The need for athletes to take supplements
For the sake of it, I'm declaring that if you're reading any part of this website, either you are or want to be an athlete. I'm 60 years young and I still consider myself an athlete. Even though I don't compete anymore, my training routine is still intact only now I workout to keep fit and healthy. And since I'm speaking to athletes, as you train and put your body through undue stress, you cannot depend on our regular diet to provide you with all the nutrients you need. You have to keep in mind that the use of processed foods can decrease the nutritional value of our normal meals. This might not be such a big deal for the average individual who daily visits the fast food counter, but for those of us who want to live longer and continue to push ourselves regularly at the gym, it could be disasterous.
The fact of the matter, the average diet cannot guarantee that you'll get all the nutrients you need because if you're exercising regularly you need greater amounts of nutrients. I know for certain that I need more protein in my diet. Consequently I find myself having a shake about mid-morning after my workout. I still want to build muscle and maintain my strength, so my training routine is intense and putting added stress on my body. I always make sure that I leave nothing behind when I walk out the doors and am loaded with sweat from a strenuous workout.
The addition of nutritional supplements can be beneficial in other ways. Along with building muscle you may want to increase the body's fat burning capacity or to combat an illness. Instead of consuming large amounts of certain foods, which may lead to calories, you may opt to add supplementation to get the optimum amounts of nutrients. What might be helpful, is to get access to an RDA chart to see what I'm talking about. The truth is, there are some nutrients that are better taken by supplementation because they are more easily absorbed by pill form.
Some competitive bodybuilders who are on somewhat of a restricted diet may unconsciously short themselves on certain nutrients. Once again, taking the nutrient in supplement form prevents a deficiency and the added calories.
The bottom line concerning supplements is you will find you perform better whether you are a competitive athlete or one who just loves the idea of working out. Even though my workouts are slightly different than 30 years ago, I still like the idea of adding poundages and an extra rep to my training. With that in mind I'd rather not worry about being deficient in a certain nutrient and know that I'm doing all I can to improve my performance. FYI, you can end up spending alot more than you need to visiting your local health food store, so beware. Get familiar on whats out there and find yourself someone knowledgeable enough to help you with your specific needs. Otherwise you might end up with a cabinet full of pill bottles that have cost you all of your paycheck.