What Supplements Should I Be Taking?
If you’re a workout junkie like myself, you’re likely taking some kind of supplement or at least you’re thinking about it. There’s a whole galaxy of supplements out there with a wide variation in quality and pricing. Some of it works great and some of it is a waste of money.
In this post, I’ll tell you what supplements I’m using and offer some advice if you’re looking to blow some cash on supplements to get an edge on your training.
First and foremost, start with a high quality protein. I like the 100% Natural Gold Standard whey protein from Optimum Nutrition, which you can buy at most vitamin shops. There are plenty of good proteins out there, but I look for the ones with a minimum of weird ingredients, and I prefer a protein that has a minimum of dairy and soy.
Another option is a complex, which is basically a mix of protein, BCAAs, Glutamine, and a few other things you need to maximize recovery and growth. I recommend the Pro Complex by Optimum Nutrition. The 4.4 lbs bottle is about $70.
I never took a pre-workout until this year and now I swear by them. Yes, these are the weird concoctions that get you super pumped up and intense to smash weight in the gym. If you get a good pre, it can be amazing. You’ll feel like you’re in another gear and everyone else is standing still. If you get a cheap one, you’ll feel cracked out and nauseous. Select these carefully.
I’m a huge fan of N.O. XP3 by Forzaone, which is a Nitric Oxide blend that really works. I’ve been crushing workouts with this stuff and I don’t feel cracked out or jittery at all. It has a minimum of caffeine and other cheap stimulants. XP3 is pricey though, $70 for a bottle, and you can only buy it at Vitamin Shop last I checked.
If you’re looking for a good pre that’s cheaper and easier to obtain, try Hyper FX by BSN. You can get a bottle for around $25 online, it doesn’t crack you out, and it’s effective. The watermelon flavor is delicious.
To maximize muscle growth, consider adding a BCAA powder to your mix. These are good to take in the morning with a shake. I use the BCAA powder from Optimum Nutrition.
Glutamine is an amino acid and essential for muscle recovery. Again, I take this in powder form with my post-workout protein shake. If I’m going through an intense training period, I always add glutamine to my supplement stack.
Fish Oil sounds totally weird, but it works. High quality fish oil will reduce body inflammation and help you recover faster from tough workouts. I think this stuff is pretty much required if you train every day like I do. I take an actual fish oil, like a liquid from a bottle, that is pretty disgusting but it gets the job done.
I haven’t tried these yet, but a bunch of my friends supplement with Animal Paks, which are pill packs comprised of a combination of mineral complexes, enzymes, essential fatty acids, and other cool stuff. You can find these for about $26 for a 44-count online. Body builders and power lifters swear by Animal Paks. The drawback is you’re eating 8 pills in one sitting, which totally sucks.
I have some other CrossFit friends who buy ProAnox pill packs, which are supposedly all natural and very effective. The big drawback is they cost a whopping $99 (!!) for a 60-count. That’s way too rich for my blood. If you’ve got the cheddar, give a shot though.
There are a million other supplements you can try. If you wanted to you could blow half a grand a month stacking all of this stuff together. What I recommend is starting with a good protein and a good pre, then slowly adding in additional supplements and experimenting with how they affect you. Always use caution, read the labels, and consult a doctor first.
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About Lance Lance is a tech geek by day, social artist and fitness enthusiast by night. He specializes in relationships in real life situations, such as workplace and in business, and his goal is to create high value social circles filled with opportunity. For more on his dating and relationship perspective, check out his blog honeyandlance.com