Supplements are one of those topics that are discussed frequently in exercise and everyone has their own opinion. I am going to tell you my personal opinion on what I think are "must have" supplements in your life and others that I feel are helpful in improving your workouts and getting betters results. No matter what you do in order to get results you need to work REALLY hard, stay consistent, and eat healthy. Their is no miracle drug and no supplement will do the work for you. MUST HAVES: Fish Oil, Multivitamin, Whey Protein These 3 I feel are a must in your workouts and in life in general. The bottom line here is that in a perfect world if corporations weren't trying to turn major profits and we all supported and had easy access to farmers markets then we may be able to stay out of Stop & Shop. In a perfect world we would all have the time to eat our natural foods and get a complete and healthy diet full of vegetables, vitamins and minerals. So, for you nutritionists and dieticians out there that practice and preach this way.....good for you, I agree 100%. I am not saying this can't be done but the reality is that it isn't for the most part. If you can, I recommend it.
Me personally...YUP..Stop & Shop BABY. I don't like it but I don't hate it either. You stay away from the processed foods and stick to your lean meats, fruits and vegetable along with some miscellaneous and you have a well balanced diet..and yes, I do drink whole or 1% milk. Let me say though that this works for ME and is different for EVERYBODY. So here is the deal....fish oil gives you a healthy heart, helps you stay young, is an anti-inflammatory, improves hair and skin appearance, and helps athletic performance. If you get enough with the fishes you eat than I guess you don't need this but you need to make that call, not me.
As for a multivitamin....everyone could use one. Whey protein for me is the best. Some of them can be unhealthy, you need to find the ones that are not. Again, in a perfect world if you could eat enough healthy foods to get your daily intake of protein than okay but...I would still recommend for post workout( it is absorbed quickly and helps your muscles recovery in the critical 1 hour period you have after you are done working out). By the way if you are working out for more than an hour you are wasting your time...SORRY side note. Okay so those are the must haves...
Other Workout Supplements: Pre-Workout, Post-Workout, Joint Formula, Weight Gainer Protein. Pre-Workout formulas are good but you don't need them. I take C4 or Energy & Endurance by beachbody. C4 is better but E & E is more natural and clean. I love them and it puts me into the zone for a workout and focused. C4 has definitely helped getting in 1 or 2 extra reps during a workout.
Post Workout Formulas are great too but again not necessary. However, I would recommend it to someone who always seems to be sore. Either you are working out too hard or you are not recovering well. A post-workout formula will help this. Either 4 part carbohydrates to 1 part protein OR 2 part carbohydrate to 1 part protein....both work well depending on goals.
Do your joints hurt from lifting heavy? Animal Flex is a great joint formula that I use and it works fantastic. Must do mobility work along with your workouts to really benefit as well. Don't forget corrective exercises and if you don't know any, ask someone. I would be glad to help. Got some tough aches in the joints when just moving in general. Try a product with glucosamine. You can find it anywhere.
Finally, weight gainer. Something I really need to take but don't. If you are a hard gainer than you need to EAT, probably like 4,000 calories per day....no joke. A weight gainer protein will help you pack on some muscle and add extra calories. I should practice what I preach with the weight gainer.
Bottom line here is this....you can get all the things you need to see results in the gym by eating a well balanced diet. Based on your goals, lifestyle, and preferences your decision will vary among others. Talk to someone who knows what they are talking about and do your research yourself in order to make an informed decision on what is right for you.