I know the feeling of starting something new that involves movement and functions of the human body. The excitement it brings of being out of breath or the new burn on what ever new stress you put your body through. The new fast/slow twitch muscles have fired for the first time and you know you’re going to reap the benefits of what ever new path you’ve just started. What do we do after that, what do we do while we wait for the next time to go enjoy/struggle what our new goals are after…? I hope you’re eating and resting, but if you’re like me and most of the population of this world, you get impatient and start Googling about ways to help your new work out. That is a good thing to do, with that you get tips and start learning more form for the function. Then comes the down side of Google or that new fitness magazine you bought to get motivated. The “Supplement World” is waiting for you like prey, to get impatient and start looking for that shortcut. Well let me be, if not the first, to tell you, all the pictures you see of the infamous bodies are one day photo shoots. (Guys listen up) the dudes you see have been stocked up on extra surplus of fat, I’m talking about up to 24% body fat before they cut down to do their one day photo shoot. People are not healthy nor are they even strong when they have 2-4% bf. Trust me, I’ve been at that kind of BMI for years and I was neither strong or healthy. Sure I was shredded, even fast and light on my feet, but I wouldn’t call it my “A-game”
The product they are advertising isn’t the reason they look like that. It’s decades of hard training, resting, and EATING. It can take as much as 2400 extra calories for the body to make a pound of muscle. So if you want to put on size for that show or pictures, even if to fill that new shirt or walk the pool side, (I hope it’s not for the last two examples) and you want to do it fast you need to put on a lot of fat. Even if you get fat and not train, your body will still make a little muscle. That is why bodybuilder’s and marathoner’s work with a thing called periodization. I’ll cover more on that in another post, but for now let’s get back on the topic at hand.
Supplements. First things first, know why you are taking a supplement. definition of the word supplement.
Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
Add an extra element or amount to.
I will list what I use and why I use it only to help others understand that a gym membership doesn’t have to come with a grocery list of Crap from the local supplement store.
Whey Protein: is a by product of making cheese, a fast burning protein good for after a workout. Tip if you’re trying to lose weight, wait 30min before drinking it. Other wise the body will just store it as sugar. Remeber that is what you just finished trying to burn out so you could lose weight. Whey is in powder form and is easy to carry with you without it going bad till water is added. FYI if left in room temp mixed, it spoils in 30Min. Well if I’m not able to take meat with me I will use Whey. Then on the other hand if i’m getting all my protein from food and I still need more to hit a certain amount for the day, I might “Supplement” with a glass of whey.
Also before I go to bed I like to have some casein protein, which is what 80% of what milk is made from. It’s a slow burning protein, but mainly I like it before bed because most blends have glutamine in it which helps make cerebral fluid, which helps the central nerves system heal when in the last phase of your REM cycle of sleeping. Otherwise I would just drink milk before bed. Ahh… Milk you never see it in the supplement store, unless its “Muscle Milk”. I find that funny because the supplement I use when I’m on the go at work is powdered milk. I think that should be advertised more, but who would pay $4 for a packet of powdered milk?
I can’t bash on the supplement market too much because they do bring us some things that are really good too. Here are the ones I use.
Fish Oil: I start everyday with it and if I’m sore I will take it through out the day. Fish oil has replaced NSAID, and ibuprofen for me. If you’re taking enough I.U.’s it has been proven to act like a anti inflammatory. I guess that’s why the Vikings were so tough, they ate a lot of Cod, which has some of the highest levels omega-3 fatty acids made of epa and dha. This is something you want to make sure is in the fish oil you buy. It will also yield you other benefits because if you are not eating lots of fish like most in the Midwest you are deficient and don’t have enough to combat the high levels of omega 6 fatty acids in are fried foods, and other oils which I hope you don’t consume a lot of. Check with your doctor first. It can thin the blood and I would hate for you to take a lot of fish oil’s and be on beta blockers then go out and do a heavy squat then kill over on me. but if you are healthy and want to try it. It’s safe to use and you will know if you take too much… your stools will not be so solid. If you do hit that point, back down some, and then you know!
I also take 3000 to 4000 I.U.’s a day of vitamin D-3. It first I started because I was deficient, which I found out by a blood work-up. I like to get one every 6 months, it lets me know where I’m at on all my levels and I like to monitor where my testosterone levels are too. This is why I take so much D-3. There are studies even on pubmed.gov about it helping Hormone receptors and increasing T-levels from only 3000 I.U.’s a day for a year. As a male, I like that a lot! I go for gel capsules because D-3 is a fat soluble vitamin, so it only makes sense to me to take it as oil form. Side note: I will be checking with my doctor on my next blood work up to see if I should still be on D-3 From other studies I have heard, one might not want to take large amounts of D-3 for multiple years on end. I will keep you posted on my results next work-up.
A multi-vitamin is a cheap insurance plan to make sure you’re getting everything you need. I hope I get everything from my diet in the way of food so I don’t need them. I don’t think the body even absorbs any of it but they are cheap to buy so why not take them to be on the sure side. The one thing I wish I could find is a liquid multi-vitamin. Elisha has one but all the male ones I find are hard tablets and I don’t like the notion of chunks of multi-vitamins settling around in my body. So I’m a sporadic taker of multi-vitamins.
This one is our drug of choice, it is by far our favorite. CAFFEINE… Most don’t understand that caffeine is a supplement and it should be used as such. Elisha and I have found a pre-work out mix called Amino. Energy by Optimum Nutrition. This is packed full of Green Coffee extract. Now Coffee would work fine or even caffeine in powder form mixed with water will give you more intensity in your work outs, but with A.E. you get BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) which are the building blocks of protein. With that said please eat before a workout, BCAA are not a fuel source, but will aid in muscle development. I sometimes take BCAA capsules when I drink my powdered milk at work and after work outs. Both are great tools in helping you reach your goals. (Note: caffeine is a drug and it takes 10 hours to leave the body. So I like to have my last coffee 10 hours before I plan on going to bed. If we grow and get stronger when we sleep, then the last thing I would want is be stimulated to where I’m not yielding optimal benefits out of my rest.)
This is what I take. Mrs. Hess does things a little Different, but for the most part we know why and what we are supplementing and in no way do we see them as a holy grail or a magic elixir. These are just tools to us, in which we could go without using… Well maybe the fish oil and caffeine is a must!
I was immature when starting out lifting and bought into a lot junk that I didn’t need. I could of been spending that money on what really mattered… FOOD! I still enjoy talking and learning about supplements. if you have had great luck with one, please share and if you have questions about one please feel free to ask. I’m not a Doctor but I have been around the block on a few. Find me on Facebook or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.