Do you need to take supplements? My short answer would be NO, but it depends. If your current diet is full of highly processed foods, you may be deficient in many nutrients that your body requires to function optimally. There’s currently a huge market for supplements, to the extent that I see people spending £300-£400 per month on supplements. This is total madness. To be honest, years ago I was also seduced by this supplements fever and blinded by companies insisting that supplements are a must. Well I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to fall for this trap – but I also have my own theory of “temporary supplements”. You may want to consider this depending on where you are in your life.
Here are six reasons you may need to take additional supplements:
- Your current diet consists of highly processed foods which lack nutrients and vitamins.
- You’re dieting on very few calories – by eating limited types and amounts of sources, we’re missing out on nutrients.
- You may have insomnia or do shift work – you’re not able to sleep or your circadian clock is out of alignment.
- Food preparation – we lose a lot of nutrients, for example, when we microwave things.
- Athletic performance – you may need to enhance performance for training, such as by taking liquid carbohydrase for long-distance running.
- Post-training – fast absorbing protein to aid recovery and muscle repair.
Just remember, supplements will not fix your diet so you must do the work to improve your nutrition. Stop pouring money down the drain on most supplements! My number 1 supplement I’d continue to take would be a protein powder, if I weren’t using any other supplements on the market, just because it’s convenient to carry when I get on planes and food options are limited. And, obviously, it’s great to use post-training as it’s fast absorbing protein which can start the muscle repair process.
In the end, it’s up to you to make up your mind regarding why you want to use supplements and what they give you.