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Are supplements really worth your money?

Tom Blackett   |  26/10/2015

Fat burners, vitamins, omega tabs, testosterone boosters, pre-workout powders, nutri-greens, bulking supplements, cutting supplements, amino acids, super foods, creatine, glutamine, protein shakes… The list of sports supplements is endless, with protein shakes being the most popular purchase of the modern gym goer – but are they really worth your money?

I can tell you that of all the products I’ve just listed I only buy protein powder and even then that doesn’t mean it’s entirely necessary.  No supplements are magical; it is a complete myth that they will get you super stacked, muscly and fit.

If you don’t have a lot of money then definitely don’t spend anything on supplements apart from maybe protein powder; focus on improving your diet instead.  The only reason I endorse protein powders over all other supplements is simply because I believe them to be the most effective at aiding recovery, building muscle and improving performance.  They provide a quick and easy 30-40 grams of protein very cheaply; which if I were to get from chicken or eggs or lentils etc would cost me more money and/or time.

The general rule of thumb when trying to build muscle is to consume one gram of protein per lean pound of body weight which means I generally shoot for about 160-180 grams of protein a day.  When you realise that there is only 30 grams of protein in a chicken breast you start to understand the magnitude of my recommended protein consumption.. which is why I consider protein powders to be helpful. However, having said all this, the older I get the more sceptical I become.  It seems there is little scientific data to back the ‘one gram to one pound’ rule and I’m starting to think that this is just another marketing fad that the sports nutrition companies have farted out.  Let me remind/inform you that misleading marketing absolutely plagues the supplement industry; protein is protein and it doesn’t matter if there’s a huge guy or skinny girl on the label, it will not change the contents or results of the product. Simply check the nutritional chart and understand what you’re getting.

For your information I buy my protein powder from ‘myprotein’ simply because it offers a reasonable price and the nutritional content is good.  All of the flavours sound much nicer than they are..  American peanut cookie is the worst tasting cookie I’ve ever tasted, and pecan pie is equally awful, it tastes like a pecan pie I imagine my dad to have fashioned whilst a bit tipsy on a Saturday evening in the hope of impressing my mum.. And for the record he’s a horrible chef sober.

So bottoms up everyone – enjoy your shake! Or not.

Good luck!