So your favourite fitness guru endorses your favourite supplements, but are they as concerned about the ingredients they put into their bodies (and sell to you), as they are with their instagram exposure and paycheque with the sponsored brand?
The fitness industry has become quite saturated with supplement companies, and even more so with ambassadors all trying to get a piece of the fame. While there is nothing wrong with wanting social media exposure or partnering up with a supplement brand, I do think it is very important to be aligned to the values of the product you are endorsing to your network.
A couple of years ago I was signed with a large company in the industry, I believed in their product and had been using their supplements for years. I remember the first time I ever went to Popeye’s Supplement store and bought my first huge haul of bodybuilding supplies - pre workout, bcaa’s, protein powder - everything was from this one company, and it was amazing to experience the full circle and become the face of their brand!
Things changed for me once I enrolled in school for Holistic Nutrition. I learned a LOT, to say the least, and after the knowledge I had acquired I could no longer be partnered up with any company I did not share the same core values with. I refused to put these industry products into my body, let alone take a picture by it to sell to others - NO way. I don’t care how much exposure, money, or opportunity is offered; if I don’t believe in the product, there is no way I can sell it.
For the last 2 years that I’ve been in Holistic Nutrition, I’ve boycotted bodybuilding supplements altogether. I didn’t mean to, but it became exhausting trying to find products that were not filled with chemical dyes and accumulating carcinogens wreaking havoc on your nervous system. I find it insane, the amount of supplement companies that are on the market and supposedly here to benefit you, actually leave the consumer with more harm caused to their body than anything else. The good news is, recent studies like the Clean Label Project are buckling down on the supplement industry; carcinogens and heavy metal compounds like lead, mercury, cadmium, and even arsenic have been found in a range of products, especially protein powders. And please, don’t be fooled; whether or not you “feel fine” does not mean your body is fine! It’s only a matter of time before your body systems can no longer withstand abuse, so why not take action before it gets to that point?
Now I ask you to think about this in a different light, if your body system is constantly under this biological stress yet STILL continues to support your fitness efforts (..for now), just imagine the heights you could reach if you were actually supplementing with products that DON’T cause you any harm. Imagine supplementing with products that leave you nourished? As an IFBB Pro Fitness Athlete myself, I’m more than excited for my next show so I can experience the difference in how I look AND feel, knowing everything I do now! :)
As we speak, I’m currently on the hunt for products that have stood against the grain to provide ultimate health and nutrition to their consumers, but until then, I have no problem continuing on supplementing through nutrient dense foods.
Let's be honest here, I know no matter how hard we try we can never get away from the environment we have become accustomed to; chemicals are everywhere, and yes you can even argue that dyes are found in products ranging from makeup to tylenol. While you can make yourself crazy trying to “detoxify” your life, I made the conscious choice to always make the best decision I possibly can with the situation at hand. HOWEVER, there are some products I refuse to make exceptions for, and bodybuilding supplements are one of them. As a pro athlete, this is something I (want to) frequently use, and as a practicing Holistic Nutritionist I will not make the exception to allow these unnecessary harmful substances into my body.
As the hunt continues, I want to leave you with one important message in an overly saturated industry where so many are quick to endorse, but not always for the right reasons: