Many people believe that supplements are an important part of health and fitness. After all, there seems to be a new study every week pointing to another vitamin or mineral that improves health in some way. Compound that with the constant bombardment from commercials for weight loss pills and powders that we encounter in a typical health and fitness magazine, on TV and especially on the internet and it is no wonder that we have all been brainwashed to think one needs supplements to be healthy.
Here at Fitness Blender we are doing what we can to break that brainwashing cycle by standing by the best path for success and not the most lucrative for us. In fact we are asked on a regular basis to promote some kind of supplement with the offer of a cut of the sales and though we could make a lot of money selling these various supplements we have chosen not to, primarily because we want people to be truly healthy and we could not, in good conscience, sell any product that we don't think can actually help improve overall health.
All of your vitamin and mineral content you should be able to get from your diet. In the few instances you are running low on one nutrient or another and you are unable to alter your diet to get it then a supplement may be necessary. But keep in mind that the only people that can properly diagnose and legally prescribe supplements is your doctor or a nutritionist/dietitian. Whatever you do never take the advice of a personal trainer, friend, or family member on what supplements to take as many supplements can have interactions with medications as well as other supplements that can cause negative health side effects.
One of the supplement categories that we can almost unequivocally say is completely useless is the meal replacement/weight loss supplement. Not only do many weight loss products have dangerous ingredients they often contain mega doses of vitamins and minerals that can build up to toxic levels if taken on a regular basis over long periods of time. On top of that the use of these types of pills and shakes does nothing towards teaching you how to properly eat and exercise for the rest of your life which is the only way to truly become and stay healthy.
This is an industry that started out with the intention to help people get nutrition that they would otherwise not be able to get from food and it has grown in to a multi-billion dollar industry that is now more about how much they can sell by making people feel inadequate rather than truly trying to help anyone become healthy.
About shakes and smoothies
We've mentioned avoiding meal replacement shakes before, and wanted to clarify that there is an immense difference between a healthy, convenient whole foods smoothie (bananas, berries, etc), and one that comes in a powder form, from a bag with a long line of mystery ingredients. We don't recommend meal replacement shakes for good health, or even weight loss. They have questionable ingredients and teach you next to nothing in terms of eating healthily and/or portion control.
Long story short, you should do everything that you can to try and get your vitamins and macro nutrients from whole foods sources.