-workout supplementation catches heat for not being “necessary,” or, for being easily replaced by a cheaper alternative (caffeine for example.) The truth is the topic is subjective, and the most important factor is getting to the gym. If a parent of 3 kids who works a full-time job feels like their favorite pre-workout gives them the boost that they need to hit 8th gear and get to the gym, the value in that supplement has then been legitimized. Optimality becomes irrelevant if it just does not work for the user. Pre-workout > a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee > pre-workout. It depends on the user. Sometimes personal preference is better left alone.
5.) There are indeed a variety of supplements out there that are backed by little to no science and exist for nothing more than profit. In fact, one could argue that the majority of supplements fall into this category. Even though this is very much the reality, it still remains irresponsible to deny the science behind the supplements that are effective.
6.) Select supplement companies appear to be “dying” financially as consumers smarten up. A smart consumer is the #1 enemy of the supplement industry, watch out for erroneous claims or promises of get fit quick schemes.
7. Do your own research, ask your trainer, or message us if you have any questions.
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