This is the second part of the Supplements vs Food article , in which the differences and benefits of supplements against food are compared from a neutral and informed point of view.
Quantities of nutrients: The pill against the fork
You can get large amounts of EPA / DHA thanks to the fish oil in capsules, much more than you could get by eating fish. And even if you eat a lot of fish , remember that we live in a polluted world, whether wild or farm, the fish is usually contaminated by heavy metals or some kind of organic pesticide. So it is much better to supply these fatty acid needs through the use of supplements.
And it’s not just fish oil, there are also things like CLA . You can consume a couple of grams of CLA each day through supplements, but you would have to consume gigantic, unrealistic amounts of milk, meat and turkey to get that amount.
Creatine falls into the same category. It would take around 5 kilos of raw meat to get the amount of creatine needed for a load. It is clear that creatine supplements are superior to whole food sources.
The vitamin D? Is the same. You can not drink enough milk fortified with vit. D to obtain healthy blood levels. Most of us have to supplement.
Now, if there are doctors, dieticians, or government officials who would like to tell us to drink 14 liters of milk per day instead of taking a simple vitamin D pill, we are ready to listen to them.
The supplements are refined, and that’s always bad, right?
Not necessarily, for example, testex 100 quality fish oil supplements are refined to eliminate all harmful substances, such as mercury. Milk protein supplements are refined to eliminate lactose and other things we do not want, keeping the good things we want.
The term refined, as it applies to supplements, does not mean the elimination of important aspects of it, which is what happens when we talk about refined foods (for example, the addition of large amounts of sodium). The intention of refinement, in this case, is to do better.
Timing of nutrients and supplements
Supplements may have another advantage over whole foods: accurate timing . While foods are digested and absorbed slowly, supplements can provide those nutrients at the right time and at the desired dose.
In this case we will take as an example caffeine . If you want a rapid intake of 200mg of caffeine, you should simply take a pill of this. The consumption of coffee is fine, but it is “doubtful, neither is it so fast and nor is it so precise in its doses. Also, except for iced coffee, when it is 100 degrees in summer, a cup of coffee before the squat day does not seem very appetizing.
People tend to drink coffee as if they smoke, they do and they drink it all day long. I am not sure of the benefits that a low and spaced dose of caffeine can provide. Of course, it does not do anything for performance reasons. To improve performance, a large dose is needed, all at the same time. Most research suggests 6 mg per kilo of body weight (less likely to increase fat loss ). And remember, caffeine is not exactly the same as coffee.