Supplements vs Food information

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A balanced diet

A balanced diet
Source: Empower Network

We’re not saying you should, but would you really need to eat 51 Cheese triangles to get your daily fill of Micellar Casein protein? And can you afford 3 cups of caviar to keep topped up with Omega-3?

If you are serious about bulking up and achieving your fitness goals, you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. However, the Supplements vs Food infographic shows that in some situations, supplements may be a convenient alternative.

Here’s the information used for the Supplements vs Food infographic, and links to the data sources:

[table]Supplement,Maximum supplement dosage (daily)*,Food equivalent**, Suggested supplement,
Protein,165g,9 Chicken legs, Matrix Anabolic Protein Powder,
Creatine,20g,78 McDonald’s beef patties,Matrix Pure Hardcore Creatine Powder,
Micellar Casein,66g,51 Cheese Triangles,Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Casein
Caffeine,1000mg,13.333 Starbucks espressos,Matrix Pure Caffeine
Glutamine,3000mg,88 Raw spinach leaves,Matrix Pure L-Glutamine
Leucine,1500mg,3 large raw eggs,Matrix Leucine Tablets
Calcium,1500mg,2.2 pints of milk,Matrix Nutrition Multi-vits
Choline,800mg,2 large cauliflower heads,MET-Rx Xtreme Multi Vitamins
Cranberry,255mg,12.6 fresh cranberries,Labrada Charge Super Shots
CO Q10,90mg,100 blackcurrants,PharmaFreak Vita Freak
Echinacea,400mg,1600mg of Echinacea plant/root,
Folate,800mcg,97 raw Asparagus spears,Dymatize Super Multi Vitamins
Green Tea,900mg,12 cups green tea,USN CLA Green Tea
Ginkgo,128mg,6000mg Ginkgo leaves,Reflex Nutrition Gingko Biloba
Iron,15mg,3 x 324g blocks of Tofu,MET-Rx Xtreme Multi Vitamins
Magnesium,250mg,32 Raw spinach leaves,PhD Nutrition Catalyst-Multi Nutrient Matrix
Melatonin,6mg,131857 sour cherries,Labrada Tart Cherry
Niacin,100mg,275 small raw white mushrooms,Matrix Nutrition Multi-vits
Omega-3,3000mg,3 cups of caviar,Reflex Nutrition Omega 3
Selenium,200mcg,11.2 hard boiled eggs,MET-Rx Xtreme Multi Vitamins
St. John’s Wort,668mg,4676mg of St John’s Wort plant,
Vitamin A,2400mcg,16 medium carrots,MET-Rx Xtreme Multi Vitamins
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin),100mg,4 large jars of Marmite,Matrix Nutrition Multi-vits
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin),200mg,200 x 200g packs of brie,Dymatize Super Multi Vitamins
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid),500mg,250 avocados,Allmax VitaForm MultiVitamins
Vitamin B12,1000mcg,79 fillets salmon,MET-Rx Xtreme Multi Vitamins
Vitamin C,1000mg,12 oranges,Matrix Vitamin C
Vitamin D,25 mcg,22 oysters,Dymatize Super Multi Vitamins
Vitamin E,671mg,559 kiwi fruit,Allmax VitaForm MultiVitamins
Vitamin K,100mcg,3 brussel sprouts,MET-Rx Xtreme Multi Vitamins
Zinc,25mg,2.5 king crab legs,PhD Nutrition Catalyst-Multi Nutrient Matrix[/table]


Sport supplements should be used responsibly.  Here we’ve selected some popular supplements and given the food equivalent of the manufacturer’s maximum recommended daily dose.  

Before you take any dietary supplement, do make sure you consult with your GP, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions.  The Supplements vs Food infographic is a visual guide only, and not a recommendation that you consume the listed products in the quantities described.

Supplement dosage

The supplement maximum dosage figures included in the infographic are taken from supplement manufacturers’ websites.  We suggest you use NHS sources for the RDAs for any products or supplements you decide to take.

All food equivalents on the infographic were chosen because they contained an equivalent quantity of the given nutrient.

Some specific products were used to illustrate this point in a more visually interesting way.

For example, beef is known to contain high levels of creatine. We chose McDonald’s beef patties as a food equivalent because they are a well known beef product.

Creatine makes up 0.45% of beef. One McDonald’s beef patty weights 56.7g. So 1 McDonald’s beef patty contains 0.255g of creatine.

Therefore, to consume 20g of muscle building creatine, you would need to eat 78 beef patties***.

* The links in the ‘Maximum supplement dosage’ column, link to the data source.
** The links in the ‘Food equivalent’ column, link to the data source.
*** Nobody associated with Supplement Centre recommends eating 78 McDonald’s beef patties.

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