There’s a lot of confusion…
…especially when it comes to nutritional supplementation.
There’s confusion among consumers as well as “scope of practice” confusion among health professionals.
After 30 years of marketing super-premium private label supplements to some of the top health professionals in the world, I’ve heard most of it. So, I hope to address a few major issues surrounding nutritional supplements and dosage protocol.
Most People Don’t Know Much About Supplements
Most people don’t take the time to study up on nutrition, much less nutritional supplementation and appropriate application.
Instead, they typically count on us (fitness professionals) for advice. Or, friends who have no idea what they’re talking about!
If you’re interested in marketing and selling your own brand of nutritional supplements, then, allow me to share with you a PRACTICAL APPROACH toward nutritional supplementation based on our particular line of formulations.
This is the protocol set forth by the team of biochemists, technicians and athletes who formulated this specific line.
But, it could apply to any super-premium, high quality line of nutritional supplements.
Also, it’s an “applied application” protocol.
That means it was developed for a particular segment or purpose.
In this case, athletes and advanced fitness enthusiasts who are already eating a nutritious menu.
It’s a good baseline discussion since we, just like YOU, maintain a “FOOD FIRST” philosophy.
Start with a good MULTI-VITAMIN / MINERAL COMPLEX
Based on numerous research studies, the first step in any supplement strategy is to START with a good multi-vitamin / mineral complex as the very first protocol.
Yup, before protein. Before meal replacement shakes. Before any other supplement.
When our nutrition line was developed, the Multi-Vitamin / Mineral complex was considered the “Ground Floor” or the foundation from which all else would be added as required.
It doesn’t matter how “clean” your clients eat.
If they are exercising regularly it’s almost a guarantee they are NOT getting the quality and quantity of nutrients needed for recovery.
It’s Not Just MUSCLE RECOVERY
The human body is a giant chemistry set that must recover and replenish all sorts of nutrients when put under physical stress.
Think about the early morning person who pops out of bed.
Then, powers down a cup of coffee and heads for the gym.
During the workout, he or she is sweating and drinking a lot of water.
So, in summary, this person starts the day with a diuretic (coffee).
Then, from strenuous exercise and sweating, has lost minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium as well as other micro nutrients like Vitamin D and Essential Fatty Acids.
And, from the earlier coffee and water consumption has totally flushed out all water soluble vitamins (all B-vitamins) during urination.
This person is way more than just glycogen depleted.
Sure, this person is probably going to eat directly after the workout.
But, will he or she consume enough recovery nutrients for tissue repair as well as chemical replenishment for other physiological functions?
I wouldn’t bet on it.
So, this is where a solid Multi-Vitamin / Mineral complex comes into play. It’s cheap insurance that nutritional gaps are being filled.
And, in our Multi-Vitamin / Mineral complex which contains digestive enzymes, it’s assisting in the breakdown, uptake and absorption of the food, itself.
So, whether a person is attempting to decrease body-fat on a weight-management program or train for an athletic event or work on a body builder’s physique — a multi-vitamin / mineral complex should be the very first item of the nutritional supplementation strategy.
The FORK in the ROAD….
From here… our formulations fork in two directions.
2. Muscle Gain
This isn’t to say that a person isn’t interested in both.
The process of changing body composition requires both a decrease in body-fat and an increase in lean tissue (muscle).
But, for the person interested in decreased body-fat there will be an automatic focus on “lipid transport” or products that enhance the “fat-burning” process.
On the other hand, for athletes and body builders interested in muscle gain and/or recovery, there will be an automatic focus on a different set of formulations.
Pre & Post Formulation Strategies
By the look on a client’s face, you’d think I was a “crack dealer” when I explain pre-and post-workout dosages.
I can almost hear a person thinking: “Oh my God… that’s an awful lot of pills!”
(FYI: These are the same people who think nothing of downing 3-4 cocktails during Happy Hour!)
For example, a 140 lb over-fat women (BF 34%) will typically take 3-4 Lipotropic Plus caplets about 30-minutes before a cardio workout (or any workout that puts her body into fat metabolism.)
She’ll be advised to drink plenty of water to help breakdown the formulation.
Lipotropic Plus is an emulsifier. It helps breakdown and transport fat through the bloodstream to the muscle tissue where it will eventually be burned as fuel (combustion).
But, fat-burning does not stop immediately after a workout.
The fat-burning process may continue for another 4 to 6 hours as the body’s metabolism remains elevated.
So, a post-workout dosage (3-4 more caplets) is warranted to continue with this efficient fat-burning process.
Yes, that’s right… 6-8 caplets total. Here’s a link to the spec sheet that goes into detail: —> CLICK HERE…
Simple Fat-Loss Protocol
In our product line, a person focused on fat-loss would follow this simple supplement strategy in this order:
- Multi-Vitamin /Mineral Complex (after meals and snacks) *
- Lipotropic Plus (pre / post workout) **
- Super L-Carnitine (pre / post workout) **
* Every day
** Only days when the workout puts the body into “fat metabolism” for at least 45-minutes or more
And, then, whatever other specialty formulations the client, nutritionist or physician deems beneficial such as Salmon Oil, Glucosamine, Co Q-10, etc.
Different Strokes for Muscle Gain / Tone
Not surprisingly, fitness enthusiasts, athletes and body builders lean toward formulations designed to assist in muscle gain, muscle repair and recovery.
Quite often their protocol is Pre- and Post-Workout, too.
Popular formulations include BCAAs, Creatine and Whey Protein starting 30-60 minutes before a workout or event.
It can get more complicated with caffeinated formulas, nitric oxide and others… but, for us, those products present too many risks and liabilities for most fitness professionals to offer their clients.
I’m not saying these products aren’t effective. But, as a business, we just don’t go there.
After the Basics
After the basics there are more specialized formulations like Glucosamine, Salmon oil, Flaxseed oil, Co Q-10, etc.
We call them “specialty products” because they serve a specific protocol or purpose.
For example, anyone taking a statin drug for cholesterol reduction, like Lipotor, Zocor or Crestor, should be supplementing their daily intake with Co Q-10.
In fact, most manufacturers of statins include the recommendation of Co Q-10 supplementation in their information packets.
That’s because statins inhibit the body’s own production of Co Q-10.
But, most people never learn of this.
Another example of a specialty formulation is Glucosamine for people who are suffering from joint stiffness or recovering from joint injury.
Again, it serves a specific purpose.
Scope of Practice…
This is where there’s a ton of confusion in our industry regarding “scope of practice.”
You, as a professional, unless qualified and certified as a dietitian, can NOT recommend any nutritional supplementation.
In fact, you can NOT make specific food recommendations, either (like… “eat 1/2 cup of broccoli because I said so” ).
Making specific recommendations toward specific foods, specific supplements, specific diets (Keto, Gluten Free, Paleo, etc.) exposes an uncertified professional to all kinds of liabilities and litigation should things go wrong.
However, what a health and fitness professional CAN OFFER is GUIDANCE toward foods, supplements and menu plans.
In the case of supplements, a client might ask, “Should I be taking supplements?”
A safe response would be, “That’s a personal choice. The best bet is to read up on nutritional supplements and decide if it’s for you. And, if you’re on any kind of medication, you should consult your doctor. Here… let me give you some informational handouts.”
Top professionals have all kinds of educational handouts ready for their clients. That’s why we provide spec sheets for all of our formulations. It allows the client to self-educate and make their own decisions.
This also relieves fitness professionals from any “scope of practice” issues whatsoever.
And, we’ve seen over and over again that self-education actually is the best sales process for repeat purchases once a client has made his or her own decisions.
Obviously, if you are displaying your own line of branded supplements, then, your clients certainly know where you stand on supplementation.
And, they know exactly what brand you recommend.
But, even here, you’re still best off providing them with informational handouts about your branded formulations rather than making a specific recommendation.
RULE OF THUMB: Guide them toward education — instead of offering a specific recommendation.
Ultimately, given the opportunity to self-educate, people will make pretty good decisions for themselves!
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