We are a culture dependent on instant gratification, but unfortunately we are not biologically engineered to be instantly gratified. We’re rewarded much more heavily when we earn it. Without Getting too deep into human biology I’ll state it nice and simple. Quality muscle takes time to grow and fat takes time to burn. The ex-steroid user phenomenon of “bitch tits” is caused by muscle growing too quickly thus being less dense than muscle created over a longer period of time. Building muscle burns fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat you can burn. It’s pretty simple science.
Everything that your body needs to build muscle and burn fat is found right in the produce aisle of your local grocery store. It tastes better, and in the long run works better than any pill or powder you can ingest. Anything you’re using to try and speed that process up is more likely to shortchange your long term results than anything. Creatine for example has become one of the most popular supplements on the market in the last two decades. And while it is a naturally occurring substance, and the modern creatine supplements have gotten “cleaner”, it is still little more than a glorified water retention supplement. Fat burners? Forget about it. Since the banning of ephedrine not a single one of these pills has had any real viable (and healthy) effect on a person’s metabolic rate. Muscle gainers? Here is one for you, EAT. There isn’t a single supplement you can buy that will do your body any better than simply just eating well.
To get over the supplement stigma you have to think long term. Don’t think just about THIS beach season, think about beach season 5 years from now. By taking the time and having the patience to build your health naturally you’re going to greatly improve your long term results. Muscle built slowly and properly is much more dense and will stay on you for much longer than muscle built rapidly with the use of supplements. Having that solid dense muscle will make it much easier for you to keep the fat off even if you spend an entire summer slamming beers on the beach and chasing them with pizza at night.
A few simple supplements and rules:
Multivitamins – keep it simple, keep it natural.
Joint Complexes – MSM, Chondroiton, Glucosamine. This is one series of supplements I never discourage someone from taking. I swear by them for joint health. Reason being, is that we don’t eat the portions of the animals that our ancestors once did that contain the highest concentrations of these minerals.
Protein – If you’re trying to lose weight forget about shakes all together. However if you’re beginning rigorous hypertrophy training go for it. But keep it clean. Make sure it’s an isolate. A lot of the shakes contain tons of extra “goodies” that do little more than hold water in your muscles; so read your labels. All you want is a straight protein isolate. If someone recommends it based on flavor, chances are it’s more of a desert than a dietary aid.
Fish oil – While you may think your weekly sushi outing means you eat a lot of fish we don’t eat nearly as much as our ancestors. The omega-3’s in fish oil are a valuable nutrient for anyone, especially those who exercise.