I only complain about supplements because I feel a regular diet that is supplemented with additional carbohydrate and protein along with water after a workout is beneficial to recovery and regeneration. What I still don't get is that everything taken into the body and imported into the lymphatic and blood systems has to be broken down first to be absorbed and why importance is placed on what type of fat or sugar you put into your system. A regular dietary fat i don't care if it's lard, butter, olive oil, etc… It's broken down to it's basic components for absorption into those systems. Pre Comp/Workout and Post Comp/Workout suggest 2 different types of sugars to be used as a replenishment based on how fast they breakdown and the subsequent insulin response. The sugars found in fruits is the same as found in sugar cane, the carbs in wheat flour versus white flour are relatively the same with the exception being the amount of dietary fiber. A person can get adequate amounts of fiber from other sources, including supplements. I know all proteins are not made the same but again they are broken down by pepsin into their respective amino acids. I think the biggest problems are the diet is not balanced enough with respects for the demands of activity (eating too much or too little) and/ or not enough carbohydrate or protein to support regeneration/recovery or to fuel the activity properly. This pretty much sums up too much fat in the diet compared to carbohydrates and proteins. The satiety experienced by eating too much fat, can decrease calorie consumption a reason why the Atkins Diet works to lose weight initially, but as usual the body can adapt to such feelings and override those feelings over time and those people ultimately gain weight, because the amount of food that used to make them feel full no longer does. Wow, that leads us to another simple principle that is valid in training as well, that is of variation. You can still derive the same basic quantities of nutrients needed when varying the meals you eat, just like you can add variety to a workout, but keep the specific physiological responses the same. To me it's an amazing simple concept.
Therefore I view supplementation as just that, but many athletes and people don't. It should be used as a way to augment needs when other available means are not an option.
Sorry Carl, but I had to rant on this topic after I ate 50 shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic with carbohydrate to speak of in the meal and I am now paying the price, because I knew better.