What Supplements Do I Need: Part 1
Welcome to our 5 part series to help you understand your fitness goals and decide what supplements may be the best choice for you.
I love talking about this topic more than anything else. What supplements do you REALLY need? I am going to discuss all the little nooks and crannies here. I am going to be very honest, which means there’s probably some stuff you’re taking you don’t need to be. And there’s probably a few things your life would wildly benefit from if you invested in yourself. Let’s take a look.
First, before we talk about any kind of products, we need to define one very specific thing. This will change everything about your nutrition, fitness, and supplements. What is your goal? And why? Yep, that simple. Before you start any program, meal prep or protein, ask yourself, “what am i seeking to accomplish?” And with very broad strokes I’m going to say, most people fall into one of two categories. Fat loss or muscle gain. Now there are times that people simply want to run faster, decrease their sitting heart rate, and sleep better.
Those are all things we can help aid with supplementation, but the vast majority of people are either looking to lose weight, so they can be healthier and look better. Or they want to build muscle so they can perform better and look better.
Choosing Supplements Based on Weight Loss or Muscle Gain
Yes, some people are looking to do both, actually a lot of people. And although this is possible when you start working out (due to a thing called “newbie gains”, but more on that later), it’s really hard to do both at the same time. Actually, it’s almost impossible. To gain muscle we have to be in caloric surplus and to lose fat we must be in a caloric deficit. As you can see, these are different things.
For one we must be consuming less food than what we burn off and for the other we have to be eating more food that what we burn off. This difference will completely dictate what supplements you should be taking, kind of.
Ok now I’m sounding kind of cryptic, what do I mean by “kind of”?
Based on what your goals are, there are some major differences to how and when you take the supplements. But as for the most basic, absolutely essential supplements, they are the exact same. “But how can that be?” you ask. Well, there are a few fundamental things like micro and macro nutrients that we all need to survive and, in this case, thrive. Those don’t change.
Supplements Are Food
Next, I want to look at how we view supplements. Many people view them as this strange concoction of chemicals that make us feel different. And although that is true for some supplements, for the most important ones, that’s not true. Take a protein powder for example. Commonly we see this as some added compound we ingest to help us out. But in reality it’s just food. If you would consider milk, cheese, and vegetables food… then protein powder is just food. The difference is it comes in a container.
Ok so now we have picked a goal we understand a little bit more about supplements…now what?
Now we start breaking things down to their most essential components. What are the most basic products that everyone can see massive benefits from? We use the hierarchy of needs. Over the next couple of weeks, we will break down each major category, and get you to that next level of fitness, without buying things you don’t need.
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What a genuinely helpful article and thanks to your years of dedication, learning, life experiences and commitment to great health, we get this benefit of your knowledge…
Thank you! We appreciate your comment and I am glad you were able to learn something from this.