There are many supplements available on the market today, with many new companies constantly opening. However, with so many companies and different supplements flooding the market, which is the best to buy?

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Well, the majority of people would say to first off buy a decent protein, maybe even splash out on a hydrolyzed protein (fast digesting protein), a quality multivitamin (or eventually a whole long list of separate vitamin tablets) and then maybe some casein (slow digesting protein, ideal at night time) or some BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids). Already you can imagine your monthly budget being eaten up. Then perhaps you will invest in some pre-workout powders for those rough days when you need the extra energy (but eventually you start taking them every workout due to a slight addiction) and some glutamine to help deter muscle soreness.

However, is that really all necessary. I like many, have fallen into the trap of purchasing these items. With the supplement companies making use of decent marketing campaigns and ‘guaranteed results’ slogans it is very difficult to not fall into this trap.

If we analyze the term ‘supplements’ we can really understand the nature of when we should take them. Realistically supplements should support what your body is deficient in, or what your diet is lacking. So realistically, supplements will only provide us or help us improve by about an additional 5 percent. Now that 5 percent seems pretty expensive doesn’t it, if we were investment bankers would you want to invest on that return?

Now, I am not saying do not purchase supplements, but there are other things which we should invest in first. Have you calculated your macros (macronutrient ratio) or at least the daily amount of calories you should be consuming and keeping to this plan. If you have been doing this, then great! Pat yourself on the back (excuse the carcasm) Then the next step is analyzing the quality of your food, not necessarily the quantity. So, how can I improve the quality, just pay more for it at a different store? No, you can make some small minor adjustments such as switching out caged eggs to free range eggs, the cut of the type of meat you choose (ground beef to sirloin etc.) and then even changing the overall quality of the meat such as switching from corn fed to grass fed organic beef (this does taste completely different from personal experience but is matched by the price!). Other things you can do such as changing from perhaps frozen to fresh vegetables can help, however the benefits of this change is debated. But making the change to organic fruit is ideal and this goes without saying for all foods, if you know a decent farmer or local producer it is more likely that the food will be of better quality than a supermarket chain store.

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Other changes you can make, if you can afford the time, is getting freshly caught fish (try to ask the monger to fillet it for you if possible to save time – we all know we can’t do it well). Other possiblities include making sure you are eating quality natural peanut butter (you do not want to be consuming hydrogenated oils) and perhaps including more expensive good quality fats such as avocados and nuts. These are just a few changes to name a few and then once you have finally covered these, then check to see what supplements can improve your results.

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