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By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

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In short my answer to the question, “Are supplements really necessary?” Is YES, they are. But there are few things we need to think about before going out and spending your fortune on the latest “Body Building stack.”

First of all, supplements need is based on the requirements of athletic performance, so you get the most out of your body and your training. Secondly, you need to understand what the word supplement means, what you are taking and why you are taking it.


The word supplements means “to add an element to something else to complete or enhance it.” But generally speaking, all the energy, nutrients and minerals we need for our body to function will come from our food. Ensuring not only we eat enough energy to perform, but that we eat the best quality and type of energy to get the best results from our training. The world of supplementation is a profound and diverse one, therefore we will take a look at the best supplements to help improve performance.

Considering that we get all of our nutrition from the food we eat, then we will only look at taking supplements if we cannot fulfil our nutritional requirements from our daily intake of food or if our body is producing inadequate amounts of a particular hormone. For example, many individuals will struggle to maintain their desired daily intake of protein through their food. Therefore, a protein supplement would be necessary to ensure they reach their required daily goal.

Below are my recommendations on supplements that support general physical performance, and increase results in all forms of training to improve your fitness.

Fish Oil

We all hear about this supplement, but do we really know why we need it? Our bodies are able to make most of the fats that we need, but this is not true for Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA – EPA).We need to supplement these fats through our diet (eg.eating fish) or a good quality Fish oil supplement. The studies are broad and varied on this supplement, but the benefits include improved brain function, increased weight loss, as well as better joint health, and the list goes on. Knowing we must supplement our Omega 3s, then it is highly advisable to obtain a good quality supplement and start using it as soon as possible.


BCAA stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids, which are essential for all athletes who wish to preserve valuable lean muscle tissue, especially when working in high-intensity environments or endurance events where muscle breakdown is a huge factor. BCAAs are the building blocks of lean muscle tissue (L-Leucine, L-Glutamine, L-Isoleucine, and L-Valine) so taking a quality BCAA supplement both INTRA-WORKOUT and POST WORKOUT can assist in preserving muscle and improving recovery for all your workouts.


Protein is an essential part of our Macros daily caloric intake, and it is proven that many individuals struggle to meet the daily intake required to both sustain strong, healthy muscles and continue to grow stronger. Although there are many protein-rich foods on the market, it is sometimes difficult to obtain the required amount. Therefore, a wholesome good quality organic protein supplement can be vital in your supplement plan. This product ensures you maximise results in your training, specifically relating to strength and building strong, healthy muscles.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a supplement that we don’t usually regard highly in supplement plans. But, it is critical in the maintenance of strong, healthy bones. As an athlete, this supplement is vital to maintaining a healthy bone structure and ensures you grow stronger. Plus, Vitamin D ensures your skeletal makeup can sustain muscle mass, it is also very useful for injury prevention and to reduce your risk of serious injury (broken bones).


Magnesium is another supplement with various benefits including stress relief, improving muscle and nerve function and improves relaxation, i.e., better quality sleep. Magnesium is crucial in regulating electrolytes which can be affected by large training volumes through sweating etc. A good quality magnesium supplement can be essential in any athlete’s supplement plan.


Electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and calcium. Muscle contractions require these three essential electrolytes to function. Therefore, low electrolyte levels will lead to weak muscles and rapid fatigue. Using an electrolyte tablet in your fluids during and after exercise can ensure adequate replenishment and hydration during and post workout.

So there you have it, some of the foundation supplements that can assist you in your training to improve performance. Remember these are only recommendations due to deficiency or inadequate amounts consumed through your diet. Always prioritise your nutrition to be of the highest quality to get what you need. Also, consult your local doctor if you believe that you may be deficient in any of the above minerals or electrolytes. A simple blood test can determine just exactly what that looks like.

Lastly, remember health comes first, and to train smarter, not harder for better results.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.


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