I get asked all the time what supplements I take and how they work. First off, there are about a million different supplements on the market and it’s easy to get confused. No worries though, I’m going to give you the ones that I am currently using and the reasons why.
Shakeology – First, I don’t really consider this a supplement because it replaces my breakfast everyday. It really is a meal in itself with its great blend of superfood nutrition. It really helps to reduce hunger, detox the body, increase energy, and help with digestions and regularity. I have been taking it for 2 years now and it has really helped me to get the results that I was looking for.
Whey Protein – We are in the business of building muscle and reducing body fat. That’s why I take whey protein daily in my post workout shake. I take it post workout with my Shakeology so that I can take advantage of the anabolic or muscle building window. Since I started my fitness journey I have tried many different brands of protein including Muscle Pharm, Optimum Nutrition, Dymatize, and Cellucor. It’s easy to get confused as to what brand /types to take, but no worries, just make sure that the one you pick meets your needs. Also, make sure that it contains either whey hydrolysate of whey isolate as these are fast absorbing proteins.
Creatine Monohydrate – Building muscle takes a lot of work so we want to maximize our results if we can. Creatine Monohydrate replenishes your creatine stores and helps to fuel your muscles during grueling workouts. It works at the muscular level to help increase strength, power, energy, and endurance. It’s a good idea to take creatine with some fast acting carbs that spike insulin leverls which will pull creatine right into your muscles. There are many different types and flavors, but I stick with good ole Micronized Creatine and mix it in with my pre-workout, although you can take it post workout if you prefer. There are differing opinions on whether you need to have a loading ohase and if you need to cycle off of creatine. I personally don’t use a loading phase or cycle off, so do what works for you.
Dextrose – Using dextrose post workout is a great way to replenish glycogen stores. Dextrose is just a simple sugar and it promotes muscle recovery and gets you back on your feet faster after an intense workout. I have just started using P90X Results and Recovery Formula post workout and I can really tell that it makes a big difference in my recovery time during my Body Beast workouts. The best thing about P90X R&R is that it doesn’t have any artificial flavors or sweeteners and tastes like and orange creamsicle. One word of caution though. Make sure your glycogen replacement fits into your daily macros.
BCAAs – Branched Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are absorbed directly into muscle tissue and then metabolized rapidly. There are 22 different amino acids which all serve specfic functions. Our bodies do not synthesize several of them and they must be supplemented. BCAAs play major roles in muscle building, recovery, and energy metabolism. I take BCAAs both pre and post workout when my muscle tissues are hungry for amino acids. They come in many forms including pills and powders so it is up to you on what kind to take. The brand I am currently using is Xtend by Scivation which comes in some really awesome flavors. I also like to use BCAAs as an intraworkout supplement.
Preworkout – Some people use them and others don’t, but I love using a pre-workout supplement to get the most out of my early morning workout sessions. Pre-workouts are designed to help maximize mental focus, energy levels, oxygen flow, and the “pump”. Over the last couple years I have tried numerous brands and flavors, but currently I am using Cellucor C4.
Do you have to have all of the above to get great results? Absolutely not! That’s why they are called supplements and not essentials. You have to determine what fits into you budget and works well for you. I will be continuing with the current stack for a while because I like the results I am getting. Keep at it team and don’t forget that you can’t outwork a bad diet so keep that nutrition dialed in!