Are Supplements Actually Helping You?

Cropped image of a bodybuilder making himself a protein shake

The supplement industry is something good to get into, if you want to make money.  The supplement industry produced $32 billion dollars in revenue from nutritional supplements in 2012.  Of course, everyone loves to take the easy road by popping pills or consuming drinks to make them feel like they are doing something beneficial toward their health, but do you really know what is in the products you are taking?

Supplements are a convenient product which contains a concentrated source of vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need, so I understand why some may be fooled by the marketing these products use.  There are no checks and balances when it comes to the supplement industry though in regard to content and potency.  It is important to do your homework as you see more and more stories about the potency, content, and questionable ingredients associated with supplements.  Some of these products have been shown to contain toxic ingredients, or they really just don’t have what they claim to be in their product.

Don’t get me wrong, there are quality supplements out there you can use, but most of your pre-workout supplements are garbage.  It gives you what I like to call stupid energy.  It gives you energy, but it usually doesn’t allow you to think clearly as you would if you didn’t take it.  If you feel like you need an energy boost, you should examine other areas of your health, such as your sleep and overall diet.

Most supplements are snake oil by just providing you with a placebo effect.  They claim to have all of these great things that are essential to our well-being, but we are missing out on the little things that whole foods provide us when we turn to supplements.  Supplements should supplement your diet, not be a majority of your diet.

I am not going to lie, I was once a user of pre-workout supplements, but ever since I stopped taking them I sleep better, can think clearer when training, and do not feel as exhausted the day after training.  It will take a while to adjust to not having that feeling before training, but you will be able to focus your energy more on technique rather than just movement.  If you need a little caffeine boost, try a shot of expresso, cup of coffee, or bowl of match green tea (my personal favorite).


  1. These ingredients that could be toxic; are there specific ones you know of off the top of your head that I should look out for?


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