In the early to mid-nineties supplementation was for lack of a better term, almost “mystical.”
Information came from magazines (which happened to be owned by supplement companies) and word of mouth at your local gym/barbell club.
I remember taking a monthly pilgrimage to the local mall to stop by the supplement store for my supply of high protein/high calorie weight gainer.
If I recall correctly, four scoops of this magical formula was 1600 calories, promising gains for days and the physique of your dreams.
Looking back, I spent a proportionate amount of my income on this and other products that were the rage at the time.
For a while I started to use desiccated liver tablets.
Then I found out about creatine.
Later it was pre-made protein shakes in convenient single-serve bottles.
When money was short, I would stop by the local grocery store and force down egg beaters. (If you ever want to test the limits of your gag-reflexes, attempt to chug down a carton or two.)
It seemed like each month there was a new supplement to try or at the very least a “new-old” supplement would make it’s way to the forefront of all the gym-junkie’s conversations and recommendations.
These days, I consider my diet supplementation pretty basic.
And on occasion, a good pre-workout formula & BCAA’s (branched-chain amino acids.)
In planning your supplementation I think it can be beneficial to think of individual supplements as tools in a toolbox, ready to be added in when the are specifically needed.
In normal training the food you eat and amount of calories with an emphasis on your macros will garner the majority of your progress.
As you progress, dependent upon your goals, it can be helpful to “reach into the toolbox.”
Are you trying to add muscle?
Along with an increase in calories, adding additional protein and a good creatine product can enhance your results.
Trying to lose fat?
Injecting some calorie-burning cardio or conditioning and some protein, BCAA’s, a pre-workout formula and a quality fat-burner can help in obtaining your goal.
Just like training, supplementation is a very personal situation and if utilized intelligently can get you closer and closer to your ultimate goals.