Protein Powder and Supplementation - Should you be using them? What kind? and How much?
As a former collegiate-level hockey goalie, I’ve taken my fair share of protein powders and other athletic supplements. Some supplements were meant to increase my energy, some were supposed to boost metabolism, and others were meant to increase strength. The underlying commonality with all of them was to make me BIGGER and STRONGER.
I guess none of these had any lasting effects because I look nothing like People Magazine’s sexiest man alive - Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. In fact, Dwayne Johnson could eat me for breakfast. So was I taking the wrong protein and supplements? And do I really need to be taking them?
Let me start be answering the first question - was I taking the wrong supplements? The answer to that question is that not all supplements were created equally. The problem is that the FDA has basically thrown their hands up when it comes regulating supplements, making it a largely unregulated industry that generates about $5million per year in the USA alone. Thanks to a bill passed in 1994, the FDA can’t test any pre-workout or protein supplements until AFTER they have already been documented to harm someone who is taking them.
It doesn’t stop there, either. A recent article in the Washington Post stated that major retailers like Target and Wal-Mart were selling supplements that contained NONE of the active ingredients they claimed to possess. One example described a product that contained NO ginkgo biloba but did contain wheat (which was NOT on the label). So hopefully no one with celiac disease purchased that product!
What kind of supplements should I take? The answer to this is simple - purchase high quality products that have been around for a long time, and keep it SIMPLE. If you’re looking for some added energy, try taking a NATURAL caffeine or ginseng product instead of something like MUSCLE EXPLODE that contains huge amounts of other cheap fillers like artificial sugars, colouring, chemicals etc. If you ever have questions about a specific product, just ask us! We’ll help guide you in the right direction.
Finally, do you really need to be taking supplements in the first place? The simple answer to that question is NO. Supplements make it easier and more convenient for someone to get some extra protein to help build muscle or some extra vitamins/nutrients, but the truth is that with a balanced diet most of us can consume everything we need (unless you are an elite athlete or bodybuilder). It’s also better for our bodies and easier to digest when we consume everything through NATURAL sources rather than engineered products. Let us also remember that we produce Human Growth Hormone (HGH) naturally in our bodies which promotes muscle growth and burns excess fat. It is unnecessary and unnatural to take a supplement (or even steroid in some cases) to promote HGH synthesis.
Time Magazine. http://time.com/3741142/gnc-vitamin-shoppe-supplements/