All athletes need good nutrition, but it is up to you to determine whether that nutrition is best obtained through foods or supplements. Under certain circumstances, a dietary supplement may be helpful.
Your first step is to evaluate your nutritional needs, and then identify whether increasing the intake of certain vitamins, minerals, or other ingredients is necessary. You can use the steps below to determine if you need a dietary supplement.
- Talk with a professional to ensure that your training program is optimal for what you are trying to achieve at your age.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep. There are no supplements that can make up for a lack of sleep.
- Evaluate your diet and develop a nutrition plan that includes training and recovery.
- Meet with a doctor to identify any vitamin or mineral deficiencies or other health problems that might limit the variety of foods you can eat (e.g., food allergies, gluten, or dairy intolerances.
Is There Evidence Behind the Benefits of Using Dietary Ingredients?
To determine which, if any, dietary supplements can benefit you, it is necessary to first evaluate your metabolic needs and diet.
Since everyone is different, it is not possible to simply say “all athletes need fish oil/vitamin D/branched chain amino acids (BCAAs)” or that “creatine improves the sport performance of every athlete.”