Thinking about utilizing supplements but aren’t quite convinced yet they’re right for you? You may have heard a number of different things about supplements since beginning your fitness journey, some good and some not so good.
Now you question whether they’re safe and effective. Will they actually help you reach your end goal or will they just burn a whole in your wallet?
In order to help you make the most informed decision possible, let’s go over some key facts about supplements that you should know.
11. Supplements Will Build Muscle
Think that by simply taking a supplement you’ll start building muscle right away? It’s time to think again. Supplements will only help with the process of building muscle mass if you already have a proper training and nutrition program in place.
It isn’t the supplement itself that’s building the muscle but rather, it’s the fact that you can work harder while using the supplement, that leads to increased muscle gain.
If you aren’t putting in that extra work while on the supplement, you aren’t going to see results. Supplements don’t work magic, they simply assist the process.
10. All Supplements Are Safe
Next, you may think that all supplements are safe. After all, if they’re selling the in the store, they must be fine to use, right?
Not so. Remember that each person is unique and individual. Some supplements may interact with other medications you are taking or otherwise, so it’s best to consult your physician before taking any supplements if you are dealing with health issues.
Likewise, many supplements will contain stimulatory ingredients, so if you don’t respond well to caffeine, this is a good sign that supplement may not be for you.
Make sure that you educate yourself about the ingredients found in any supplement and know whether or not they may pose a risk for you.
9. Supplements Are Only For Those who Want To Get ‘Huge’
Another common notion that many people have is that supplements are only for those who want to get really huge. They think that by taking a supplement, they’ll start looking like a bodybuilder.
Again, this isn’t the case.
There are supplements out there that will suit all individuals, young, old, beginner or advanced. You just need to know what your own needs are and find a product to match.
While certainly, some products are more targeted towards those who want to build higher amounts of muscle, not all products are. Many cater towards loosing fat, improving your health, or increasing energy and performance.
8. Supplements Can Replace Your Regular Meals
The next myth that you need to be sure you know is the notion that states that you can just take a supplement to replace a meal.
While there are meal replacement powders available and these can be used in times of need, you should never be relying on these powders. They simply aren’t going to provide the fiber and nutrients that your body needs to function optimally.
As an occasional option they can be good and better than eating fast food or other unhealthy options, but they shouldn’t ever be a mainstay in your diet plan.
As the name suggests, supplements should supplement your already healthy plan.
7. Supplements Will Always Pose Side Effects
Some people avoid supplements because they think that no matter what they use, they’ll be at risk for a number of side effects. This again isn’t correct.
While some products will pose the threat of side effects, no tall do. Most products are well tolerated by most people who use them as intended.
You should nevertheless make sure that you are informed about anything that you might be putting into your body. If there isn’t research out there to support a particular product, this should raise some red flags in your mind and indicate to you that you may want to think otherwise.
Also be sure to read supplement reviews as well. Often you can learn a lot from these about whether a supplement is a smart solution or not.
6. Using Whey Protein Will Cause Weight Gain
The next myth that needs to be put to rest is the myth that using whey protein powder is going to lead to weight gain. Some people believe that just by drinking whey protein, you will instantly starting seeing fat gain results. Again, not true.
While if you just add protein powder to your everyday diet plan, you may gain weight, if you account for the calories it contains, you’ll be fine.
Drinking a scoop of protein powder is very much the same as eating a chicken breast as far as your body weight is concerned.
It’s only when protein powder gets added to the day with no other changes that problems may start to occur in the weight gain department.
And remember, if you swap out some carbs in your diet for more protein, you may start to gain muscle mass, however this is a very good thing and should not be feared.
The more muscle you have, the more fit you will become.
5. All Supplements Of One Type Are Equal
The next myth that you need to know about is the thought that all supplements of one type are created equally. For instance, you might think that all protein powders are the same or all fat burners will create the same effect.
This isn’t the case at all. Many products will really vary in the quality they offer and the potential results you’ll see between the different brands.
Make sure you do your research. Again, read reviews and see what other people find are the best products to take.
It isn’t always a case of ‘you get what you pay for’ as in some situations, you definitely are paying more for certain brands, but much of the time, higher priced products do offer superior benefits.
Don’t always select the cheapest brand just because you’re trying to save money. Doing so could sacrifice the results that you hope to see.
4. Creatine Is Like Taking Steroids
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements used by athletes and those looking to build muscle mass, but yet, some believe that taking creatine is akin to using steroids.
Again, this is not true at all. Creatine is simply a precursor to the high energy molecule, ATP, which fuels each and every muscular contraction you make. This in turn will help you work harder by reducing the level of fatigue that you experience during your workout sessions.
Your will actually be taking in creatine every day through the foods you eat, so in that regard, it’s a natural substance.
Steroids on the other hand are anything but natural and are a hormone that is being injected (or taken in orally) into your body.
The two are completely different entities, so never think that if you decide to use creatine, you’re now using steroids.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all ages and genders can utilize creatine. The same cannot be said for steroids.
3. You Won’t Need To Work As Hard If You Take Supplements
Another common thought process is that if you have certain supplements on your side, you won’t have to work as hard. For instance, you might think that because you’re taking the latest and greatest fat burner, this now means you won’t need to worry about dieting.
Or, because you’re using a product designed to help you build muscle mass, you don’t need to push yourself as hard in the gym.
This is far from the truth. The supplement will definitely give you an edge for sticking with your diet and working hard in the gym, but without those in place, results will still not be seen.
This goes along with the myth listed above that says you’ll build muscle mass naturally without hard work by simply using a supplement.
2. Protein Powder Is Dangerous
Along with the myth that protein powder is only for those who want to get big and ‘bulky’, another myth is that protein powder is dangerous. Some people still believe that a higher protein diet will harm your body and steer clear of protein powder because of this fact.
Remember, protein powder is no different than eating food sources of protein. Sure, if you were to eat 10 chicken breasts a day, five steaks, and two cartons of eggs, you may not be in the healthiest of states.
But, if you increase your protein intake slightly, you will see better results from your workout sessions, improved weight control, and more stabilized blood glucose levels. Moderation is key here. Whether the increased protein comes from protein powder or from whole food sources of protein really doesn’t matter.
For this reason, protein powder is not dangerous.
Just do note that when you decide to increase your protein intake from any sources, you should increase your water consumption as well. Protein can cause slight dehydration on the body, so taking in more water will help counteract this.
1. Results Are Predictable With Supplements
Finally, the last myth that you need to know about is the myth that you can predict the results you’ll see when using a supplement. You might think that because your training partner or friend saw certain results by using product ‘X’, you can expect those results as well.
While you generally should anticipate similar results, remember that no two people are exactly alike. Each person will react in their own unique way. Some will respond better while others may not notice much of a difference.
It’s all about learning what will work best for you in terms of the supplements you use and then focusing your energy on those products.
So there you have the facts to know about the major supplement myths that tend to circulate around in the supplement industry. There definitely are a number of overly hyped up products out there that won’t deliver the results they claim they will, but if you do your own research and make sure you’re making smart decisions, you should be able to side step these products and see the progress gains you’re looking for.