the truth about sports supplement myths

Whether you’re a serious bodybuilder, an athlete trying to perfect your physique, or a middle aged man or woman reclaiming your fitness, you have probably considered adding supplements to your routine. But, something is holding you back …

You might have heard on the news that another miracle fat loss pill has been banned from the market, or read that an athlete was suspended for taking performance enhancing drugs. Maybe that doctor on TV is cautioning the use of certain over-the-counter concoctions.

All of these messages are leading you to one conclusion: sports supplements aren’t for me.

However, before you dismiss the idea of taking protein, a pre workout powder, or a recovery formula, take a few minutes to read the truth when it comes to supplement myths. While we can’t speak for every supplement on the market, but we take pride in NFP supplements. We’ve done the research. We’ve tested our products. And, we’re busting these myths.

1. Supplements are steroids

We can’t stress this one enough. Not one of NFP’s supplements (or any other legal supplement on the market) contain steroids. Steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone or other hormones. In the United States, steroids cannot be obtained without a prescription. While steroids may be prescribed for certain medical conditions, legitimate doctors won’t prescribe steroids to healthy individuals for the sole purpose of building muscle.

Most often, the mix-up occurs with creatine supplements, but we’re not sure why. The formula for basic creatine is simple. Creatine is a compound of three different amino acids: glycine, methionine, and arginine; elements which are already produced in the body. This amino acid combination is also found in protein sources such as red meat and fish. There are different types of creatine supplements, but the most effective is considered to be creatine monohydrate, which is the primary ingredient in NFP Activate Creatine. You can learn more about NFP’s creatine formula and how it helps your body build muscle in our blog, THE SCIENCE BEHIND NFP’ACTIVATE CREATINE.

The NFP line of supplements does include a testosterone booster, AndroTest 4X. This does not contain testosterone, but rather helps the male body create more of its own using four scientifically studied ingredients. You can learn more about AndroTest 4X at nfpgear.com.

2. Supplements are unhealthy

It’s the isolated incidences of unhealthy individuals misusing sports supplements that grab headlines, then create undue fear. Supplements like thermogenics (fat-burners) and pre workout formulas are hotly contested because a few people misused supplements. However, not all the blame lies on the user. Some supplement manufacturers failed to do the proper research and included ingredients that were potentially unsafe when ingested in large quantities. No federally restricted or banned substances are used in NFP supplement formulations. Rest assured that each ingredient in every NFP blend is researched to ensure it is not only safe, but effective.

Many of the ingredients in NFP sports supplements are actually produced by our own bodies to stimulate muscle growth and proper function. In fact, when referred to by their popular monikers, you may recognize many of the ingredients found on the supplement labels. For example:

  • Niacin (a component of NFP’s IC Red pre workout) is also known as Vitamin B3
  • Beta Alanine, Taurine, and Arginine (also found in IC Red) are all naturally occurring amino acids
  • Green tea extract, caffeine, potassium and vitamin B6 are all well-known ingredients found in NFP’s ShredXD Thermogenic

Many other components of our own proprietary blends, as well as the blends of other established supplement companies, can be found in everyday foods.

However, please keep in mind that sports supplements are meant for healthy individuals without major health conditions. While some supplements, like BCAAs, have been studied for medical use, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure sports supplements won’t interact with your specific condition or any medications you might be taking. We’re just looking out for your health!

3. Supplements will help you build muscle, even if you don’t train

Sports supplements should never replace daily exercise. Any supplement company that promises increased muscle mass without strength training is not being forthright. Muscle requires work. That being said, some supplements provide other health benefits that you can take advantage of even when going to the gym isn’t an option.

  • Protein and BCAAs: Your muscles need resistance (exercise) to grow, but if you must take a break from exercising because of an injury or any other reason, supplementing with protein like NFP Complete Protein and branch chain amino acids like our Unbreakable BCAAs 4:1:1 can help you preserve your existing muscle. Protein shakes and other foods made with protein powder are also great snack and meal replacement options that can help you keep your body weight in check.
  • Joint Supplement Compounds: NFP’s FlexPro 4D and other joint complexes like it promote connective tissue repair while relieving joint inflammation, supporting flexibility, and increasing joint mobility.
  • Recovery and Immunity Blends: Vitamin blends aimed at immunity and cell recovery can do the body good even if the gym has been scratched off your schedule. Blends like NFP’s REcoil are loaded with vitamins and minerals that help you fend off illness while aiding in cell renewal and supporting overall body function
  • Testosterone Boosters: For men, testosterone boosters like NFP’s AndroTest 4X are aimed at increasing energy and sexual health.

4. If you eat a balanced diet, you don’t need supplements

It’s true that nearly all components found in supplements are readily available in food sources or are already made by your body. However it takes time and research to eat just the right foods in just the right proportions to access all of these vital nutrients. Additionally, many of our food’s nutrients have been compromised as a result of modern growing and processing standards.

Supplements, like the name implies, are meant to supplement. Reputable supplement companies manufacture their blends to include just the right quantities and combinations of research-proven components to help your body do better what it already does naturally.

5. Protein supplements will make you fat

This is like saying “eating chicken breast will make you fat.” High protein diets are linked with healthy body weights. Because of its composition, protein acts as a thermogenic, helping your body burn off a third of its calories during digestion. Calories still count, however. If your diet and exercise remain the same, simply adding a protein shake will not cause you to lose weight. Because you’re adding more calories to your diet without expending more calories during exercise.

The brand of protein you select will also make a difference. Check the fat, sugar and calorie content of the protein supplement you select. Brands like NFP Complete Protein are low in carbohydrates and fat so the protein feeds your muscles without adding to your waistline. Lower quality protein powders may add fillers that add surplus calories to your diet plan.

6. There’s no such thing as a supplement that “burns fat”

Fat burners have gotten a bad rap because so many “miracle pills” have failed us in the past. When it comes to fat burners, it is essential that you select a thermogenic with safe components that are supported by research.

Thermogenics like NFP’s Shred XD help your body to increase your energy expenditure so you burn more calories throughout the day. Additional ingredients help your body break down fat while aiding you with appetite control. Watch out for recalled or banned ingredients like fenfluramine/phentermine (fen-phen) or Methylhexanamine (1,3-dimethylamylamine), which can be dangerous. Reputable supplement companies will not include controversial ingredients like these in their products.

7. Only bodybuilders need supplements

Supplements aren’t just for men and women competing in body shows or professional lifters. Anyone looking to build muscle, train athletically, increase performance, lose weight, or just feel good day-to-day can benefit from supplements. It doesn’t matter if you’re young, old; man or woman – sports supplements can help you reach your fitness goals and round out your nutrition.

8. Supplements aren’t for women

Many women are fiercely protective of their feminine figure – supplements won’t jeopardize that. Swilling protein and lifting weights will not make women look manly. Men are able to build hulking muscle mass because of the male sex hormone, testosterone. Unless you take synthetic testosterone compounds (steroids), you will not develop masculine muscle tone. Remember that YOU are in control of the muscle you build. If you’re uncomfortable with the amount of muscle you’re building, simply stop adding weights to the bar.

9. Taking supplements is “cheating”

You can still reach peak fitness levels naturally while taking sports supplements. Quality supplements just give your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to operate at optimum levels. Taking supplements is no more “cheating” as it relates to fitness than having a tutor is cheating as it relates to academics – in both instances, you’re unlocking potential.

10. All supplements are about the same

The market for health and fitness products is huge – and it’s only going to continue to grow. As with many consumer product categories, dishonest companies will produce cheap, poorly researched products in hopes of duping consumers into buying their products. Don’t be fooled by advertising hype or grand product claims. Be a responsible consumer and research the supplements you’re interested in to ensure quality. We’ve poured our blood, sweat, and tears into our products (Not literally. That would be gross), to make sure they are the best on the market. But, we don’t want you to take our word for it. Go to nfpgear.com, look at each of our supplement’s components, do your research, and then decide for yourself.

11. BONUS: You have to make a lot of money to afford supplements

Supplements can be expensive. Fortunately, there are options to save money without resorting to cheap products loaded with fillers or ineffective ingredients. Right now, all of our quality sports supplements are priced below retail as part of our introductory sale. Watch NFP Gear’s Facebook page, Twitter feed, NFP Blog, Instagram, and Pinterest boards for contests and deals to win free products. We also run many sales throughout the year to reward our loyal customers, so keep an eye on our website. In the end, our allegiance is to the New Found Power Movement – which is so much more than selling supplements. Visit us online at NFPgear.com to learn what drives us!