As our knowledge and access to good nutrition grows, we’ve found many creative and innovative ways to get more nutrients to our bodies.
Some good and some not so great.
Amongst the good advances, we’ve made in nutritional science and habits is the creation and use of nutritional supplements.
Supplements have been around longer than you think.
Since ancient times, elixirs, tinctures, and decoctions boasting concentrated extracts of known herbal treatments were used to boost natural vitality.
Today we have supplements that act as sources to the most basic ingredients of life.
These isolated nutrient sources present an opportunity to improve our quality of life in an easy, less fussy way than having to source, prepare and consume a variety of foods just for a comparatively lower nutritional intake.
Modern supplementation doesn’t stop there, however. As you may be familiar with supplements that proffer performance enhancement as their main benefits.
Sports supplements designed to increase the size and capacity for physical activity are the most popular at the moment.
This is the allure of supplements, but is this how they really should be used?
The word “supplements” should indicate their role right off the bat.
Anything that supplements is there to play a supporting or background role.
That means supplements are meant to just bolster an existing nutrition plan and not replace it.
That’s where a lot of misconception and misinformation on the role and use of supplements comes from.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at a few of these myths and misconceptions and try to help you course-correct where you might be confused with regards to supplement use.
We’ve already been through this, but supplements are just that, supplements.
Sure, they can provide some, if not most of your essential nutrients.
Whey protein, for example, can totally replace your dietary protein intake, but that’s just one nutrient.
Food and diet is a super complex interplay of carefully configured nutrients and materials that all coincide and cooperate for better health.
You can’t mimic that level of complexity through just supplements.
Supplements also tend to bypass a lot of the signals and functions that occur during normal food consumption which actually optimize the efficiency of nutrient uptake.
This one is more of an old wives tale than a common myth, but it is all too common for some members of previous generations to wrongfully associate the use of even the mildest nutritional supplements with the use of heavy anabolic compounds like steroids.
That’s probably because back in the day, steroids and supplements were one and the same. The use of sports supplements was once the sole preserve of serious figure competitors and enthusiasts, and what else did these people use? You guessed it, anabolic steroids.
Today, sports supplements are more mainstream while anabolic compounds are now more taboo if not downright illegal, but the image still persists for some.
Today, there are so many supplements out there, it’s kind of ridiculous.
There is isolation for almost every essential and even some non-essential nutrients.
The typical supplements brand has such a wide range of products, we doubt they even know what their selling.
Because of this, many people are caught up in trying to get all the shiny tubs and bottles their money can buy because so-and-so said it’s good for them.
But if you really boil it down to pure essentiality, you only really benefit from 3 supplements.
Protein, caffeine, and creatine.
The rest are either gimmicks or are useful only in very specialized, high-level scenarios such as high-performance elite athletes or special recovery needs for a sick or injured individual.
BCAAs are an example of a popular supplement that is technically pointless.
That’s because it is comprised of 3 essential amino acids, amino acids you would normally get just from a regular protein shake.
It’s like buying a house then only living in a tent in your backyard.
Unless a supplements brand is literally shoveling horse poop into their products, there is no such thing as a superior or inferior brand from a nutrient perspective.
Sure some may offer nice bonuses like vegan products or sugar-free products. Others might have more delicious flavors or unique combinations of active compounds for specialized formulations.
But no one supplement brand under the sun has anything more or less to offer than another in terms of fundamental nutrition.
Quality all boils down to manufacturing and packaging standards. These are typically governed and tightly controlled by whatever food and drug body. is in charge.
Well, there you have it, 4 common misconceptions surrounding the use and importance of supplements.
Always remember that supplements should only ever accompany a health food intake and not the other way round.
While we’re on the topic, why not take a look at our amazing range of health-boosting supplements here