It feels like there's a supplement for everything these days.
There's vitamins, protein powders, fat burners, pre-workouts ... and that's barley scratching the surface of how many different products are out there.
You'll see commercials, social media ads, and then of course supplement stores ... all claiming they have what you need to get you to where you want to be.
Finding what's right for you can be a tall task ... especially with all the options you have, and all the different information you'll find.
We'll be the first to tell you that you don't need every supplement under the sun ... and there's some steps you can take that will help you make sure you're grabbing a product that will benefit you.Step 1: Know Your Goal
If you don't know what you're specifically working towards, or what specific problem you're looking to solve ... it's impossible to pick out what supplements you need.
Supplements are there to help fill gaps in your diet ... and help you solve any health-related struggles you may be dealing with.
You have to know what you're looking to do, or what you're looking to fix.
Build muscle, burn fat, improve your health and wellness ... all of these are potential examples of specific goals you could set for yourself.
Once you have those goals set ... you can move to step 2.Step 2: Set Up Your Nutrition Plan
The most important piece of this puzzle is making sure your diet is where it needs to be.
You may have a goal to burn fat...
But before you can pick a supplement to help you ... you need to make sure your diet is set up to put you in position to accomplish that goal. Remember that supplements are there to help fill gaps in your nutrition.
The same can be said if your goal is to build muscle. You have to be eating in a manner to do so before throwing in a supplement.
No matter what you hear out there ... you can't out-work, or "out-supplement" a bad diet.
Get your nutrition in check and then move onto step 3.Step 3: Start With The Foundations
Regardless of who you are and the goals you've set ... your foundations should be first priority when it comes to supplements.
What do we mean by that?
The foundations are where results start. Very similar to building a house ... if you don't start here, you're going to have some trouble down the road.
These supplements are in the general wellness category. They help you make sure you're as healthy on the inside as you are on the outside.
The backbone of these wellness supplements are your multivitamins and phytonutrient powders.
Everything we do ... and we mean EVERYTHING starts with micronutrients.
Burning fat, building muscle, and even simple processes like blinking your eyes ... all need the help of micronutrients.
Micronutrients are essential. This means you must take them in through your diet, or through a supplement.
It's nearly impossible to eat the right foods ... and the right amount of those foods to get all the micronutrients you need to function at your best. We'll be the first to tell you that we aren't accomplishing this either ... even as health and wellness professionals.
Multi-vitamins are the safety net that make this much easier. They can give you everything you need from a micronutrient standpoint ... so that you can see the best results possible with anything else you choose to do.
Phytonutrients are referring to what we get from fruits and veggies.
You can't argue the importance of eating enough fruits and veggies.
The nutrients they contain fight disease, boost immune system, aid in digestion ... and provide you with natural energy.
Roughly 2 1/2 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruits per day are the recommended amounts ... and only 1 out of every 10 Americans are hitting that goal.
Phytonutrient powders are designed to make this task much easier ... with some providing the equivalent of 11+ servings of fruits and veggies.
The best products in this category will take it a step further ... and add ingredients that help improve the health of your gut. This is also huge for your foundation and helps make sure that your body is properly using everything you're eating.
Once you have your foundation taken care of, you can move to step 4 ... and get a little more specific to your goals.Step 4: Goal Specific Supplements
This is where you can pick products based more on the goals you set for yourself back at step 1.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight ... you'd want to look into specific products that help with weight loss.
Metabolism boosters, thermogenics and ingredients like L-carnitine all fall into that category.
Of course, this is just one example. These supplement recommendations will change based on your personal goals. A Quick Recap
There's tons of supplements on the market today ... but that doesn't mean you need to be using 100 different products.
There's steps you can take to make sure you're purchasing products that will actually help you.
Set your goals, make sure your nutrition reflects those goals, and cover your foundations. Once you do that ... focus on finding products to help you get to those goals you've set.
We know this process can be difficult, especially with all the information you can find about supplements.
That's exactly where we come in.
Our sports nutrition specialists do not work on commission ... and can show you what to look for with any supplement you're curious about, as well as make sure you're grabbing the best product for your goals.
Stop into your nearest Supplement Superstores location
and we'll be happy to get you taken care of. *This post was written by Andrew Lynn, who has a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is also a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.