What would the world of fitness and nutrition be without supplements? I mean, let’s be honest, the two just seamlessly go hand in hand right? Like Bonnie and Clyde, Homer and Marge, Han Solo & Chewbacca. I think you get the point.
The world of supplements changing daily and starting with even bigger marketing budgets, athlete endorsements, shiny packaging, ridiculously absurd childhood product flavorings like birthday cake and chocolate cherry mint swirl, ingredients we can’t pronounce and claims we cannot resist, the world of supplements can be both exciting as it is daunting. It can be difficult to navigate this environment of complex products.
Despite the South African economy showing sluggish growth over the past few years in general (although hope is in the air), the vitamins and supplements market in South Africa has boomed. It has seen growth from R2.9 billion in 2014 to R3.8 billion in 2016. I promise you this, with the advancements in technology and science this shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
All of this mumbo-jumbo is great, what you really care about though is actually whether supplements are right for you? Secondly, when should you actually start buying it?
Start with the Basics
So my answer is simple. I do believe supplements play and enormous role in both fueling and equipping the body with the right nutrients and essentials it needs to operate and function at its most optimal level. That being said, this does not mean that your crappy eating habits and weak excuse for a training routine can be out-played by a good whey protein or some low cost get ripped summer fat burners.
Taking supplements and whether it is right for you requires a series of progression. You have to sort out your basics first, i.e. your training and nutrition has to be setup for success. You need to establish a challenging fitness program that incorporates the correct levels of intensity for you, as well as a supportive nutrition guideline that allows you to eat the foods that will both fuel and repair your body and ultimately get it towards your end goals. It then becomes the role of supplements as a further support on this journey.
Supplementing Good Habits
The key things about supplements and taking supplements is that it is not a substitute to anything. It cannot mend nor is it intended to be a quick fix solution. Supplements have their own unique place and it is your job to be real with yourself in asking whether you have ticked off the basics before venturing down this necessary avenue.
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