Despite the impressive marketing claims by supplement vendors and pro bodybuilders who are sponsored by them, most supplements (also called bodybuilding supplements) simply do not work. The only supplements of which I believe that may have real beneficial effects are the common dietary supplements (also called food supplements) that provide natural dietary nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates , fats , creatine, vitamins and minerals. All other supplements either do not work at all or have no place in natural bodybuilding.
*Scientists haven’t yet pinpointed all the beneficial nutrients that foods contain. So if we rely on supplements we may miss out. One example is lycopene, which is a phytochemical- a compound found naturally in plants. This nutrient made headlines when Harvard researchers discovered a lower-than average incidence of prostate cancer in men who eat tomatoes. The benefit seems to come from lycopene, which is present in tomatoes but not in vitamin pills.
*It’s nearly impossible to get too much calcium and vitamin D from food. But this can happen with supplements. Excessive calcium may interfere with absorption of iron and zinc, two other very important minerals.
*Nutrients in food generally are more bioavailable . For example, if we get small amounts of calcium all through the day in meals and snacks, rather than a single large dose in pill form, it’s easier for our bodies to use it.
*Select a brand that contains both calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D. Both calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are good supplements, but calcium citrate has a slight edge because it’s easier to absorb