Are Supplements Beneficial?

This is a guest page by James.

When people realise that they want to change their diet or get fit, the first thing people usually turn to is the latest fad diet or head straight to the gym and start parting with their hard earned money. For some this works extremely well and they see results immediately, or very quickly and never turn back, for others a fad diet leads to yo-yoing between different sizes and never reaching the kind of fitness of weight they truly want to achieve. I know myself that a few weeks in the gym can make you feel great, but if you don’t commit to going all the time then those few weeks become worthless!

Can supplements aid my diet?

For some going into a completely new diet or fitness regime they might wonder if it can all be aided with the use of supplements. These supplements can vary from muscle building aids to simply herbal remedies that help you recover from illnesses quicker, or even advise that they will prevent illnesses in the first place, I know myself that a lot of teachers believe that Echinacea (a herbal tablet which stops you getting ill!) will get them through a school term without any problems. I know that I have gone through stages in my life where I have thought shall I add something for that little extra benefit, but wondered whether it would actually help me to become Ronnie Coleman – actually, on second thoughts! But what are the pros and cons:

PROS

  • Can be a good aid to a fitness regime
  • Can give you that extra push to your goals
  • Can prevent illnesses if taken properly
  • Can give you confidence

CONS

  • If not taken properly can have an adverse affect on your health
  • Could have mainly a placebo affect
  • Only work if you want to put the effort in
  • Can be a fad

With so many supplements on offer it has to be asked whether they are actually of any help to people, as usually the outlay that you are expected to make on such items can be significant. If you tend to buy supplements online then you can usually find some great savings, but if you decide to buy something in your local supermarket whilst out shopping then you might end up spending large amounts of money on something that is not guaranteed to benefit you.

It’s not a quick fix

We all know a friend who has taken on a supplement with the aim of getting fit, lean and muscular, but has ended up becoming slow and heavy because they haven’t taken the supplements properly! So can supplements be beneficial, or are they simply a marketing ploy by some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world? The most important thing to remember is that they are a supplement, not a quick fix. If you think you are going to buy a supplement and the results will be immediate without you doing anything to help them then they wont work for you. Imagine sitting in front of the TV eating a huge steak every night and not leaving the house, and that is the direct comparison if you start drinking protein shakes and don’t go down the gym, that’s what one of my friends did! The same can be said for anything aimed at your health, you need to change your diet as well, and then the supplements can benefit you.

They can work with a bit of effort

Taking supplements can work, but they need to be involved with a complete lifestyle change – and that is the biggest challenge of all. It’s easy to take a pill or make a milkshake, it’s harder to change you, but that is the challenge we all have when we take those first steps. It’s also important that you don’t fall for a fad, they wont help you, and will probably make you feel less determined to reach your target. Determination will get you to your goal, and if you feel the need to take supplements on the way, then don’t just dismiss them, but remember they aren’t magic!

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