“Mind Blowing Fat Loss!”
“Feed your muscles for up to 8 hours!”
“The most explosive pre-workout intensifier in supplement history!”
What does that even mean?
“No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative; It get’s the people going!”
STOP WASTING YO’ MUTHAF*CKIN’ MONEY!
99.9% of the supplements out there are bullsh*t – you don’t need them!
I spent most of my late teens and early twenties figuring this out the hard way.
What I finally came to realize is that even though the majority of supplement companies make the same promises with their products, few (if any) actually deliver the results they claim to provide.
In the past few years, I’ve gotten into the best shape I have ever been in, and ironically enough, it has been with the LEAST amount of supplementation.
Nowadays, when purchasing a supplement, you are usually paying for 3 things:
2. Artificial Sweeteners/Flavors/Colors (Cancer anyone?)
3. A “Proprietary Blend” –
If you take a look on the back of whatever the latest fat burning/muscle building/superpower supplement on the market is, you’ll see a section on the ingredient list with the words “proprietary blend.”
A supplement that lists this in their ingredients does so for one of two reasons:
1. To prevent the competition from knowing the exact ratios and amounts of each ingredient present in the formula.
2. To hide the fact the the supplement they are selling actually contains very little of the active ingredients listed on the bottle in an attempt to pull the wool over their costumers’ eyes.
The sad truth of the matter is that the latter is usually the reason why the term is used.
With that being said, here is a list of my Top 3 Supplements for Muscle Building:
1. Hard Work
2. Great Eating Habits
3. Quality Sleep
Here is a list of my Top 3 Supplements for Fat Loss:
1. Hard Work
2. Exceptionally Great Eating Habits
3. Quality Sleep
If you aren’t training hard, eating right, or getting enough sleep, don’t even bother looking into supplementation.
I am not exaggerating in the least when I say that those 3 things will get you 95% of the results you want.
Whether it’s building muscle or losing body fat, there is no pill or powder that can replace or substitute them.
Now, if you have the 3 of these in check, and would like to “supplement” (not substitute) your nutrition and exercise program, there are a handful of supplements I actually recommend and endorse for overall health and wellness:
1. A high quality greens supplement and probiotic:
Health starts in our gut – plain and simple.
80% of our immune system is in our gut, and we digest food and absorb nutrients there.
If your gut health is lagging, you will never be able to achieve optimal health, much less a six pack or more muscle mass.
While I do believe that most of our nutrition should come from whole foods, it is nearly impossible to get 100% of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants needed for supreme well being, especially if you are a hard training athlete.
A high quality greens supplement and probiotic will fill this small gap in your diet, and ensure you are getting 100% of the nutrients needed to stay healty and achieve the results you desire.
I recommend Green Vibrance.
2. Vitamin D3:
Despite it’s name, vitamin D3 is actually a steroid hormone.
Its ability to influence gene expression makes it one of the most important vitamins for overall health and wellness.
Because the body makes vitamin D3 through sun exposure, most of us are extremely deficient in this vital nutrient due to our modern lifestyle.
Vitamin D3 can slash several types of cancer rates in half, and it is more important that Vitamin C when it comes to fighting colds and the flu because of it’s ability to influence certain genes that help our immune system attack viruses and bacteria.
If you cannot get at least 20 min of sun exposure daily, with at least 40% of your skin exposed, I recommend supplementing with at least 3,000 iu’s per day.
(As always, consult with your doctor and get your levels tested, first.)
You can get Vitamin D3 pretty much anywhere vitamins are sold.
3. Fish Oil:
Inflammation will kill you.
One of the main reasons inflammation has gotten so out of control is a lack of Omega 3 fats in our diets.
While we should be eating several servings per week of foods high in these essential fats (grass fed beef, wild salmon, pastured eggs), our lifestyles don’t always allow it.
This is where a high quality pharmaceutical grade fish oil comes in to play.
I recommend supplementing with at least 3 grams per day if you are healthy and eating a few servings per week of the foods listed above.
If you are severely over weight and/or experiencing any type of joint pain or discomfort, you may use up to 9 grams per day.
Natural Factors has a great fish oil, and it’s the one I currently use and recommend.
The 3 supplements listed above will be enough for the majority of folks just looking to stay healthy.
If you are a hard training athlete, and are exercising intensely (4-6 days per week), you could add the following to the 3 listed above:
Magnesium is probably one of the most underrated supplements there is.
If you are training hard and want to recover faster between your workouts, this is a must have.
Magnesium plays a central role in helping the body relax and repair itself because of its ability to help deactivate the stress response of a hard day and/or workout.
Because most the earth’s soil is depleted of magnesium, our food supply is deficient in this mineral; this makes it impossible to maintain adequate levels without supplementation.
If you are placing high demands on your body, you’ll definitely want to supplement with magnesium so that you can continue to recover and improve.
The two best forms are transdermal magnesium and chelated magnesium.
I recommend using a combination of the two for best results.
Transdermal magnesium comes in a spray or lotion, and is thought to be more efficient than pill form – Ancient Minerals makes a great product.
If used in combination with the pills, you’ll want to take about a quarter sized portion of the gel or lotion at night before going to bed while ingesting 400 mg’s daily in pill form, which can be taken in two doses, spread throughout the day.
2. BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids):
BCAA’s help reduce muscle catabolism and help stimulate protein synthesis.
Long story, short: muscle loss occurs when the body increases protein breakdown in order to free up muscle amino acids for fuel; BCAA’s help to combat this process.
They can also help improve workout intensity because of the way that they compete with tryptophan for entry into the brain, where tryptophan is converted into serotonin.
During a training session, serotonin levels rise, and this can increase the perception of fatigue.
Supplementing with BCAA’s prior to a workout can reduce the amount of tryptophan that enters the brain, and therefore, reduce the amount of serotonin produced.
This, in turn, translates into less fatigue during a workout.
I recommend supplementing with 5-10 grams before, and after, an intense training session.
BCAA’s are available in pill or powder form.
I recommend making sure that they are unflavored and/or void of any artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.
You can purchase them at your local Vitamin Shoppe or supplement store.
The best (and cheapest) pre-workout on the market is good ol’ black coffee.
Coffee is loaded with health improving antioxidants, and when consumed prior to a workout, can elevate your metabolism up to 20%!
The natural caffeine in coffee can also improve circulation, endurance, muscle preservation, and reduce muscle pain during a workout.
Most of the benefits gained from expensive pre-workout supplements are, in fact, nothing more than the results of the caffeine in the product.
Save yourself the money and adverse health effects, and down a cup or two of black coffee before your next session.
The 3 supplements listed above will definitely help improve athletic performance and boost recovery between workouts.
As stated earlier in the post, however, they are totally optional.
It is up to you to determine if you would like to make the investment and see if they help with your goals.
Please stop wasting your money on the latest “miracle” supplement.
It doesn’t work.
Remember that no matter what you take, if you aren’t training properly, sleeping enough, or eating well, you will never achieve the results you’re looking for.
Spend your money at the grocery store, not the supplement shop.
Once your diet is in check, choose the right supplements, and ignore the hype!