First, let me preface this entire post with the fact that supplements, whereas I find some of them beneficial, are not necessary for everyone.
Do you need supplements if you’re eating a perfectly balanced diet where you get all of your nutrient needs? No. Have I ever met someone that has a perfectly balanced diet where they get all their nutrient needs? No.
The results you so desperately desire cannot be found in a bottle or a jar. Results are earned through your determination, execution and dedication. There is no magic pill. There is no special ingredient. Not all supplements work. In fact, most supplements are downright bullshit and a scam to just get your money. I’d like to think that you already knew that though. Let’s face it. If supplements really worked the way that they advertise them to then we would all be walking around with six packs or be able to bench press a semi-truck. It doesn’t work that way people. Nothing takes the place of hard work. No pills, no powders.
I recommend that you check out the post titled Don’t Listen To Magazines after you finish reading my take on supplements. It sums up how fitness magazines are a fraud because the majority of them are owned by supplement companies and just want to sell you loads of bad information. You might find it somewhat eye opening.
Now, let’s move on to what I really wanted to write about.
I get a lot of e-mails and messages asking me what kind of supplements I take or which ones I recommend. Well, let’s put that question to bed and derive a list of supplements that I have taken, how/if they worked and my thoughts. Keep in mind that this is based on my experiences with the products not someone else’s. It is not based on opinions or what I have read about them from research.
Also I’d like to clarify something due to the negativity towards supplements in my opening statement. The supplements I take I find very beneficial to many aspects of my health and training. There are certain things in supplements that you just don’t and can’t get from eating just whole foods. This is why I supplement. I want something more.
My breakdown of my current supplement stack, products I’ve taken that work and the supplements of shame that you shouldn’t waste your time on after the jump. Meaning, hit Read More to get to the good stuff.
- Supplements I Take
Necessary? Possibly not. Am I going to chance it? No. It’s a simple enough way for me to ensure that I’m getting enough of essential vitamins and minerals. Stay away from the gummy ones as they actually have a caloric content and a form of sugar with them.
No explanation necessary. Personally, I have found that I have a very high-tolerance to caffeine so I take more than recommend dosages.
Ideal for getting sufficient amounts of protein in your diet. The biggest benefit is convenience.
High doses showed drastic and acute reductions in inflammation and even reduction in body weight. Whether that was due to water or fat loss I’m unsure of. Maintaining a good omega-3:omega-6-ratio is important and we get too much of the latter. The list for why omegas are incredibly beneficial is very long. Take it.
Emerging scientific evidence suggests that people don’t get enough vitamin D to function optimally. The newfound interest for this vitamin and it’s potential benefits was actually featured in New York Time’s Top Ten List of medical breakthroughs in 2007. Here’s a good (and free) full-text paper on vitamin D’s role in health and disease. Moreover, vitamin D may boost strength and athletic performance. 2000 IU/day is a conservative and safe dosage, but some people use considerably higher doses without any negative implications.
Increases fat excretion and boosts testosterone. That’s great stuff and we obviously want our calcium intake in the optimal range. Adding a 500-750 mg tablet to your daily diet will usually do the trick. If you get enough calcium through your diet, there’s no need to supplement it.
One of the only supplements proved and backed by tons of scientific research to work. Elevates muscle creatine contents to increase performance and also may increase muscle growth. I do suffer a bit of water bloat when I take it, but it’s completely worth it. I highly suggest you to read more about creatine here.
- Supplements Not Currently Taking, But Worked
Increased heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, better breathing and acted as an appetite suppressant when taken alongside caffeine..
I take it as a sleep aid. Helped to create a sensation of sleepiness when taken near bed. Also to help muscle building and recovery times. Helps to get the essential nutrients zinc and magnesium into the diet.
Dietary fiber. Essential, in my mind, for anyone following a very low carbohydrate diet.. or at least some other sort of fiber supplement. Must hydrate well on a regular basis to avoid water retention when supplementing.
Great for energy, recovery, stress management and mood elevation. Seems to help restore tolerance of other supplements also. The vikings actually used to take it as they felt it upped their performances in battle. It has been around since then. If it’s good enough for vikings then it’s good enough for me.
Nitric Oxide - White Flood
This supplement is what I’ve taken as a pre-workout pump. It’s a nitric acid based supplement with no BCAA, as I have used Purple Wraath for that. Energy, mental focus, pump and antioxidant support. There are tons, and I mean TONS, of great ingredients in White Flood. Another bonus is that I don’t get the jitters from it like I have from other pre-workouts. No longer taking any sort of pre-workouts. however. I found that I can get just as good of a pump from caffeine and any form of carbs and protein ingested pre-workout.
BCAA, Beta-alanine - Purple Wraath
I first read about it from Martin Berkhan via Leangains. The two major kicks I get when having taken Purple Wraath is BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) and beta-alanine. It seems to aid a bit with intra-set recovery and muscle endurance in the higher rep ranges.
Also, by ingesting BCAA pre-workout, we can sidestep the increased protein breakdown of fasted training while still reaping the benefits of the increased anabolic response. Not only that, BCAA actually increase phosphorylation of p70s6k when ingested in the fasted state prior to training. So by training fasted, with BCAA intake prior to sessions, we get a double whammy of increased p70s6k phosphorylation that should create a very favorable environment for muscle growth in the post-workout period. It will still garnish some results without using when only fasted, but should really be taken pre-workout.
BCAAs are not necessary for everyone especially those not training fasted and/or with an adequate protein intake from a variety of sources. Most whey protein products have BCAAs included in them.
Now, when it comes to beta-alanine, which gives me tingles in my face when I take it. This amino acid is also availabe as a stand-alone supplement; and as such has shown to boost exercise performance. The study summarizes the effect as “beta-alanine…have demonstrated improvements in performance during multiple bouts of high-intensity exercise and in single bouts of exercise lasting more than 60 s.” So it won’t improve your maximal strength, but anaerobic threshold and time to exhaustion will be enhanced. This may be particularily useful for CrossFit-practitioners and those training with kettlebells.
Marketed as a supplement used for muscle growth in weightlifting, bodybuilding, endurance, and other sports. Evidence indicates that glutamine when orally loaded may increase plasma HGH levels by stimulating the anterior pituitary gland. I can’t for certain say that I see the effects personally. It’s definitely not my biggest priority in my supplement stack, however.
- Supplements I Don’t Take
Sleep aid. I found it did not work in small doses and made me feel horribly drugged in larger ones. This is a big stay away for me personally.
Testosterone booster. Give me a break. I only found it increased the size of my man boobs when I was overweight and took it. The moobs decreased and went back to normal once off the product. Stay away from over the counter test boosters.
Basically a “natural” fat burner from teas, caffeine and rhodiola rosea. Didn’t see effects like I have from taking the components of the supplement by themselves.
Fat Burners - Hydroxycut, Xenadrine, Hot Roxx
I have taken them all. You name a fat burner and I tried it when I was overweight. I do not recommend them at all. The only thing that I can say they did without a shadow of a doubt is to make my stomach feel funny, increase my heart rate and suppress my appetite some. They are not magic pills and they don’t do anything special outside of what caffeine, green tea, rhodiola rosea or ephedrine do. Stay away.
- kil87 likes this
- smashbase likes this
- wilddcs reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- norcalshakers likes this
- innovatorxer0 likes this
- crossfitblogs reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- detroit-lions-leetorre reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- chlorellasupplements reblogged this from crossfit-finesse
- brittanesworkoutlog likes this
- sincerely-insignificant likes this
- coolfatkid reblogged this from aesthethc
- aesthethc reblogged this from thespartanwarrior and added:
- beardykraken likes this
- fitnessmostly likes this
- rebuild-yourself reblogged this from crossfit-finesse
- rikardomachio likes this
- crossfit-finesse reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- fuckyeahfinnybear likes this
- fitoldman likes this
- centaursimon likes this
- livethebackcountrylife likes this
- indayiskariray reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- elvisarias likes this
- mariannlouise likes this
- slushiie reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- eat-rice-first likes this
- nortsandjackrogers reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- losingmass likes this
- openbookrob likes this
- stuckfcuk likes this
- izzytheman likes this
- jackmoff likes this
- 98byseptember reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- visual-incontinence likes this
- thedarkchocolatedandy likes this
- zuo19 reblogged this from the-mountain-man
- kwgbold likes this
- inittowin reblogged this from thespartanwarrior
- humanatease likes this
- lunefleurs likes this
- kyliefrost likes this
- thespartanwarrior posted this