What supplements should I take?
What supplements do you take?
Do I need to take supplements to build muscle/burn fat/general health?
As we all live in society where we are surrounded by recommendations of superfoods, extreme diets, and prohibitions on what not to eat, it only follows that people would be curious about supplements.
I do not outright suggest that anyone NEEDS supplements. There is NO supplement of any kind that can truly be considered absolutely essential. In an ideal world, we would all get the necessary nutrients we need from a healthy diet, adequate sun exposure, and restorative sleep.
Unfortunately, modern life is rarely ideal. And if we do take care of our health, there is still the possibility that certain supplements might be USEFUL for our particular fitness goals.
To view supplements contextually, you must ask yourself these questions:
- “What can supplements do for me that consuming healthy food cannot?”
- “What supplements could be useful to me relative to my lifestyle?”
Now, the answer to both of these things is “it depends”, but that’s the smart-ass answer that doesn’t help you. The better answer is:
- What supplements will save you time? (convenience)
- What deficiencies might you have with your macro and micro nutrition that supplements can fulfill?
- What is cost effective?
- What supplements may help you lifestyle wise, relative to your stressors?
So with some context set, these are my supplement recommendations for General Health and Fitness
1. Whey Isolate Protein Powder-
“PROTEIN POWDER!!! You’re just trying to sell me something!!”
So be mad.
Reality-Protein powder is highly USEFUL, increasing the protein intake in your diet is one of the keys to gaining muscle and losing fat and increasing satiety, a protein shake is an excellent way to avoid fast food and poor food choices, and you probably need to increase your own protein intake right now.
So yes, I recommend protein powder. truenutrition.com is the company I order from, and they have the highest quality powders in the industry
Use the discount code AJAC235 for 5% off. Get the chocolate or vanilla flavoring to start with.
Every product can be customized, they have a massive selection, and if you honestly want 100% confidence with your purchase, get your protein from them.
If you are freaked out by consuming protein,
2. Vitamin D-
Vitamin D deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world. To share some stats
Northern climates and modern culture has adopted a lifestyle that involves significant time spent indoors. The following provides some statistics published in the literature showing the frequency of vitamin D deficiency:
- Researchers estimate that 1 billion people worldwide have vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.[i]
- An American nutrition survey looked at vitamin D deficiency. They defined vitamin D deficiency as a 25- OH vitamin D blood level of below 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L). The overall rate of vitamin D deficiency in US adults was 41.6%, with the highest rate seen in African Americans (82.1%), followed by Hispanics (69.2%)[ii]
- Similar results from 2011 National Center for Health Data statistics found that almost 1 in 3 Americans has vitamin D blood levels below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L). [iii].
- According to the latest lab test results from Statistics Canada, most Canadians have vitamin D blood levels lower than the optimal range.[iv]
- A large study of over 2,900 Americans showed that 42% of dark skinned girls and women aged 15 to 49 years had vitamin D deficiency.[v] This showed that those with darker skin were 10 times more likely to be vitamin D deficient.
- In another study, women in the northern US have shown a high rate of vitamin D insufficiency in pregnant women and their developing babies, despite the use of prenatal vitamins.[vi]
Studies outside North America also show that other countries have similar results. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey in the United Kingdom showed that 1 in 5 people have low vitamin D blood levels. [vii]
Luckily correcting this is quite easy, as Vitamin D is easy to supplement.
2000ius daily is the minimum effective dose, but larger people will need to take more. Some physicians recommend 5000ius daily. Vitamin D is best taken with a meal containing fat for absorption.
Another very common deficiency.
“Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral, and the second most prevalent electrolyte in the human body. Magnesium deficiencies are common in developed countries. A deficiency increases blood pressure, reduces glucose tolerance and causes neural excitation.
Magnesium deficiencies are common in the western diet because grains are poor sources of magnesium. Other prominent sources of magnesium, like nuts and leafy vegetables, are not eaten as often. It is possible to fix a magnesium deficiency through dietary changes. If magnesium is supplemented to attenuate a deficiency, it acts as a sedative, reducing blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity.
Maintaining healthy magnesium levels is also associated with a protective effect against depression and ADHD. Supplementation of magnesium is not very effective at reducing fat mass or cramps. Further evidence is needed to determine if magnesium supplementation can boost exercise performance, but initial results do not look promising.
The intestinal absorption of magnesium varies depending on how much magnesium the body needs, so there are not very many side-effects associated with supplementation. If there is too much magnesium, the body will only absorb as much as it needs. However, excessive doses may cause gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea.”
The type of magnesium you ingest matters for absorption. Most common magnesium vitamins contain the oxide version which will upset your stomach and not be absorbed at all.
Fitness and Focusing Supplements For Those who Train Hard and Take Their Health Seriously
What does creatine do? EVERYTHING.
Creatine is probably the most studied supplement in existence. It does everything from increase muscle mass, improve power output, increase recovery, help with blood sugar management, help with cognition and focus, improve memory, and etc etc etc.
Is creatine safe? SUPER SAFE. 100% indisputably safe.
I recommend anyone that lifts weights to take creatine. Its as close to a “miracle” supplement as one can get. It has a positive effect on so many aspects of performance, it would be foolish not to utilize it. Plus it’s absurdly cheap.
I’ve gotten away over the years from using high doses of caffeine and preworkout products that contain them. Gorilla Mind is non-stimulant nootropic that increases focuses without any of the “wired” effects typical of most nootropic supplements.
I take 3 capsules a day before writing, and another 3 before going to the gym to lift.
**Yes, there is ONE testosterone booster I recommend, but let me preface: this IS NOT STEROIDS. It does not raise your testosterone like steroids. It does not do anything magical. It stimulates your endogenous testosterone production; meaning it increases the amount of testosterone your testes produce. It will HELP elevate your test levels if they are depressed, and hopefully get them into a healthier range. You will feel more energetic and your libido should be stronger. This will not have “steroidal” effects on musclebuilding, although you might feel stronger in training. Ive used over the years at various junctures when my lifestyle suffered, and I know for a fact it works, I have the blood tests to prove it.
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