On Fitness Supplements: Helpful, or Just Another Scam?
Do you love to exercise? If so, you may have wondered whether fitness supplements are actually helpful for your body or whether they are likely to be a scam. Today we attempt to answer this question.
Many experts warn that high-protein supplements and food products are unnecessary and won’t help you improve your health. The issue at hand is that the average gym-goer should already be getting the right amount of protein in their diet merely by including eggs, poultry, nuts, and beans in their diet.
“People have a misconception they do need more protein whereas actually the majority of us are getting adequate protein – our requirements are quite low. If you’re an athlete you will have higher requirements but you can still get it from eggs, yogurt, and meat,” Anna Daniels, a dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokeswoman, told The Guardian in an interview.
However, in 2016, the sports protein products market totaled more than $579 million. The average adult man needs only 55.5 grams of protein while the average adult woman needs 45 grams of protein. Thanks to the protein hype touted by fad diets and sports food companies, many Americans are already consuming more protein than necessary. As such, high-protein supplements are typically not helpful for your overall health — and can even cause kidney failure. Fortunately, unless you have UCD (urea cycle disorder), too much protein is unlikely to kill you.
When do you need extra protein?
This isn’t to say that protein supplements and powders are a bad thing — just unnecessary for most people. Competitive bodybuilders and professional athletes are two examples of groups who need many more calories in their diet than even the most dedicated gym rats, and as a result, need more protein to help maintain their body.
Another typical food supplement that athletes and other health-conscious people should watch out for are proprietary blends. The way proprietary blends work is by allowing the manufacturer to hide its exact formula and the amount of each ingredient in their product. This makes it easier to make sure competitors don’t steal your product. Many companies use only a sprinkle of the active ingredient in their proprietary blend. As such, it is better to avoid proprietary blends and save your money. When looking to buy fitness supplements, look for products that have all ingredients and amounts available on the label.
While there are some fitness supplements that are beneficial for your health, protein supplements and proprietary blends are often unnecessary. But don’t throw away your protein shaker bottle yet — if your lifestyle makes it difficult to maintain a balanced diet, smoothies and meal replacement powders can help you resist snacking on junk food while providing the balance of nutrients that you body needs.