Recently, someone made a comment comparing me to GNC employee. I have to admit I did not respond with my inside voice, but this is what I should have said...
As a Sports Nutritionist I am able to recommend specific dosages and closely monitor my clients training and dietary habits to make changes through the process of season or sport. Anyone can walk into a health food store or supplement store and be hired. I know this because I walked into a supplement store during my undergrad and was hired. I did not yet have the degrees, certifications, and training that I now have today.
Sports Nutritionists are different from the employees at GNC because they have had years of school and training to make individualized recommendation for their clients success. I would not recommend that any average athletes, or most of my clients, be taking creatine, BCAAs, or any herbal supplements. Taking many at the same time supplements can be dangerous. I would never recommend taking anything in addition to these because we don't understand the contraindications of taking several herbs together. Until there are properly conducted studies showing the safety of these herbs, I know better than to be recommending any of them. The safety of my clients is more important then possibly increasing performance. I truly with that health store employees cared more for the safety of the public than the commission of the sale.
I generally do not recommend any supplements for the average athletes. They are unregulated and expensive, and quite frankly the average athlete does not require supplementation to maximize their performance, diet will do that on its own. Supplements can be appropriate for extreme endurance athletes. Most people do not need to be taking protein powder or BCAAs, or anything. The first thing I do with a client is take them off of all supplements. I worked in the vitamin and supplement industry and I have seen maybe a handful of trustworthy companies that have third party testing on their products. Supplements are unnecessary and can be dangerous. No one needs to be taking ginseng or ashwagandha or high doses of vitamin C. The average strength and power athlete can get everything they need from food.
In fact, I do not believe that any supplement or herb is a must for a strength and power athlete (the person who compared me to a GNC employee was a bodybuilder). A higher protein diet designed specifically for that client and timed to their training schedule is a must for my strength and power athletes. I understand a knowledge of dietary supplements is part of being a Sports Nutritionist, but it is not the only part. Supplements are never 'a must' unless their is a deficiency that food cannot correct.
Wow it feels good to write that out. I feel much more up-beet!