The effect and necessity of supplements can be quite hard to understand, and it can be challenging to figure out which ones to take (if any) and why.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medically trained in any way. This article is an expression of my opinion only.
Why even take supplements and are they necessary?
Most people take supplements in order to be sure, that our bodies receive all the vitamins, oils, and nutrients it needs to function as best as possible.
There is a LOT of science on the subject, and I highly encourage you to analyse the supplements you want to take beforehand.
Much science point to the fact that supplements are not necessary if you eat a balanced diet. For instance take the famous multivitamin that has a room on a shelf in many households. There is no scientific evidence of the multivitamin having any effect on our health or well-being.
We have created a social discourse around the iconic pill, and to this day many of us (myself included) still continue to take it every day.
I am not arguing that you should stop taking supplements. There are of course certain exceptions, and if you have a health issue, you should always listen to your doctor – and not the internet!
However, it is interesting how little scientific proof there is for the supplements actually working!
Isn’t it ironic that we can spend + 100$ a year on supplements but still eat food that is not good for us??
As in most cases of health the key is a balanced diet! You should always prioritise your food over taking supplements. Try to eat fish instead of taking fish oil supplements.
If you truly want to live a more healthy life we need to stop putting crap into our bodies and instead do what we can to nurture them.
Remember: a pill can never substitute a healthy lifestyle!
What supplements do I take and why?
I take the multivitamin to make sure I have not missed any important vitamins. It is a set in stone habit of mine to take it, so I probably will continue to take it despite of the lacking scientific evidence.
I take fish oil capsules in order to make sure I consume the right amount of omega 3 – especially since I work out a lot.
Tip: consume fish oil right before bed in order to reduce the risk of acid reflux.
I only take preworkout when I need to perform extra well. I definitely feel a difference in my energy level and performance when I take a preworkout. Be aware that many brands actually advice you to only consume pre-workouts every day for a consistent period of up to 14 days.
In my opinion a pre-workout is for when you need an extra boost.
When used correctly a pre-workout can be an amazing boost when you are feeling tired or unmotivated.
I take BCAA (branched-chain amino acids) before every morning workout. BCAA consists three essential amino acids, and is supposed to help you build muscle and reduce fatigue. If you are unfamiliar with this supplement, I highly recommend you to check it out!
A classic, that doesn’t need much of an introduction. I take protein powder after a tought strength session if I know, that my protein intake for the day, will be rather low. I consume whey protein, but there are vegan alternatives out there!
My latest addition to the list! Collagen pills have gained a lot of popularity lately – mostly through social media and advertisements in ladies magazines. Collagen pills are supposed to strengthen the collagen in our skin and thereby reduce signs of old age. There is little research on their actual effect, and it sound a little too good to be true. But I figured, if they work – great! If not then I have wasted a hefty sum! Much like an anti-wrinkle moisturizer.
What are your experiences with supplements? Please share in the comment section!