The Truth Behind Supplements

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against supplements

But I AM against stupidity, and I’m also against using metric tons of supplements in hopes that you don’t have to put quality work in at the gym. I’m afraid that’s just not how the real world works hombre. Eventually the foundation you built and thought was strong will crumble beneath you until you’re lying face-ass down in a pile of rubble. Today I’d like to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to give you my take on supplements. There’s a time and place for everything, but you need to be streetwise.

The Players

These days you have quite the cocktail of pills, powders, potions, lotions, gels and drinks to choose from. You don’t have to spend but 30 seconds in your local supplement store to see pre-workout formulas, post-workout formulas, protein powders, sleep aids, libido boosters, detoxes, male enhancement stimulators and the list goes on and on and on. This begs the question, where does the madness end? Well, it really doesn’t. As long as there’s a way to make money, companies will keep dishing out supplement after supplement. And they will happily lean out your bank account to fatten theirs! Fortunately, you don’t have to go hide under a rock. But you do need to be smart about your purchasing decisions. Please allow me to clear the path for you.

Have Awareness

When you are thinking of taking a supplement, first focus on the ingredient label. Choose products that have no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives. Secondly, it’s in your best interest to avoid growth hormones and antibiotics. That’s particularly the case with protein powders that come from animal sources.

Let’s put this theory into practice with a quick example of how to buy a pre-workout formula. As the name implies, this is to be taken before a workout to give you energy and feel that coveted “pump” that you so desire. Hey, to each his own. That’s cool. I do these every now and then because I’m often handed samples by companies to test them out, so I don’t judge.

However, I first refer to the ingredient label and if I find acesulfame potassium, sucragross, uh, I mean sucralose, FD & C Red #40 or any other ingredient with a number or abbreviation, or a word I cannot pronounce, I toss it over my right shoulder and walkaway. I strongly advise you follow suit!

Nuts and Bolts

If you are an athlete, the sad reality is this. If you want to compete at a high level, you are all but forced to take supplements to keep up with the rest of the pack. My advice is to follow what I said above. Scan labels, ask questions and do research on a company before you shell out any cash. They may have the best marketing team in the world and promise you everything under the sun, but that doesn’t mean their products are clean and safe.

Always look for the NSF label too. This stands for National Sanitation Federation and it means the product you’re about to slam down your throat is free of banned substances.

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Fast forward to today and I need to introduce you to my good friend Craig Dinkel, who is the founder of Biotropic Labs*. Not only does he have a legit product, but he also has a legit swimming background. He holds high school and NCAA records in the 50 and 100 yard freestyle, he’s a 23-time All-American and two-time Olympic Time Trials qualifier, and was coined the second fastest sprinter in the world during that time period. In my line of work, it’s hard to find people who are legit with business and fitness. So when someone like this appears, I gravitate toward them.

Since Craig and I are like minded, we recently saddled up to form a synergistic powerhouse where you have a one-stop shop for optimal performance enhancement. But before I moved forward, I had to do my research. Sure we might be good friends, but if he created a product that didn’t get my seal of approval, I would have no choice but to decline. As it turns out, he passed the test.

I did my normal investigative reporting and went behind the scenes to examine his feature product, which is also called BioTropic. As It turns out, it’s 100% natural and there are no artificial flavors, colors, additives, hormones or antibiotics to be found. THAT is a success and winning combination in my book.

And what I like most about BioTropic is its effect on the body. I listed the everyday supplements you run into on gym floors and homes earlier. This product is unique in its ability to improve your anaerobic capacity and speed your recoveries. If you don’t speak Railbonics, anaerobic means without oxygen. In layman’s terms, it’s when you’re breathing heavy during intense bouts of exercise.

What I really love and notice is how fast I am able to recover between high-intensity bursts of effort when I do sprints and circuit workouts. And although it’s not designed as a weight loss formula, I definitely experienced a fast drop of 5 lbs when I first started using it. I’ve since had to adjust my caloric intake, but it’s all good. There’s nothing wrong with having awareness in regards to your diet when you’re exercising. Plus, I’m into fasting these days but that’s a topic better saved for a Highly Explosive Health episode.

Summing it Up

The bottom line is this. Are supplements bad? No and yes. Are supplements good? Yes and no. It depends on what they’re composed of, where the ingredients came from and how you use them. Doubling up on your pre-workout formula because you only had four hours of sleep last night is not the smartest way to go. Especially if that pre-workout formula is laced with fake sweetener, artificial flavors and colors, and is named after a particular type of dynamite.

Nothing is worth risking the function of your heart, liver and other organs over. Keep it clean, stay safe as much as possible and don’t buy into the hype. Follow my rules and you will never have a thing to worry about.

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*Disclaimer – I am in an affiliate partnership with BioTropic Labs