No supplement for hard work

Story and Photos by: Spc. Lisa A. Cope
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Stores on Joint Base Balad, Iraq, carry products promising to help consumers lose weight or gain muscle, using words such as explosive, massive, premium, super and advanced to market their product as the best.

These supplements are neither food nor drug and therefore not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which Col. Richard C. Wahl, command surgeon for the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said concerns him.

“The reason for my concern with muscle-building supplements is, in general, you don’t know exactly what you are getting,” said Wahl, a Fountain, Colo., native.

Lt. Justin M. Hyde, dietician for the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Support Squadron, said diet adjustments are more cost-effective and usually yield better results than taking supplements.

A jar of peanut butter can be as effective in providing calories and protein as a jar of protein powder, said Hyde, a Minneapolis, Minn., native.

Wahl said he had a similar opinion about the use of protein supplements.

“I think the end result is about the same,” said Wahl. “When you eat a bunch of (protein) powder you get it slightly quicker. When you eat a bunch of beef you get it slightly tastier.”

Instead of taking supplements, simply consuming caffeine before a workout can provide athletes with more energy, which leads to improved performance, said Hyde.

“If you are trying to lose weight, you really don’t need any supplements,” he said.

Capt. Vanessa A. Vanden Bout, the sexual assault response coordinator for the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, and a level one certified CrossFit trainer, said hard work is the answer to achieving personal fitness goals.

Vanden Bout quoted 1984 Olympic champion runner Evelyn Ashford in reference to her own fitness:

“Whatever muscles I have are the product of my own hard work and nothing else.”


news photo
Airman 1st Class Corey A. Menhart does ring dips during his daily workout Sept. 8 at the H-6 Fitness Center at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Lisa A. Cope)