First is first: Supplements should never be taken in EXCHANGE of something else!
Supplements (as the name suggests) should only 'supplement' your nutrition program/diet/eating habits. In other words, meal replacement shakes are bogus for the everyday individual let alone an athlete or someone participating in regular physical activity.
Supplements used correctly can be beneficial and in some cases vital to ensure athletes meet the nutritional requirements that their training and lifestyle demands ⚽️🏉🏋🏻♀️🚴🏼♂️
Many believe however that unless you are an elite athlete, supplements are completely unnecessary and you should be able to get everything you need from a balanced diet.
Although the 'perfectly balanced' diet does exist, I don't know a single person or athlete that has the time ⏰ money 💰 knowledge 📚and patience 🙏🏼 to practice it. Therefore, the correct use of supplements allows us to live in the 'real world' and still get everything we need in terms of vitamins and minerals.
At a basic level humans simply do not consume enough protein. Diets chock full of insulin spiking quick sugars and carbohydrates are often the replacement. Whether you are an elite athlete or just someone looking to improve their general health and fitness, a quality protein supplement is almost a must!
I could go on forever about preworkouts, fat burners, creatine, multi vitamins etc but the take home message is this: There are plenty of dietary supplements that are either a waste of money, ineffective or completely unnecessary. Do your homework. Seek medical advice. Don't take the marketing spin on a product as the bible and if you are an athlete, be sure to check your substances and follow the appropriate governing bodies guidelines.
Remember supplements are there to SUPPLEMENT your diet not BE your diet!