If you are trying to hit the protein and micronutrient requirements needed to build muscle (not to mention mitochondria, capillaries, connective tissue…), avoid anemia, etc., but also need to keep calories low enough to burn excess fat, are supplements simply a necessity?
Obviously it’s best to eat lots of whole foods, but the sheer amount of food I would have to eat to get ~100 grams of protein a day (~70 kg lean body mass X 1.5) just seems absurd to me. That’s over seven chicken thighs (800 kcal), something like 15 eggs (1000 calories), three liters of whole milk (1,900 calories). Never mind how much food I’d need to get just the iron, folate, and B12 needed to build RBCs.
On the other hand, multivitamins (theoretically) provide more or less 100% of micronutrient needs for essentially zero calories while whey protein is something like 533 calories for 100 grams protein.
Considering I have 10+ kg of excess body fat, I will need to maintain a reasonable calorie deficit for several months at a time to hit my goal weight.
Are supplements essentially mandatory for athletes, especially those in my situation?
Are multivitamins cheap insurance, or do they just make your pee expensive?
The idea of having to buy, cook, and eat so much food seems daunting compared to downing two or three whey shakes per day (which I actually enjoy the flavor of anyway) and then eating a normal balanced diet.