Many conversations I have with athletes or teams start with a discussion about supplements. It is incredibly common that more attention is paid to supplements than to a health balanced diet. This happens at all levels: from the recreational weekend warrior to the seasoned elite and professional athlete. There are probably many reasons for this. Here are 5 common thoughts:
1. It is believed that supplements are more effective than a healthy diet
2. It is believed that supplements can provide a quick fix whereas the positive effects of a balanced healthy diet take a long time
3. It is believed that the diet is already balanced and healthy and therefore the next thing to address are supplements
4. It is believed that the diet is unbalanced anyway and therefore supplements need to compensate for this and help prevent deficiencies.
5. It is believed that the diet may be unbalanced and therefore supplements are an insurance policy
The term supplement indicates that this is something that should be used to "supplement" the diet, not replace it, nor should it be the main focus. One general lesson that can be learned from sport, is that there are no quick fixes. Success demands effort. There are no quick fixes.
So the question serious athletes should ask themselves are: How can I improve my nutrition intake to support my goals? Are there any sports nutrition products that can support my goals further during days of hard training or competition. Once those two questions are adequately addressed, it is sensible to ask the third question: are there any supplements that can provide the icing on the cake. Without the cake, and with just the icing is not going to be a great cake! Supplements should the the last tile on the roof, once a perfect house is built, it should not be the foundation. I would build my pyramid from the bottom up and think more carefully about everything I put in my body, not just supplements.