Not a day goes by that somebody doesn’t confuse sports supplements such as protein powders, creatine or nitric oxide supplements with steroids, the confusion has been around for years and despite professionals trying to educate people there is always some myth about over the counter supplements.
Sports supplements are used the world over by athletes of all levels from new weight lifters, distance runner’s college cross country runners all the way up to professional bodybuilders, football players the list goes on. Chances are even if you think you’re not taking a supplement you are, multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium new health supplement, Iron tablets these are all commonly used supplements. Anything that is used to supplements your day to day diet is a supplement and sports supplements are no different to these.
Protein powders and creatine supplements are the most common supplements to be associated with steroids as these two are seen to be associated more with weight lifters and bodybuilders, the fact people are so un educated with regards to supplements causes confusion and miss conceptions of products like these and without educating themselves people will often spread these ideals to friends and family which leads to a growing myth that supplements are in fact steroids.
The reality is that these supplements are just easier more convenient ways of supplying your body with nutrients it needs to function properly on a day to day basis and although the body receives a lot of these nutrients through our day to day diets being deficient in even one type of nutrient can result in less than optimal bodily function.
For athletes of all levels looking to achieve a goal be it increased stamina, strength, endurance, muscle mass or weight control sports supplements offer a relatively cheap and often more convenient way to ensure your day to day diet contains everything you need to succeed in reaching those goals.
The fact is that sports supplements are exactly that a way to supplement whole foods other sources of nutrients such as Vitamins, minerals, protein, creatine (which is found in red meat) but they will never replace food in a day to day diet however they are a cost effective, convenient way to ensure your body receives all the nutrients it needs to enable you to achieve your goals.
So if you’re unsure as to what is or isn’t a steroid you can feel safe in the knowledge that the supplement industry does not sell steroidal products over the counter, steroids are often considered illegal supplements and are only purchasable using loopholes in their legality. Sports supplements such as protein powders, creatine, fat burners, pre workout supplements, multivitamins etc. are all legal and effective ways of ensuring your body is consuming what you need to achieve your goals.
In order to understand what the main differences are between whole food supplements and other supplements we have to first explore what is meant by whole foods. We also need to discuss what the difference is relative to foods that are not whole food.
I start with the assumption that we all know what supplements are, but just in case, let me very briefly explain. A dietary supplement is something you use to supplement the everyday foods you eat. The purpose for eating or taking a supplement is to add nutrients to your body, address a specific health issue, boost your overall immune system, boost your physical energy and there are many other reasons to use supplements. Supplements are for adding nutrition to what you already eat to support aspects of your health.