Myths about Supplements

Myths about Supplements

I’m sure you’ll have heard these myths about supplements before, and today we’re going to debunk them.

I’m going to start this post being totally honest: I hate that I’ve got to write it. I’m not going to deny it XD. However, if there’s one thing you learn working in this sector it’s that you’ll spend 90% of your time repeating the same thing.

For the record, I don’t want to sound pedantic or arrogant with this preface, in fact I imagine it’s the case with a lot of other jobs too, but seeing as this is my line of work, and I can only complain about what’s in front of me…

That said, I’m going to do it.

In fact, I think it’s absolutely necessary that this kind of content is repeated, because there will always be people trying to spread false information about nutrition, fat loss, workouts, or, as in this specific case: supplements

Debunking myths about supplements

A large amount of the questions I get asked on social media are related to these myths, most of which have already been actively and passively debunked, and by professionals much more qualified than I am.

But as its difficult for a novice to tell the difference between an expert and a smoke and mirrors salesman, I like to answer all the questions I get asked, sometimes giving an explanation myself if I know about the subject, and sometimes directing people to posts or articles by other colleagues who can explain it better.

Another of my motivations for writing this post is that lately I’ve found there are two very distinct sides to the supplementation issue:

  • Those who, out of self-interest or because they really believe what they say, promote supplements left and right regardless of whether they have evidence or not; and
  • Another camp made up by those committed to disregarding and/or belittling supplement use, in each and every case, saying it’s useless.

Supplementation

I, as usual, am in the middle. I’m pro supplements, yes, but only with sound knowledge and judgement😉

To begin with, I want to do look at some general myths about supplements, usuually the most widespread and the ones that make the least sense:

You’re going to get big just by taking supplements

You’re not going to get big just by taking supplements, and it’s even less likely if you’re a woman

They’re just a help, a supplement.

This myth tends to gain traction with people just starting out in the gym who are afraid of getting too strong, or girls who think strength training will make them masculine.

Sports Nutrition Myths

For all these people, I have an answer: don’t worry, that’s not going to happen

Getting strong or gaining muscle mass isn’t easy. Some people take years to see substantial improvements, and that’s while training hard, eating well and supplementing effectively.

It’s naïve to think that lifting four colourful dumbbells and drinking protein shakes is all that’s needed.

Supplements are bad for your health

Whether it’s the liver, kidneys or your metabolism

This myth usually encompasses everything gym-goers take, from a multivitamin to anabolic steroids, without differentiating between legal and absolutely safe supplementation and doping can be damaging for your health.

I’m sure everyone will have a some sort of example of this. I remember my mother-in-law telling Carlos, my boy, that the powders he was taking were probably anabolic or steroids, but it was just whey protein.

When this kind of myth comes from a friend, family member or simply an acquaintance, normally while they’re smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer, it’s more often than not unsolicited, has no basis, and is complete disinformation

Diet Bars

So it’s a matter of ignoring it, some people are just lost causes…

Protein shakes damage the kidneys

In healthy people, and I repeat, in healthy people, who have no existing kidney problems, drinking protein shakes is perfectly healthy.

In fact, if you have a specific condition requiring you to reduce your protein intake, this doesn’t only refer to the protein that comes in shake form, but to all types of protein, chicken, turkey, fish, soy…

I tend to consider protein powder as more of a food than a supplement, but that’s just me.

It’s perfectly healthy for an athlete to take between 1.6 and 2.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day, depending on the stage they’re in, and it doesn’t matter whether it comes from a smoothie, a piece of meat, or tofu…

I’m not saying that taking more is dangerous, if you do the body will simply process it as another macronutrient, but it wouldn’t have any benefit either, so it’s better to stay in those ranges.

Sedentary lifestyle and constipation

In fact, in sedentary people, 0.8 is the norm, although some studies have found that a higher range, such as 1.2, will result in greater health benefits

Creatine will make you go bald

Although this has a certain logical basis, it’s not true either

Creatine was first linked to baldness because of a study that observed an increase in the dht hormone, which is usually very high in people with alopecia, in athletes who took creatine.

What wasn’t mentioned was that the levels these people recorded were much higher than what the consumption of creatine can generate

So if you don’t already have problems in this area, taking creatine isn’t going to cause any.

Myths about Hair Loss

As we now know, correlation doesn’t imply causality, so you can take it worry free

When you stop practicing sport and taking supplements, your muscles will turn to fat

Yes, some people still believe fat can be converted into muscle and vice versa

But no, that’s not how it works.

If I stop training and taking supplements, the same thing will happen to me as to the rest of the world, with the difference that I’ll maintain a muscle base for a while and I’ll still be fitter and healthier than people who’ve never practiced sport.

To think that being active and/or doing strength training and taking supplements will take its toll on you in the future is as foolish as believing that indiscriminate alcohol consumption and/or smoking two packs of cigarettes a day will not.

In the end, people choose to look after themselves for a multitude of reasons, but one of the main motivations is to stay fit for longer and to enjoy more and better health as we grow older.

My muscles will still be muscles, probably a little smaller, and my fat will still be fat, maybe with a slightly higher %, but I know they’ll stay at a much better rate than if I’d never done anything at all.

Supplements for Vegans

And I, of course, will remain as strong and feminine as ever 🙂

And that brings me to the end of this month’s article. If you know any other myths you think I’ve left out, or if you have questions about anything, write to me in the comments and we can look at it together 😉

Thanks, and see you soon!

Related Posts

  • 10 Classic Myths about Sports Nutrition
  • Bodybuilding Myths
Review Myths about Supplements

Lacking evidence - 100%

Debunked by professionals - 100%

They don't harm your health - 100%

They're aids for your diet and training - 100%

100%

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About Tandem Fitness
Tandem Fitness
Tandem Fitness is a couple that is passionate about sport, nutrition and health. Tandem Fitness is made up by Carlos and Sonia.
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