Do You Know Your Supplements?


With so many workout supplements available on the market today, it can be difficult to wrap your head around it all.  APN took the time to meet with Bret Bayer, sales representative at GNC, to find out his thoughts on supplements.  


APN: How long have you been involved in fitness, and when did you start using supplements?

Bayer: “Ninth grade is when I started; I was working out for football.  I started out with proteins and pre-workouts back then, so that was about six or seven years ago.  I was lifting for a few months, but then I got into the protein soon after that.”


APN: Which supplements do you use? How often?

Bayer: “The ones I always use are definitely whey protein, post-workout.  I change it up; I like different flavors, a couple different brands.  Other than that, I use pre-workouts, BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) and multivitamins.  I’ll dabble into other stuff, too, but that’s mostly it.”


APN: Which product do you sell most here in the store, and why do you think that is?

Bayer: “It kind of depends on the season.  Now we’re getting into the beach season, so people are like, ‘Oh I need a fat burner.’  If we’re in August or September, then it’s bulking season, so people come in and get mass gainers.  Generally though, I’d say pre-workout is probably the most sold.  It varies between brands because we get a lot of new products, so it can change in a few months.  It’s mostly word of mouth; people are like, ‘Oh I heard about this; it’s good.’


APN: Is there a “must have” supplement regardless of what your fitness goals are?

Bayer: “I think it’d probably be protein and multivitamins.  That’s just general nutrition stuff that’s not specific to any goals.”


APN: What are your thoughts on “all natural” lifting with no supplements?

Bayer: “I mean you can definitely get by.  There are supplements in your diet. So if you can stay in line with your diet, which I know I personally can’t, but there are people that can, then I’d say go for it.”


APN: How can smoking and drinking affect your progress?

Bayer: “I guess it depends what you do. If you go out and have a drink or a couple drinks one night, then you’re probably fine. If you’re doing any of that heavily, it’s going to affect your health either way. If you’re trying to put on muscle or lose weight, then your body is trying to adapt to that, and throwing drugs or alcohol at it can really break down your immune system. You can get sick. It can basically do the opposite of what you’re trying to do.”


APN: What supplements would you recommend to somebody who wants to get into working out but never has before?

Bayer: “Whey protein, for sure.  That’s usually where I start. If they’re looking for pre-workouts, which is a popular thing, then I’ll talk to them about their energy levels.  If they do or don’t drink a lot of coffee, then I’ll basically base my pre-workout recommendation on that.”


Supplements can be confusing for anybody wanting to work out regardless of his or her fitness goals.  Not only are they confusing, but they can be very expensive too.  Consider doing some of your own research to find out what supplements you really need.  If you still feel unsure or overwhelmed, go to your local GNC  or another supplement retailer and talk to a representative.  That person can tailor your shelf to give you the perfect combination of supplements and get you on track to a fitter, healthier you.  

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