Pro sports nutrition has a split view on the necessity of sports supplements. The reason for the split view is because each person is different and each person’s goal is different. Some supplements are necessary for athletes, while others simply do not need them. Supplements can be beneficial if you are using them correctly to fill a nutritional gap. If you are taking them to just take them without having any lab work done or speaking to a doctor first, you could be doing damage to your body.
A sports nutrition specialist can help you select foods or supplements that may be beneficial to your goals. For example, if you are a body builder, your fitness training and nutrition will look very different than a person who is just returning to fitness with short workouts a few times a week. A body builder will incorporate a lot of branched chain amino acid supplements and lean mass development supplements to help lean out during peak training and competition. These same supplements would not be effective for someone attending an aerobics class. Different goals require different diets. The supplements are beneficial when you are using them along with a healthy diet to help reach your specific goal.
Never try to self-diagnose any problem or need for supplementation. It is best to talk with a doctor first or a dietician. They can run blood work to see if there is a specific deficiency in your diet that supplements would aid in. Some supplements may not mix well with prescription drugs. Some supplements can block the absorption of certain prescription drugs and some can speed up the metabolic break down of your prescription drug allowing it to seem like a “super dose” of drugs into your system. Talking with your doctor about your goals and health before adding supplements will make sure that you benefit the most from them but only taking the ones that are most beneficial to you and your goals.
Supplements can definitely help you achieve greater fitness, but only if you take the ones that work best for you and your activity goals. Many of the health clubs have a sports nutrition advisor that is usually knowledgeable about the most popular supplements. These advisors are very resourceful with product information. Remember to do your own research and consult a doctor before starting any new supplements.