I’m often asked about nutrition and sports supplements. It could be someone interested in the health benefits of a particular food, or a young dancer trying to find something to give them a competitive edge.
They’re always reasonable questions and I’m very interested in this topic myself, but I’d rather not write much about it. Nutrition is not my area of expertise, I’m skeptical of trendy diets and health gurus, and I keep my recommendations pretty simple. I just think a lot of it is nonsense.
Lucky for me, I don’t have to write about it. Instead, there’s another website that I’m not afraid to endorse on the topic (and I’m not alone). No, it’s not some next level guru – some trendy fool with clever catch-phrases, overly-simplistic answers, and questionable promises. In fact, it’s the lack thereof that’s earned my trust.
It’s Examine.com – “an independent organization that presents un-biased research on supplements and nutrition”. What makes them worth endorsing? There’s no gimmicks – just a lot of hard work. These people have simply reviewed the existing research on popular nutritional topics and supplements, and summarized the information in plain language. Sounds simple, but not when you consider that they currently have over 25000 references to scientific papers. Impressive.
Articles are typically in the form of questions, or pages dedicated to particular supplements. For example, some of my favorite questions are: “Do I need to eat six times a day to keep my metabolism high?” (hint: not really), and “How important is sleep?” (hint: pretty darn important). The detail on particular supplements like Creatine and Vitamin D is astounding. They aren’t selling their own supplements and cherry-picking the research that supports it. In fact, they don’t sell supplements at all, and review everything fairly.
They do sell a great Supplements-Goals Reference Guide (the only way they keep themselves funded), which summarizes the majority of popular nutritional supplements and lists whether they are effective (and how effective) for particular goals – like gaining strength, muscle size, fatigue resistance, etc. I’ve purchased it myself, and it’s excellent: lots of detail, but easy to find summaries if you just want to get to the point. Of course, before buying anything, take a look at some of their articles to check out the quality and amount of work put into this site.
Since this blog post is looking like an elaborate advertisement, I should clarify my opinion on supplements: are supplements necessary? I don’t truly think so, unless perhaps you’re a competitive athlete (since your competitors will likely be using them too). Personally, I’m sure that if I could get my training, sleeping, and eating more consistent, I would make far more gains in my health and fitness than taking any supplement. I’m not suggesting you have to achieve that type of rigorous consistency before it’s worth taking supplements, and I’m sure you can still achieve benefits. I do take vitamin D, fish oil, and sometimes whey protein. I just like to think and work on the fundamentals first.
Whatever your goals are, all you really need is the right information. Then you can plan your attack. There’s lot’s of information on the internet – and lots of misinformation. Examine.com provides the former, and exposes the latter. Hope you find it helpful!
Disclaimer: yeah, those are affiliate links. But I’m not just recommending this just for the money. If that was my goal, I’d sell supplements, not an ebook that explains how most of them don’t even work!