Monday, June 4, 2012

Myth: You Need to Take Supplements to Build Muscle

Sadly, this is another myth that's applicable to some people, not most of us, but you'd never know it from the way they're marketed. Supplements can help, especially if you're a bodybuilder or strength trainer, but the typical person who does some weight training two or three times a week to stay fit and build a little muscle mass doesn't need to chug creatine or protein shakes in order to build muscle. It is true that you need more protein if you want to build muscle size and strength. But you can easily get that protein from food, meaning that supplements are unnecessary. In fact, the protein in most supplements is derived from milk or soy anyway, so you are paying for a supplement manufacturer to extract the protein from food and sell it back to you! Additionally, getting the added protein from food also provides you with energy (calories) and carbohydrates which you need to fuel your workouts.

No one's telling you to skip the protein shake if you think it's tasty and enjoy it, but remember it's essentially another meal, a caloric intake you may not need if you're just going to go home and make dinner, which, if you make something rich in protein as well as other vitamins and nutrients, will give you the benefits of the shake in a more complete package. If you're a serious bodybuilder and you do weight training for hours a day, every day, the rules might be different for you, but for the average person, all the extra supplements you may be adding to your food or drinks aren't likely to do you much good.