We’ve all seen the ad’s, take this supplement and the result is you’ll be “jacked, shredded, massive” just like the guy/girl in the picture. Is it truly that simple? Is this the thing you’re missing that will get you the results?
In truth, and put very simply, NO. This product alone will make a very minimal difference to your results. But, that’s not to say that it is useless, supplements are like tools, some can serve a specific purpose and when used for the right job, can in fact be beneficial. But how do I know which one will work best for me? Let’s take a look below!
First things first, it’s all in the name, supplement. A supplement’s purpose is to do just that, supplement your diet, not replace or make up primary means of your nutrition. It is something that is there to assist and fill a gap in ones needs. A well balanced and healthy diet will not benefit from the assistance of these products. However, for individuals whom may be lacking in a specific macro or micro nutrient they can be very useful in achieving well rounded nutrition.
When it comes to the trend of taking a pre workout supplement, the bold claims of it being vital for increasing blood flow to working muscles and enhancing muscular ‘pump’ during session to reap better training results are a far cry. The difference between taking it or not taking it for the average person who is not an elite athlete is essentially unnoticeable. However, for those seeking a wake up caffeine hit prior to training it does serve it’s purpose. Yet due to the super concentrated dosing of on average 300mg caffeine per serve (approx 6 teaspoons coffee) the post mental fatigue crash after an hour makes you think that a standard shot of coffee would be far more effective and at least not ruin the rest of your day’s energy. With this in mind it must be said that no amount of caffeine will compare to a quality nights sleep and have you feeling as fresh and ready for your training.
As far as post workout supplements go, majority of products are aimed at recovery and muscle building in the form of protein, thence a balanced diet rendering these unnecessary. Additionally, if you’re finding yourself unbearably sore post workout and in need of something to assist in the recovery process, instead first look to a) the workload of your session; is it maybe too much & b) your sleep quantity&quality; are you getting enough to ensure your body repairs.
So there you have it, are pre and post workout supplements needed for results,short answer is no. But they can indeed assist in achieving them if your diet is inadequate and lacking in an area, they can supplement to create a balance and they can help wake you up before a session. Bear in mind though that nothing can effectively replace a well rounded natural plan of attack; your nutrition with real food & getting a good sleep to feel refreshed.