Should PT clients take supplements?

From whey to ZMA, fitness center goers are spoiled for choice with pills, powders, and potions promising the next set of big results. The pressure to take supplements is real…

However, as a Personal trainer, I like to slice through the marketing jargon for my clients, consider alternatives to these must-haves, should my clients wish to benefit from natural non-manmade products or alternatives, or at least understand a little better if they truly need supplements.

If your new personal training customer has their fitness center membership sorted, bought sparkling white trainers and stocked their fridge with good intentions. How do you react when then they ask you about supplements?…

Lets put this into perspective. The supplements industry is big business, mushrooming since late 2000. No longer the preserve of weekend warriors and professional bodybuilders, fitness supplements are now being knocked back again by everyday fitness center goers keen to progress, or simply to fit in among those on the gym floor swallowing pills and downing brightly colored liquids between sets.

Four years ago, supplements produced about $32 billion in income. By 2021, estimates double this physique to more $60 billion in 2021, based on the Nutritional Business Journal. Where once supplements had to be hunted down in market shops, under fitness center reception counters or obscure websites, now they can be picked up with every week shopping at Waitrose.

Quality supplements do work, testified by numerous studies when used appropriately and for the right reasons. Some supplements quickly uncover their results whilst others are a sluggish, subtle and burn-off. Some may have real benefits whereas others offer negligible results that only the hardcore fitness professional may deem worthwhile.

Most personal training clients don’t have bottomless wallets in order to take supplements, nor should they clear the shelves of a specialist shop expecting to be transformed by pills and powders. It should be remembered that a product – “a thing added to something else in order to finish or improve it” – is merely that.

It is something supplementing a healthy lifestyle, supporting the dedication made to hard work in the gym and healthy decisions made in the kitchen.

So, when it comes to supplements, what are the ones a client may wish to consider? And, are there more natural alternatives which could easily be integrated into clients’ diets without requiring a scoop?….. The short answer? YES!

take supplements

Protein shakes

Between 2007 and 2012, world sales in the proteins industry doubled to reach £260 million. By next yr, it could be worth around £8 billion.

Significantly ubiquitous among even casual health club members, but for people who do take supplements, proteins shakes have become as much as a part of some peoples workouts because of the warm-up and bench press. The 45-minute post-workout windows are usually dedicated to mixing a shake before it’s “too late”.

Benefits: Proteins shakes take about 30 minutes to reach the muscle after ingestion. This means fast fuel before a workout and, perhaps more importantly, after a workout proteins can be quickly delivered to the muscles to promote recovery and progress. Pre-bought or in powder form, proteins shakes are lightweight and prices range from high street discounts to more top quality.Alternatives

Alternatives: As a major food group, health proteins are available in both animal meat and plant options ( I have worked out using both diets ), from chicken breast to kidney to beans or chickpeas. For quick ingestion, a standard water- or milk-based smoothie with egg whites, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt could provide that post-workout full of healthy real non-manmade proteins.


Branched-chain proteins (BCAAs) -leucine, isoleucine, and valine – help as the inspiration of muscle health proteins. Used capsule form, BCAAs can have an impact pre-, post- and throughout a workout.

Benefits: BCAAs can energize insulin and growth hormones levels, as well as bringing down cortisol levels, promoting muscle growing and fat reduction. BCAAs can also supercharge energy and defend against fatigue.

Alternatives: A 6 oz portion of dry-roasted peanuts packs the best amount of BCAAs than any animal meat options. Flank steak and canned tuna are also good resources of BCAAs. ( having used both diets with experience )


Another amino acid, glutamine sustains the defense mechanisms, assisting to prevent disorder and increase recovery after a good work out. For easy ingestion, it will come in capsule, powder, and liquid form.

Benefits: A report from the Applied Physiology, Diet, and Metabolism journal discovered that glutamine had assisted in improving endurance, and preventing fatigue. Other studies show that glutamine can maintain muscle structure when you’re aiming to shed excessive fat. Plus, just two grams of glutamine can increase growth hormones, making it appealing to those seeking to gain muscle tissue.

Alternatives: Meat, chicken, and seafood are one of the better resources of glutamine. Foods supplying higher degrees of protein have a tendency to be higher in glutamine. Dairy, yogurt and cheese such as ricotta are also good sources of the amino acid.


Creatine is employed in the campaign of lean muscle. Obtainable in powder form, just five grams on a daily basis is needed to get started on seeing results.

Benefits: As well as increasing muscle cell size and recovery time after a good work out, additionally, it may help athletes practice at a higher level. Creatine also boosts glycogen levels, this means the ones that take it experience a far more pronounced pump throughout their workouts.

Though it might not exactly have the great physiological impacts of steroids, it is very similar so this helps boost desire when witnessing the exercise routine is ‘working’.

Alternatives: Game meat is the richest way to obtain creatine. Take your select from rabbit, venison, and elk to outdoors boar, ostrich and buffalo.


ZMA is a nutrient supplement, giving zinc and magnesium and vitamin supplements B6. Zinc promotes muscle recovery and growth. Magnesium is very important to a wholesome cardiovascular and skeletal system. Used tablet form, ZMA shouldn’t be used with food anticipated to help the absorption.

Benefits: A report performed at American Washington School (Bellingham) found ZMA could increase testosterone levels by more than 30%, may lead to significantly greater profits in sturdiness and effectiveness, and better sleep quality.

Alternatives: Magnesium, zinc, and B6 are available in natural food options. Shellfish are excellent resources of zinc; magnesium is available in bananas and darkish rice, and salmon and turkey will deliver that B6.

Fish oil

Fish oil is a superb way to obtain Omega-3 essential fatty acids as well as efa’s. A good seafood oil will include EPA and DHA. Fish oil can be taken in liquid form – if you can stand the preference – or the more palatable tablet form.

Benefits: As well as supporting brain, nerve, and visible functions, seafood oil can improve joint versatility and bone durability. Fish oil can also support the levels of serotonin in the body, which is often termed the “feel-good” hormone, indicating seafood oil can make you more comfortable and less prone to stress and depression.

Alternatives: Flaxseed oil is being heavily promoted as an alternative to fish oil. You could also try walnut oil. Both have flavors that will enhance your cooking, which makes it simpler to work into everyday dinners.

Consider your personal training clients’ goals before advising on supplements. Whereas one consumer may have the gym experience and budget to justify the use of certain supplements, others may find less affordable or not even necessary to achieve their fitness goals.

Supplements certainly have their merits – proteins shakes are cheaper, quicker and easier than organizing chicken breasts every day, for example – but many of the benefits can be found in everyday foods that can simply be factored into a client’s diet.

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