With more than 60 billion US dollars pouring into the supplement industry…how do you ensure your money is working for you?!
Stop making emotional decisions based on that shredded half naked Instagram or sports star selling his/her weight loss supplements. Start basing your decisions and spending your money on educated decisions rooted in scientific research and reason. Be an educated consumer.
Don’t over complicate it. If you’re a beginner to the world of weight lifting…you don’t need supplements to maximize your training. Instead, focus on ensuring you’re consuming the appropriate amount of calories (then protein, carbohydrates, and fat) to reach your goals.
Even if you’re a vet in the gym. Your priority should still be on caloric intake, macronutrients, micronutrients, nutrient timing, and then introduce supplements. Save your money. Maximize your efforts in the gym through proper intake of nutrients before you start introducing supplements into your routine.
So, you say you’re ready to amp up your program with supplements?
What, When, and WHY?!
Below are the supplements I use that may help you…and why! If you have any questions on what I do/don’t take…
please email me here.
This supplement should support the ultimate goal: optimal daily protein intake. If you’re struggling to achieve 0.8-1.2g/lb bodyweight in protein, this supplement is for you!
Whey or Casein or Plant Based? What differentiates these proteins from one another is their essential amino acid profile. Whey protein has the highest content of Leucine, which makes it superior to casein and other plant based choices (the research agrees):
Cribb, P. J., Williams, A. D., Carey, M. F., & Hayes, A. (2006).
Volek, J. S., Volk, B. M., Gómez, et al (2013).
When? Evenly distributing your protein intake across each of your meals/snacks is ideal for promoting protein synthesis (muscle building/recovery) throughout your day. To maximize recovery post-workout, take 20-30g with a high glycemic carbohydrate.
There are hundreds of studies proving the efficacy of this product.
Creatine is deprived from glycine, arginine, and methionine and stored mostly in muscle tissue.
What does it do? Increases intramuscular creatine and phosphocreatine (PCr) levels by up to 25%
What does that mean? Boosts anaerobic performance, may help recovery between sets
When? Pre/post workout
Loading phase (20-25g/day for 5 days followed by 25 day maintenance period of 3-5g
OR 3-5g/day for 28 days
In addition to great taste, your cup of jo may pack more magical properties than you’re aware of. Caffeine is found naturally in leaves, nuts, seeds, and pants.
What does it do? Acts through central nervous activation and boost performance in endurance and high-intensity exercise
Dose: 150- 300mg
When? 30-60 minutes pre workout
2 hours of cycle exercise.
Caffeine ingestion increases power output by 7.3% (Ivy et al., 1979)
1500 m swim time
23 seconds faster if you take caffeine (MacIntosh and Wright, 1995)
100 m sprint swimming
250 mg of caffeine increased max anaerobic power by 7% (Anselme et al. 1992)
Sprint work performed– Caffeine trial was 7.6% to 8.5% greater.
(Schneiker Schneiker, K.T., et al. , 2006)
What is it? Branched Chain Amino Acids are three essential amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine that must be consumed through diet.
Why are they so important? BCAAs (especially Leucine) help stimulate muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle protein breakdown.
Who do I recommend it for? Consuming BCAAs will be more important for a frequent weight lifter, someone on a low-carb diet (weight-loss phase), or someone training in a fasted state.
When should I take them?
Pre workout: Taking 6-10 grams of BCAAs before your workout can lead to less soreness and a quicker recovery time (Shimomura, Y., Inaguma, A., Watanabe, S., et al. 2010)
Intra (during) workout: BCAAs are broken down so they can be used as an energy source (Shimomura, Y., Murakami, T., Nakai, N.et al 2004)
Conclusion: BCAAs can aid in recovery, reduce/delay fatigue, improve performance (especially when exercising in a fasted state).
Multi vitamin + Fish Oils
Ideally, taking in all optimal levels of all nutrients would be done through whole foods. However…this is less likely when food intake is lower (calorie deficit/weight-loss phase).
Even when intake is higher, it is better to be safe than sorry (and fall short of what your body needs to function optimally) and take your multi and fish oil. Its the best insurance policy.
Why? Fish oil is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in an anti-inflammatory response. This response may help reduce fatigue and improve recovery post-workout. When paired with BCAAs and carbs, the response may aid in protein synthesis.
Jouris, K. B., McDaniel, J. L., & Weiss, E. P. (2011).
McDonald, C., Bauer, J., & Capra, S. (2012).
Smith, G. I., Atherton, P., Reeds, D. N., et al (2011).
The listed supplements are all products that I personally take daily and would recommend others to prioritize. I do not take other popular products such as: L-carnitine, beta alanine, citrulline malate, glutamine, etc… but if you have questions, feel free to email me!
I’d love to hear from you.