In the big bad world of fitness and health are thousands upon thousands up supplements. Some are to be the ‘miracle pill’ or tea, or whatever to make you lose weight and gain muscle overnight. This is false. I don’t care what the product is, not possible. But behind all of the giant companies with their false ads, are the little guys hiding that are actually worth a damn. I, myself, take only a small amount of supplements. I mean, I barely even make protein shakes with powdered whey after my workout as I workout from home and prefer to get my protein from real sources, or I would rather have a protein bar (with good macros of course) rather than stand at the blender and have to suck down this huge shake before I shower (I have skin problems and need to shower pretty quick after sweating so much). I could wait until after I shower, but depending on my womanly duties of shaving every inch of my body every so often, I might end up going past the time window you should consume your protein to recover and hold on to your muscle mass [30 minutes after working out you should consume your post-workout/protein]. So, I have started taking BCAAs as soon as I finish my workout with a glass of water as well as shove a small protein bar in my mouth (I am an attractive lady, can’t you tell?). But, as I always say, to each their own. If you are into whey protein (the giant tubs of protein in varieties of flavors in almost any store, pharmacy, or health store) and want to mix it with water in your blender bottle at the gym (**pic of blender bottle for the new people to this lifestyle, you can buy these pretty much anywhere, online, Target, CVS, and so on**) then go for it. I personally still feel the chalky, gritty powder and I would prefer to blend it actually in a blender, with milk and ice (to make it thick like a milkshake) to make it enjoyable to me. I think a lot of fitness people choose the blender bottle with milk or water for their protein intake after the gym because they feel like they have to. Like it’s their only choice. I think life is too short and I am going to enjoy how I have my protein, simple as that. Another thing very popular right now is Quest Bars. You can find them online or at health stores (think GNC, Vitamin Shop, Whole Foods, etc) and they have several different flavors.
I have tried them, and I hate them. I tried baking them, broiling them, with yogurt, everything I could think of. So many people love them (like, use them for everything in baking and even bake small pieces to make a ‘cereal’) but I just can’t stand them.
There are many other brands out there that I enjoy and are still macro friendly.
My favorite at the moment, are the Balance Bar brand. Delicious, macro friendly, so many flavors, affordable, and a good size. Some protein bars out there are huge and ridiculous in my opinion. My favorite flavor currently is cookie dough.
Supplements are tricky. You can take a pill form for pretty much any and all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need to have in a day’s time, but is that what we should do? Instead of eating healthy foods take a pill? You should always try and get your nutrients from FOOD FIRST. The pill route is great if you really are struggling with a deficiency, but try and get what you are looking for in food forms.
With that said, I am not big on supplements. I do not believe your body absorbs the pill form on nutrients the way it does wholesome foods. Your body is meant to use the food as it’s fuel (like the gas to your car), but the pill form is just another man made route to try and make life ‘easier’. We as a society are so lazy we would rather take vitamins in a pill than eat some damn vegetables. That’s sad.
These are the only things I am using at the moment, and I have my reasons for each one.
BCAAs. For recovering after a hard lifting session and to hold on to the muscle you have worked hard for. BCAA stands for Branched-Chain Amino Acids. This is the number one supplement out there with the most research pointing towards success and only good things from it. If you are wanting to diet down but also gain muscle, it’s nearly an oxymoron. But BCAAs make it possible. BCAAs and glutamine are natural amino acids that are actually already in our bodies. They are building blocks for muscles.
Like BCAAs, glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid that your body already produces. It’s a building block for building and maintaining those rock hard muscles.
Many people take preworkouts. There are powdered forms, and pill forms. I have tried a few. The Cellucor C4 (powdered preworkout) is great if you can deal with powdered mix drinks. I bought some in Strawberry Margarita, but just mixing it with water in my blender bottle wasn’t doing it for me. If I mixed it with hot water and put it in the fridge like Koolaid, I might be happier, oh well. I’ll try that later I guess. So I take the HD pill as my preworkout. It is a fat burner as well gets you pepped up with energy and able to focus on my gainzzz (read: working out hard to build muscle). I do not suggest taking more than one a day. I simply take one about 60-90 minutes before my workout. The bottle says take one in the morning and then one during the afternoon. Don’t get hooked on things like this. It also has high caffeine amounts, which may interrupt your sleeping at night. Many people have said they also had problems with their stomach when taking this. It is probably because the back of the bottle says twice a day and even suggests taking up to 3 a day. Please take caution when taking supplements. Take it for what you need/want it for and no more.
Raspberry ketones is a chemical taken from red raspberries and there have been a few researches done that shows this chemical to increase the metabolism. I only started taking this as a sort of trial and error experiment. I had someone tell me they swore they were seeing abs because they took ketones with every meal. I am still skeptical, but this was a good price as an add on from an online health order so I thought I would try it. I have not noticed any ‘miracles’ like Dr. Oz himself tried to claim from this chemical in a pill form. I have noticed my #2 is red now and it scared me like no other at first (TMI, but I don’t want anyone else worried if they do try this product).
Combining the CLK and HD are supposed the Cellucor duo to seeing amazing results. I have been taking the two for about a week, so there is still time to see. I am the guinea pig to try and tell you if it really works or just save your money.
**For preworkouts, you can also simply eat. Eat carbs, eat something like an english muffin (whole grain) with a little natural peanut butter. Or eat a banana. Or drink some coffee. It is NOT necessary to consume a preworkout**
A lot of people are also taking fish oil daily. I personally consume a good amount of fish naturally. I am a sucker for fresh sushi rolls from Whole Foods, as well as stocking my freezer with shrimp, scallops, salmon, and other white fish from the same store (try and get your seafood from reliable sources). Fish oil can help with high blood pressure and high bad cholesterol levels, as well as for women with painful periods. Fish oil has many, many good reasons to take it, but like I said above, FOOD FIRST BEFORE PILLS. I have upped my fish intake because I have been battling depression the last few months due to a tragedy I dealt with. And I will say, eating right, drinking enough water, getting rest, working out and eating the fish has all worked in making me hopeful and happy. Not just one miracle thing works. You have to be willing to do everything it takes to be happy and healthy, in every aspect of the words.
What I am trying to say is:
- To be fit, you do NOT require to spend loads of $$ of supplements. You can see results and have great health without a pill or supplement in sight.
- If you choose to take supplements, do your research on what you should take and the results and/or side effects that may occur. You should also research the brand you are looking into.
- For some supplements, you need to make sure you aren’t being scammed. Probiotics, for example, are live cultures. Like what is in most yogurts. They should be chilled. If you are buying an antibiotic and it’s not in the fridge section, you may want to research more about the brand.
- Read reviews. Yes, things work differently for everyone. But if you look up something and it’s nothing but 300 people saying they hated it and it was a waste of money, you probably should look for something else.