Are supplements necessary to build muscle and lose fat effectively?

Do you need to include them in your program, or can you still maximize your potential without using any supplements at all?

I’ve been involved in the fitness industry for over a decade now, and with all the questions I receive on a daily basis, the same ones tend to pop up over and over again.

A very common one that lands in my inbox goes something like this…

“Hey Sean, I’ve been working out for 3 months now but I’m not seeing any results. I’m taking a mass gainer and creatine. What else should I take?”

Here’s the reality…

If you’re trying to build muscle or lose fat but you aren’t seeing noticeable results, the particular supplements that you’re either taking or not taking should be the very least of your concerns.

Always remember…

Supplements are just that: supplements. They are supplemental to your program and will only provide a small boost to your overall results.

are supplements necessary

Think of supplements as simply being the icing on a big cake.

The big cake represents the fact that you’re in the gym training hard week in and week out… getting stronger over time… sticking to your nutrition plan consistently… resting and recovering adequately in between workouts… making an effort to stay injury-free…

And from there, whatever supplements you decide to include in your plan are just that last bit of icing on top. That isn’t to say that supplements don’t work, but you can’t expect to get bigger just by taking them without putting in the necessary work.

Also keep in mind that only a very small handful of supplements out there are even worth using in the first place.

I’ve said it many times before, but vast majority of the products being sold in this industry are NOT backed by reliable research and will do very little to nothing when it comes to helping you build muscle and lose fat faster.

This is simply a fact, and what keeps this billion dollar industry moving along is not actual product quality and efficacy, but simply the massive marketing campaigns that drive it.

So, are supplements necessary to build muscle, lose fat and achieve a great physique?

should i take supplements

The answer is no, they are not “necessary”, and you can still either fully maximize your potential or come very close to it without using any supplements at all.

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m “anti-supplement” or that I’m recommending you steer clear of them altogether.

All I’m really against is the over-use and over-emphasis of supplements, which is the exact money-wasting-trap that most people fall into.

There are a select few supplements out there that I do personally use and recommend, assuming your training and nutrition are on point first and foremost.

But again, just keep in mind that they will only give you a small extra edge and that the results they produce are not going to be anywhere near as dramatic as the supplement companies try to tell you.

If you want a complete rundown of the supplements that I do feel are worthwhile, including the brands, dosage and other helpful tips, then you can check out my complete Fitness Supplementation Guide for more information.

bodybuilding supplement guide

Are Supplements Necessary? The Bottom Line

supplements that work

The simple answer to the question is that no, supplements are NOT necessary to build muscle, lose fat and get into great shape.

However, if your training, nutrition and all other factors are being properly implemented on a consistent basis, a few basic supplements can potentially give you a very small extra boost.

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