The truth about Supplements

Supplements have been glorified in today’s era, up to a point where there is almost not a single person who doesn’t use some kind of supplement to either enhance cognitive benefits, or physical workout sessions.

In moderation when deciding which supplement to use, they can be very much of a great benefit once person decides what they would like to focus on, and once they determine that they can’t get the particular chemical with normal diet.

However, there is a clear rise of term “tool stack”, which outlines a variety of supplements that we take on a daily basis.

I would say that especially for young men, this sets a wrong precedence that supplements are essential, and on the other hand finding as many supplements as possible to enhance your workouts is an ever-increasing practice especially among males.

Current Market

The supplements market is ever increasing and is projected to increase by almost 50% from 2021 to 2028.

On the other hand, there is also an increasing number of supplements one can take, since making a 5000th study on, for example, Creatine Monohydrate isn’t as exciting as testing a completely new drug or possible new supplement.

The developments in this field are absolutely amazing, as they allow us to get insights into particular chemicals that can benefit, or harm us.

Thanks to more and more scientific research we’re able to find out more on how to enhance both our cognitive and physical abilities.

The industry itself does an amazing job to offer a variety of supplements one can take. However, where we seem to lag behind as a whole is also an explanation how one does not need to take every supplement for every issue, and how to instead derive benefits from normal meals.

Issue behind supplements diversity

Per se, supplement diversity is one of the best things that we have available, as there are literally thousands of supplements each derived to focus on one specific vertical. Be it either Stress, Testosterone, Adrenaline, Calmness, Focus, Strength – you name it.

However, at the same time it needs to be emphasized much more, especially by the older population who act as models to youngsters that you do not need, and shouldn’t use an equivalent of “tool stacks” to try to enhance your workouts.

Do these supplements work? Absolutely. There are however 2 issues behind those. One is related to the possible side effects, and the second one is related both to finances and mental drag.

Side Effects: How you may not know what happens in your body

As an example, the reason why the harder chemicals are more dangerous (such as SSRIs) is because they modify the Serotonin levels across the entire body’s ecosystem.

Since these chemicals do not only control for example satisfaction levels, they (100%) will have effects on other areas of your life as well.

Currently as humanity we aren’t able to know what each supplement does in the long term 100%, but as we uncover more and more, we’re able to learn and predict better whether to take a particular supplement or not.

I will provide as an example Multivitamins – which are amazing, however if your goal is to prevent aging you will most likely stop taking them.

This is due to the majority if not all Multivitamins containing a huge amount of Iron – which has been over the past few years shown to be one of the largest driving forces behind the aging of all cells in humans, and other species.

Therefore, I would say that in most of the studies we can see some preliminary data on what most of the supplements do.

However from my experience most of us jump into testing a supplement after seeing it between once and maximum 10 times, which would be too rash.

I do estimate this is done because instead of researching the supplements, the most usual tactic is to actually try them first and see what they do based on feelings. However, as we have outlined – if they have effects such as Iron in Multivitamins, this can be hard to catch and spot even after 10 or 15 years.

Mentality behind supplement tool stacks

Supplements are nowadays people’s life hobbies. The amount of time we can actually spend on testing tens of supplements is extraordinary. However, what we have to outline – how does that help us in the long term?

I will present it on my own case: When I was 20, I tried to focus on as many supplements as I could, and then to narrow them down to 3 to 5.

Based on what? Price, effects and people’s opinions. 2 years into the future, I actually found out I was really close based on the studies as to which ones were most effective (Citruline Malate is one of them). I tried them, creating my own tool stack of 6 compounds at the time.

However, over the course of a year, I did ditch them to replace them with other ones.

The thing with supplements is that you will rarely notice their effects. There are some of course such as caffeine which’s effects are instantaneous.

Experience with supplements

However, being young and not seeing much difference makes you go and try something else. This is why most supplements rarely survive in a person’s dietary plan for long, since there isn’t much evidence on day-to-day basis.

Funnily enough, especially after buying them back after having the previous packages depleted, I have decided at the time to do a control test: Ditch most of them to both preserve finances in long-term, and to test whether I will actually feel a huge difference.

I have pretty much ditched everything except Tryptophan at the time, Creatine Monohydrate and Multivitamins as well.

And I haven’t felt a single inch of difference.

At the time (in summer of 2022) I quickly realized that the majority of supplements we take will perhaps help you with 5% or less of the improvements out of the whole pie.

With the costs they usually take, they are not worth it at all.

Both for the reasons outlined above, but also for the mental drag of taking them and constantly researching them as a hobby, stopping these activities will help you to actually focus on what needs to be done, instead of finding shortcuts such as random supplements that may or may not significantly help you.

Life learnings from Supplements over time

Over time I have decided to keep it simple – and ditched Multivitamin due to Iron reasons outlined above, and Tryptophan (Serotonin precursor).

By my own definition Tryptophan most likely did work in the long-term, but when doing a control test (not using it) didn’t notice a single thing or effect of a change.

After testing and having a huge amount of experience (perhaps even more than necessary) I can say this: The most important thing is to keep your supplements stack as simple as possible.

The better case is to rather focus on the biggest game changers rather than chasing those 5% or less improvements with 5 supplements.

This was also a reason why I have – in the end – kept 2 things: Creatine Monohydrate, which I have created as a product since it has the biggest bang for buck (related to showing best improvements in fitness, both physical and cognitive and in work).

The second one is Vitamin D due to working inside a lot and relative lack of sunlight during winter months.

Keeping it very simple is in my opinion the way to go, since it allows you to not think about every new supplement on the market but rather focus on larger improvements. Nutrition, habits and exercises themselves. It’s not the person who knows everything about supplements that gets ahead in fitness goals, but the person who is above average in each area – supplements, fitness, and nutrition. Keep it simple.

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