T Nation

Who Takes Little or No Supplements?


How many of you exercise (or have exercised) without using supplements? I’m personally extremely cash strapped and so only have my protein and creatine. When this lot runs out, there’ll be no more for a while.

I’m curious as to what your experiences have been going without supplements, or with a very basic small stash. Is it a major or minor detriment to progress? Etc etc.

Go …

Honestly, not that major. Most supplements are food products anyway. It will definitly be more inconvenient for you, but you can still make progress.

I don’t take supplements. I have taken supplements at various times

If it’s for the sake of bodybuilding or performance and not just a hobby or something to do after work, it’s expensive and kind of pointless not to use supplements. It’s likely to take longer to reach a goal, requires more food, more variation of food, and is actually more expensive.

Most non steriod and ph supplements are concentrations of nutrients you get in food. You just can’t get those concentrations unless you had 50 stomachs, so for example eating 50 hamburgers a day is much more expensive then buying a tub of creatine protein. Or eating 5 salmon portions to get 5 mg of omega 3. I generally gain more fat when gaining muscle, because the foods tend to have more fat then say a protein shake.

Not using supplements is not that bad though, you can still get stronger gain muscle lose fat and all that just not like using supplements. I don’t really lose strength or conditioning when not taking supplements regardless of what I eat. Versus some of the strength losses of seen when people stop taking supplements even the lower rep counts with not drinking coffee one day.

I’ve gone with nothing at all for extended periods of time, and made good gains. I’d get home from the gym and just eat a huge meal of whatever my parents cooked (was in high school at the time.) I think that supplements are really convenient, and some of them do great things, but you can make excellent progress for a long time with none at all.

I’ve tried many supplements but I rarely continue use after sampling them because most don’t really seem to do enough to justify the cost.

Don’t sweat it. I’ll bet you won’t even notice a difference in your progression without supplements

Depends what…

Protein and carb powder are GREAT post workout… so they are there for sure… Creatine off and on… Glutamine if I can afford it… and food… that’s it…

I dont use supps because in here they are rly expensive…Its a lot more conveniet to use food.:slight_smile:

Supplements aren’t magic, but they can make things easier.

For example, sometimes it’s a lot easier to down a protein shake that cook chicken breasts.

In many cases, it’s a little less expensive to use protein powder over quality meats, anyway, not that you should overdo it.

Then again, if you’re living with your parents, take advantage of all the free food they are willing to provide. Things will change when you’re on your own and busy with a career and family.

When I first got into lifting at about 26 years of age and after reading up on proper training, nutrition, and supplementation, I laid an agenda focusing on three things.

  1. Big Compound movements ala Squat, Deads, Bench, and Shoulder pressing, Rowing, and Chins.

  2. Proper nutrient and calorie consumption i.e. eating to facilitate repair and growth from my lifting.

  3. Proper supplementation to work symbiotically with my nutrition to enhance and further my gains from my regular eating and lifting regimen.

Now, I didn’t go apeshit and buy gorilla growth hormone advertised in the back of bodybuilding mags, but I did (after researching their quality) buy things like quality protein powders, creatine, natural test boosters, and prohormones. I still remember reaping some big benefits after adding in the above mentioned products and the effects of things like TRIBEX, MAG-10, Surge, when added into my program.

If supplements aren’t your thing fine, but don’t discount what quality supplements have done for many guys and gals who use them.


I’m not trying to jock on the guy or speak for him, but I’m pretty sure Proffesor X has mentioned on several accounts he made all of his gains through college and shit not on supplements, so…


True enough, supps are just another component of good training.
I think you’re gains won’t suffer too much though, as long as you’re diets in check and you can improvise a bit. Make sure you always eat directly after lifting, I usually go for a glass of milk and a banana or whatever.

Trust me, ya won’t die without supps. I made gains when my idea of a PWO meal was a beer, a platterful of sushi, and a banana-ice cream shake was my late-night meal.

Granted, I got fat fast and had to re-evaluate my ways in like a month… But yes, you can make good progress without supps is what I’m trying to say.