Why do athletes use supplements? Why do people supplement? Perhaps you now think “because it significantly improves performance” or “because it helps maintain or improve health.” Supplementation literally means ‘supplementing’, as well as every supplement is a supplement to the diet . Almost all dietary supplements are made to supplement dietary deficiencies to meet certain needs. These are therefore very often substances that are also in the normal diet, or can also occur in the body and can be produced. Just think of amino acids, creatine, vitamins, minerals, whey protein etc …
Which Supplement do I Need?
Many bodybuilding beginners often think of supplements first to improve their (sometimes weak) performance. After months they discover that there are other points that are so much more important. This is what I call the ‘magic pill effect’. Many people always look for the easiest way to reach a certain goal. People read advertisements from sellers, full of promises and stories. You see incredible bodies on TV and in the magazines. This cannot be a coincidence, these athletes could not have become so big and dry just by eating and training? They probably owe their results largely to masses of supplements, with the most innovative formulas and compositions! Yet…? Wrong!
What have these athletes done that others don’t do and therefore fail? Do they not take supplements at all? Do they do something special that only a certain elite know? Do they take a laundry list of steroids and the rest will come naturally? Again wrong (although of course anabolics are used!). However, what do these people know that many starting trainees do not know? It is very simple and it is so obvious that people often do not want to believe it! It simply comes down to the fact that your results are the result of a combination of important and less important factors (I assume that no steroids are used).
These factors are: targeted training, optimal nutrition, optimal rest, loads of perseverance and the right supplements, at the right time. The first 4 are equally important and must always be present. This article is about the last factor. In most cases, supplementation is the least important part of all these factors. However, if you know what works, how you use it and what impact it has on your results, then it is a component that makes a significant contribution.
Supplements are a supplement to the diet, not magic pills.
Top athletes and successful bodybuilders and fitness models do not largely owe their results to loads of special supplements (rather to loads of drugs!).
There are 4 very important factors that make one athlete succeed and the other fail:
- Targeted training
- Optimal nutrition
- Optimal rest
- Masses of perseverance
Stick behind the door
We now know that supplementation has a place in bodybuilding and fitness, we also know that many trainees often overestimate that place. Many people think that supplements are an easy way out of the idea that a fantastic body does not just come naturally. People want to believe that there is a way to look muscular, slim, beautiful – without having to work hard for it. This is not how you should view supplements.
Supplements are that little extra that completes the whole, the extra boost that helps achieve your goals and dreams. If you have done everything in your power, if you follow the 4 important factors and everything starts to fit together like a puzzle, then the time has come to use the proverbial stick behind the door. This can be at a mentally or physically weak moment: you sit on a plateau and have not seen any progression in strength or muscle mass for months. You are stressed, you are in a dip, you feel an injury coming up or you cannot sleep. You may not be able to eat well enough due to circumstances or you may not be completely mentally ok. Now is the time to think of a good supplement, something that is worth your money and also does what the seller or producer claims.
Supplements are an extra boost for your body, a stick behind the door that you only use when needed. The best time for a supplement is when the 4 important factors do not go optimally. (You can hardly eat enough, poor sleep, lack of strength, …) But you should never use a supplement to compensate for a poor diet, first make a good schedule and only then start thinking about extras.