Supplements are a large part of bodybuilding. If it was not for supplements, there would be close to no money in the sport. The supplement industry is growing rapidly even thought most of the products have questionable effectiveness. The fancy names and the shiny labels may attract the eyes but very few know what’s the content of the products. Natural bodybuilders, however, have been convinced that they need supplementation in order to reach their maximum potential. They are all afraid to miss a protein shake from fear that they’ll go ‘catabolic’ and the hard earned muscle will evaporate into the nothingness. Therefore a logical question arises:
It may surprise you but if you are healthy, you don’t need any supplements as a natural bodybuilder. No protein powder, no creatine, no amino acids, no vitamins – nothing. Just a semi-clean diet and you will be fine. Why? First of all the protein powder is nothing more than powder milk. It has no magic qualities regardless of what the fake natural bodybuilders living the ‘aesthetic lifestyle‘ try to tell you. Many of the studies concerning whey protein powders and derivatives have been twisted by the supplements companies. But even if we were to accept that protein powder offers some sort of fast absorption, it’s still irrelevant in the long run. Do you really think a glass of milk can make such a tremendous difference? You can use whole foods to meet your daily protein needs. Your musculature won’t suffer one bit.
However, protein powder can sometimes be useful. For example, if you have an injured jaw and can only intake liquid type of nutrition, it would probably be useful to drink some protein shakes because any protein is better than nothing.
Once we have eliminated protein and creatine we are left with pre-workouts, fish oil, vitamins, joint formulas…etc. The pre-workout supplements are nothing more than fast carbohydrates or simply sugar. You can easily replace them by eating a banana, a chocolate bar, an orange or something else that will raises your energy levels. There’s nothing magical about pre-workouts – it’s the same old formula: some protein powder loaded with sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Fish-oil, vitamins and joint formulas end up to be the most useful supplements you can take. Why? Because more likely than not you probably have some vitamin deficiency and fish oil has proven positive effects on the heart, skin, hair…etc. Out of the group joint formulas are the highest suspect. They are usually loaded with all kinds of miracle ingredients taken from sharks, dinosaurs, aliens, crocodiles…Since many people suffer from joint pain and overuse injuries the market for similar products is high which means that there’s always a place for deception and lies. There are many joint support formulas that do nothing other than start a placebo effect. Unless you truly know that a product is helping you, taking it because it has a cool label is like enjoying being paid fake money because of the nice pictures on it.
Additional note on vitamins:
Don’t trust the supplement companies which want you to take grams of vitamins. It’s a carefully elaborated scam meant to get you on the hook. The human body can only absorb so much in a day. Taking more will solely result in expensive urine and that’s about it.
Conclusion: The top supplements for natural bodybuilders are fish oil, vitamins and joint support. However, taking those product is not obligatory nor required to reach your maximum muscular potential as natural bodybuilder.
If you feel the same way with or without a certain product – what’s the point in taking it?