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The supplement debate: should you take them?


Disclaimer: Always talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional before taking any supplement. It’s good practice to keep them abreast of any and everything you’re taking.


Supplements can be divisive. Some people swear by them while others won’t touch them, but in a world where they’re big business and saturate the market, how do you know which product(s) to choose?


Let’s say this first: nothing beats a healthy diet and regular exercise routine paired with a good night’s sleep. Skimp on any of those three particulars and your results will suffer. No supplement worth its salt will fix that.


In our opinion, supplements can boost an existing exercise regime, but if they claim to do any more than that they’re likely dangerous to your health. Here are a few options that are popular in the exercise community and have been tested at length. That being said, speak to your doctor before you make any decision.


Protein shakes and powders

When you’re living a busy life and working all hours of the day, it can be incredibly difficult to get enough protein in your diet through eggs, fish and meat like chicken.


In these instances, a shake can be an effective supplement, since it’s loaded with protein, the building block of muscle.


  • Whey protein is perhaps the most common powder on the market, but whey is absolutely a bad fit for people who are lactose intolerant, as whey is the substance left behind after milk is curdled.
  • If you are lactose intolerant, egg protein shakes are a good alternative
  • The third option is soy-based protein, which you’ll find at stores like Nutralife


Downsides? Protein shakes can make you feel bloated. In people with acne-prone skin, they can also cause breakouts. Monitor your results and go by how you feel.


Fish oil

Fish oil is made up of the Omega 3 fats you find in fish and certain meats, and though it won’t boost your prowess in the gym, it’s an everyday supplement you can take safe in the knowledge that the scientific community is overwhelmingly in favourite of it. Fish oil is said to boost brain activity and is particularly good for people who don’t like the taste of fish, or are vegetarian.


That being said, if you eat fish all the time you won’t need a fish oil supplement.



Need a pre-workout drink, or a post-workout dose of upliftment? We’d recommend steering clear of shakes, powders and pills that promise the best workout ever and sticking to the ingredient they all have in common: caffeine. A cup of coffee can wake you up before a workout and delay the onset of fatigue once it’s over.


Everything in moderation, mind.



Definitely speak to a healthcare practitioner before you take creatine, and don’t let children under 18 take this substance. There have been some reports that creatine can damage your kidneys with extended use, so treat it as an exceptional, short-time addition to your routine.


Creatine naturally exists in our bodies and is found in the protein we eat too. In supplement form it greatly boosts the water we store in our muscles, enabling us to achieve higher outputs in weightlifting.


For anyone looking to get trim, creatine will do the reverse. Steer clear in that case.


In the end, the goal should be sticking to a healthy diet and regular exercise plan. There are no shortcuts and if you’re looking for an answer that sounds too good to be true – it is. Supplements designed to shed weight and exponentially boost muscle growth often bring immediate side effects and irreparable long-term damage.


Remember, always speak to a doctor before you investigate any supplement and enjoy the journey most of all. You don’t need results overnight to feel your best.


author: Zone Fitness