The Olympics have arrived! Late nights witnessing awesome feats of strength, speed and endurance. The products of hours of training and application. And according to the accompanying ads, the multivitamin supplement to get that gold medal edge!!
The premise being that if I buy the required amount of “boosters” or “essential” supplements I could have a crack at the 100m with Usain? Let’s put aside the hours of training, dedication to diet, mental fortitude, physical prowess and cold, hard talent. But we do! Because the advertising is good, and because we’re geared a little bit that way anyway (see here https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/thinking-with-your-emotions-about-medicine/ – disqus_thread)
These are the “magic bullets” or “1%ers” – no evidence base but could, somehow, maybe, be of benefit. And it’s funny how much the 1%ers can cost you! In elite sport, granted 1% may make a difference, but they get all this stuff for free! The top guys (some girls, but it is seriously male-dominated) get serious coin to promote these products, so that we go and buy them.
If we took that money, and made the time, and pumped it into healthy food, exercise, our mental wellbeing and evidence-based treatment for pain and injury, don’t you think we might be performing better anyway?
My current favourite is the pre-workout. A mixed bag of stimulants and other ingredients that enhance performance. What ingredients, how much, what energy system? Who knows? The guys selling you this stuff certainly don’t!
The magic bullet has been around in many forms for ages, but it has been called the same thing for a reason – it’s magic (ie non-existent). In medicine and health there are a million things that MIGHT make you feel better. From energy healing, to ultrasound, to some injections and even some common surgeries, if they are no better (if not worse!) than placebo, they do not deserve your attention, let alone your money. Aren’t you better spending your time and money on things that we KNOW make you feel, move and perform better. If there was a magic solution, it would just be the way. Everyone would use it, sell it and have ten at home.
The reason for the magic bullet is that the stuff that does work is harder, takes longer and requires effort and time. Good nutrition, moving and exercising regularly, strengthening and fitness and rehabilitation. And for Olympic athletes, training for 4 years often for one shot at it.
So if you want to get faster, stronger, fitter – train harder, smarter, with quality coaching
If you want to lose weight – get a professional to help you plan it out and guide you along
If you want to be more active – less time at the desk, more time moving
If you are in pain or injured – come and see us at Newcastle Performance Physio
And while you are watching the Olympics switch channels when the supplement ads come on. Or any time Bruce McAvaney opens his mouth.
Share on social media, especially with your friend who has told you you HAVE to try (insert magic bullet).
Until next time