Is there anything wrong with getting a little extra help here and there? No - it should be encouraged. With all of the hype around supplements, it can be difficult to choose which ones work. Here's a hint - if you can buy it in a store I would not trust it. Supplements are not regulated so it comes down to reputation and trust many times.
During my time as a competitive athlete, someone had to refer you to a distributor for the supplements I took. No joke. There were no websites or brochures. It was amazing. The unique thing was that you had to already be in great shape before the distributor sold anything to you. Crazy right? It was explained to me that supplements were made to enhance what you were already doing.
Supplements are to do exactly that - supplement a balanced lifestyle. They are not made to be miracle workers. Imagine that you are eating well, exercising to your full potential, getting the proper rest, and the results just aren't coming. Well, let's talk about that for a minute.
How are you measuring your progress/results? Scale? Tape measure? Performance-Based? All of these matters. One or all of these will show you are getting results - one way or the other. Another consideration is your overall health. Are you taking medication? What are the side effects? (All medicines have side effects).
I measured my success by how well I could develop each muscle in my body to its fullest potential while maintaining an "acceptable" body fat percentage.
Nobody knows you better than you. Not even your doctor. I use a 90-day cycle to determine what or when to change my client's program. In the first 30 days, we are shaking the tree and sees what falls out. That is your daily habits, newly created routines (to help you), and those stubborn habits that just seem to hang on (late-night snacking or skipping meals).
The next 30 days my clients check in with me DAILY using my APP to share their daily meals and ALL of their physical activity. This is the ACCOUNTABILITY phase and it always revealing. I witness the daily routines of my clients and I can help them with blast past those sticky plateaus.
In the final 30 days, I break out all of the goodies.
It's at this point I feel confident in recommending my favorite supplements.
That's the million-dollar question right? And you have every right to ask. In your mind, you already know the answer so I will go ahead and address. It depends on where you are in your life, lifestyle, and commitment to yourself. That is the best answer I have for you.
Recall I discussed it's about your MINDSET. You have to see the result long before you can attain it. Not dream about - I mean SEE it in vivid detail.
I picked out my posing trunks long before I was stage ready for my competitions. My songs to which I performed were carefully choreographed to the last second. My hairstyle (yup I had hair back then) was also dialed in. I wore a sweatshirt and pants that were so baggy everyone thought I was in the middleweight class - I was a heavyweight. Can you guess my weight? I was barely 200 lbs!
I trained for 3.5 years before stepping on stage. Yes, 3.5 years of a very restrictive diet, daily cardio, multiple workouts daily, cooking, training clients, and spending time with my daughter who grew to love my broccoli and teriyaki chicken. Beginning year 2 of my training I was introduced to my supplement line and it helped me tremendously. I had something to compare my progress with. Most bodybuilders in my class were in their late teens or early twenties, I was 30 years old!
Here I am today closing in on 60 years old. My principles remain intact and I still get goosebumps when I get new clients. I am not looking to blow you off - I want you to use ALL that greatness you possess and then supplement your program.
First things first - get your doctors okay. Yes, I do the same before taking any supplements. Here's the catch, many western doctors are not up on eastern medicinal practices. Imagine my shock when my oncologist almost insisted I use cannabis as a part of my cancer treatment. So then again you might be surprised to find your doctor is as hip as my UCSF doctors on addressing our amazing bodies.
Run it past them anyway and see what the objections are if any. This is where I caution you that MORE IS NOT BETTER. Always use the minimum dosage of any supplement. Most awesome supplements are plant-based (good). There are no fillers, additives, and all ingredients can be easily Google'd.
Once you decide on which supplement(s) to fold into your fit lifestyle - keep your activity up and don't look for results. It is like watching paint dry. Do the work and the results will show. Give it least 60 days. Yes, 60 days. Plant-based supplements need to become a part of your internal system. This takes time.
If you would like my recommendations - please leave me a comment. Someone will respond with my personal choices. It may include suggestions for nutrition as well as the supplement. It all depends on your specific case. No product no matter how good it is can exercise your heart and lungs for you. You must do this. Our bodies are made to move to function at its highest level.