Do I Need Supplements?

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    Craig Pickering on #17528

    When talking to other people regarding diet, this is one of the questions I am asked the most. And my answer is always “It depends”. It depends on so many factors. Level of your competition, finance, health history, and specific sporting needs to name a few. One thing that is worth remembering is that supplements don’t make a training programme. You need to work hard, recover well, and do ev

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    comando-joe on #107813

    I live of supplements. If i eat normal food even if its just a normal amount, i put on weight. 2g of protein per kg? I upped my protein this year to 3g per kg at least and the strength gains have been good. ome guys say 2g per lb.

    I hear a lot of you guys are taking greens supplements as well? 150 calories for the equalivalent of 5-10 portions of fruit and veg. I want to know what these are.

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    Craig Pickering on #107819

    Its a secret……just kidding. Its exactly what you say it is. A powdered form of 5-10 servings of fruit and veg for very low calories (usually less than 50).

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    comando-joe on #107820

    Care to hare any good brands in the UK? Ive only seen something called nanogreens in usa. Found it on amazon uk for £250 when it’s only $50 on amazon us, but they don’t deliver.

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    Craig Pickering on #107821

    Ive used nanogreens before. I am sponsored by myprotein.com, they have two supplements – Superfood XS and SuperVeg XS that are pretty similar.

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    johnstrang on #107822

    I have always been against heavy supplementation. The isolation of one vitamin, mineral, etc. does produce the same effect as it would when digested in food.

    Craig, when you referred to your staff suggesting you stop taking antioxidants in a previous post, were they referring to supplements or food said to contain high levels, or both? I read studies suggesting they may cause more harm than good, but they all seemed to be supplement based and I think this is the problem with a lot of research. You may read that something like Beta Carotene has shown to promote cancer (not sure if true, just an example), but you will also read the foods that contain that are shown to fight cancer.

    I feel like supplements are often an easy way out and usually not giving you anything close to the benefits a healthy diet. Also, I hesitate to take too many because there is a lack of regulation and I simply don’t trust what is always in them. I think as athletes we are better off trying to find the best combinations of food as studies show eating certain things together can boost the benefits a great deal.

    I am not trying to knock supplements too much; I do take just an unflavored protein isolate powder with post workout chocolate milk ( I feel like a little kid saying that), but if we are spending all this time trying to be the best we can be than we should spend a considerable amount of time with the things we are eating.

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    oshikake@ymail.com on #107825

    Greens supplements?.

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    Josh Hurlebaus on #107826

    The idea is that the herbs, greens, etc, are processed for the compounds that are shown to elicit the benefits, and then those extracts are often standardized to achieve a very high % of the compound.

    So it may take 10lbs of a raw herb to create 500g the original extract, which is then processed even more to create an extract that has sometimes 100’s times more of the compound (as a percentage of total weight of the compound) than the plant does.

    Its not meant to replace food. Not at all. It’s meant to give you benefits you really can’t achieve by diet alone.

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    Linas82 on #107827

    Sometimes it’s hard to know what your body needs or if it missing some nutrients. Not all can go and check their blood regulary. Problem can be not just in amount of certine nutrients but balance. Better to have lower level of two nutrients than one high and one low wich causes disbalance. Eat nutrient dense foods and you’ll be fine.

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    Craig Pickering on #107828

    I have always been against heavy supplementation. The isolation of one vitamin, mineral, etc. does produce the same effect as it would when digested in food.

    Craig, when you referred to your staff suggesting you stop taking antioxidants in a previous post, were they referring to supplements or food said to contain high levels, or both? I read studies suggesting they may cause more harm than good, but they all seemed to be supplement based and I think this is the problem with a lot of research. You may read that something like Beta Carotene has shown to promote cancer (not sure if true, just an example), but you will also read the foods that contain that are shown to fight cancer.

    I feel like supplements are often an easy way out and usually not giving you anything close to the benefits a healthy diet. Also, I hesitate to take too many because there is a lack of regulation and I simply don’t trust what is always in them. I think as athletes we are better off trying to find the best combinations of food as studies show eating certain things together can boost the benefits a great deal.

    I am not trying to knock supplements too much; I do take just an unflavored protein isolate powder with post workout chocolate milk ( I feel like a little kid saying that), but if we are spending all this time trying to be the best we can be than we should spend a considerable amount of time with the things we are eating.

    You are right, supplements (especially vitamin supplements) should not be used to replace a good diet. I tried to use my example, however, to show that it is difficult to hit nutrient targets with whole foods alone. With vitamins and minerals, modern day farming techniques and poor soil qualities reduce the nutrients available in the food. This, combined with some cooking techniques (like prolonged boiling) and transport/storage (doesn’t apply to frozen vegetables) further robs essential nutrients. In addition to this, the RDA of most nutrients is set at a level to avoid deficiency, not promote optimum health. It is my personal belief that athletes, who can be training up to 2x per day, require much greater vitamin/mineral intakes than “normal” people, and supplementation may be one way to help achieve this, along with a much greater intake of fruits and vegetables.

    The point you make regarding beta-carotene is also a good one. I think when the original study was done it was found that smokers who supplement beta-carotene had a greater incidence of lung cancer than smokers who did not supplement, and so possibly there was some sort of interaction between the toxins in the cigarettes and beta-carotene. Having said that, fruits and vegetables contain loads of enzymes and co-factors that you don’t find in supplements, and hence these should form the cornerstone of your diet.

    With the greens powders, they are convenient to add to a protein shake to buffer the acidity of the protein, and play a large role as an acid buffer the greater volume of protein found in your diet. As Josh said, these wont replace a good diet, but merely add to it (as supplements should supplement the diet).

    JC Cooper – you seem like you are 100 years old and would prefer people to race on cinder tracks, no starting blocks, etc.? Unfortunately, times have changed a bit.

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    comando-joe on #107829

    Greens supplements?. My Lord give me strength.

    In no way can powdered crap replace real food.

    So basically the deal is, lets go with the powdered form just because it has fewer calories?.

    Are you guys pulling my todger?.

    On a lot of veg you use more calories digesting it than you get from the actual food so thats not why.

    More because its 10x easier and cheaper. 4 easy whey shakes a day, or preparing 5 expensive steaks? If we got everything we needed from food alone, most of us would be a lot heavier than we want/need to be.

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    Tim Huntley on #107832

    With vitamins and minerals, modern day farming techniques and poor soil qualities reduce the nutrients available in the food.

    Craig,

    I did a blog post on this very issue this morning (and it was cross posted to Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution site).

    …Tim

    https://soiltosustenance.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/the-illusion-of-nutrient-dense-food/

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    star61 on #107834

    …On a lot of veg you use more calories digesting it than you get from the actual food so thats not why….

    Please provide me with a list of vegetables, or other food, that require more calories to digest than they provide as a food source. What you’re saying is they have a negative net caloric value, and eating such foods, especially in large amounts, would cause you to lose weight. I would like to see this list, along with an example of how you’re calculating a net negative caloric value.

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    Craig Pickering on #107836

    [quote]With vitamins and minerals, modern day farming techniques and poor soil qualities reduce the nutrients available in the food.

    Craig,

    I did a blog post on this very issue this morning (and it was cross posted to Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution site).

    …Tim

    https://soiltosustenance.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/the-illusion-of-nutrient-dense-food/%5B/quote%5D

    Very interesting, thank you.

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    comando-joe on #107837

    [quote author="joe" date="1304699440"]…On a lot of veg you use more calories digesting it than you get from the actual food so thats not why….

    Please provide me with a list of vegetables, or other food, that require more calories to digest than they provide as a food source. What you’re saying is they have a negative net caloric value, and eating such foods, especially in large amounts, would cause you to lose weight. I would like to see this list, along with an example of how you’re calculating a net negative caloric value.[/quote]

    Use google, im too lazy do deal with this. I don’t think there is hard evidence though.

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