Supplement capsules and glass of water

For anyone trying to maintain a proper diet to complement their workout, supplements can be a great help, but there are many supplement myths that might make things a little trickier. The bonus nutritional value given in easy to regulate doses provides an easy way to round out all the rough edges to any diet, but just like any other product on the market, some companies are just looking to sell rather than help consumers. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when adding supplements to your diet.

Supplement Fiction #1: Protein Equals Fat

In reality, just about anything will make you fat if you eat enough of it. Protein supplements are here to help the body grow and develop, but still needs to actually be used if it's to work properly. If you fill your bodybuilding cooler bag with protein supplements like creatine, but don't combine it with proper exercise and dieting, then you're going to see some gains in unwanted areas. The body needs to remain active, otherwise all that extra energy and mass building material put into it is just going to be tucked away in storage, I.E. fat.

Supplement Fiction #2: Supplements Will Do All The Work

If you think a strict diet of shakes and multivitamins will keep the body's machinery going and build muscle all on its own, think again. It's important to remember that workout supplements are just that: supplements. They support a diet, but are in no way a replacement for one. In a choice between the store brand protein bar and a well-balanced meal that's high in protein, go with the food. Most store brand bars come with an extra dose of sugar to make them more palatable, which is just extra energy to be burned later, and won't usually contain the other nutrients a body needs to keep going. Vitamin B12 might not be necessary to build that killer bod, but you still need it to stay healthy.

Supplement Fiction #3: All Proteins Are Created Equal

So we've established that protein is good for building muscle, but just because something says “protein" on the side doesn't automatically make it the perfect supplement. Different proteins affect the body differently, and so you'll want to do a bit of research into which proteins will help you get the best diet for the physique you're looking for. Companies may try to exploit these supplement myths to increase sales, so be on guard. Right now, whey proteins are quite popular, having the highest BV, or Biological Value, for the body, though they're best taken before or during a workout.

Supplement Fiction #4: Men And Women Need The Same Nutrition

While most nutritional plans can work for either gender, some supplements are specifically designed to interact with the slight differences in body chemistry in men and women. This has been touched on a little already, but it bears repeating: cramming your body with vitamins isn't going to give the best results, nor is it necessarily healthy. Too much protein, for example, is a good way to give undue stress to kidneys and digestive tracts. Keep an eye on what multi-vitamins and supplements contain and make sure they complete rather than ruin the diet.

Most supplement myths get started, and continued, by people and companies looking to sell a quick and easy way to get results. For the absolute best results, it almost takes as much research into proper vitamins as it does into proper workouts, though most people can get great results with just a basic set of facts to guide them. Plan supplements and workouts accordingly, rather than using vitamins as a sole intake of nutrition, and you're sure to get the results you're looking for.