When it comes to supplements its very important to ensure you have all the basics in place first. When I say basics I mean diet, exercise, and sleep. Having those in place will see you get the most out of your efforts to build a better physique. Most supplement claims are nothing more than slick marketing and anyone making big claims you should be asking for big evidence before putting down your hard-earned money.
Supplements are a multibillion dollar industry and most of its funded by people buying supplements trying to take short cuts and falling for slick marketing and bold claims. Remember the bigger the claim the more you should demand big evidence before spending your hard-earned money. One resource that I have found to be very useful is Examine.com, it’s an independent site that looks at all the supplements and the studies and gives you an unbiased opinion as to what the actual research shows. I highly encourage you to use this site to research the supplement you are thinking of trying before buying.
Current Supplements I am taking:
I am not sure that Protein should be listed as a supplement because ultimately its one of the three core macro nutrients. However it can be hard and expensive to get in all of the required protein you need from food. This is especially true when dieting for a show as fat and carbs are usually reduced so finding a high quality protein source with little or no carbs and fat can be difficult. As a result using a good quality whey protein is a good way to meet these needs.
Additionally I consume casein protein before bed as its a slow digesting protein compared to whey. Normally one takes protein to stimulate muscle protein synthesis to build muscle but I take casein at bedtime more to prevent muscle protein breakdown while I sleep as this is the longest period of time that one is not consuming food.
I buy all of my whey and casein from Canadian Protein as I find this to be a good source of quality protein at a decent price.
Additionally I find protein bars to be a convenient way to help ensure you are meeting your protein requirements each day. I highly recommend Costco’s Kirkland Signature Protein Bars as they are high in whey protein, as well as fiber at a decent price. One tip with these is to heat them up in the microwave as it really changes the taste and texture of the bar. I eat one of each type to get in 42 grams of protein. I take them out of the wrapper and put on a paper towel and heat for about 20 seconds.
•Improves Performance in Short-Burst, High Intensity Training*
•Increases Muscle Mass, Strength and Size*
•Muscle Volumizing Effects*
•100% Pure Micronized Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine can lead to a gain in lean muscle mass, improve workout performance, enhance strength and power. It also offers therapeutic benefits, including the prevention of ATP depletion, stimulation of protein synthesis and cell volumization.
Creatine Monohydrate is the most heavily researched and time-tested sports nutrition supplement in the world. We use an exclusive PHARMAFUSE™ technology to micronize the highest grade German-source CREAPURE®. We use cGMP pharmaceutical manufacturing processes to provide you with the ultimate in purity, quality and effectiveness.
I take branch chain amino acids along with creatine post workout. I don’t believe it helps build more muscle but since I train late afternoon and eat supper with the family I do think it helps kick off protein synthesis until I can eat dinner which is a slower digesting protein source. I also find it helps with soreness and I take my creatine with it at that time as well. If I was not eating a regular meal after training I would probably just consume a whey protein shake with my creatine added. On non training days I don’t use BCAA’s at all and I mix my creatine with my casein protein before bed.
There has been some decent studies showing that 6 grams of Citrulline Malate has some benefits with high rep resistance training. Trying to find a pre-workout with that much in Canada is difficult. I have been using Mammoth Pump and just doubling the dose in order to get the required amount. I just recently found a new product that I am going to try called Supernova from Nutrabolics which has 6 grams per serving.
Additional Daily Supplements:
– Omega 3 fatty Acid
– Vitamin D3