#7 What supplements should I take?
I always say be the type of person that takes supplements, but don't. You can get all you need from food.
However, I also understand we lead busy lives and science has made everything light years more convenient for use to get our nutrients.
Here is what I take to maintain a high level of fitness activity, maintain my muscle mass, and recover fast after grueling workouts week in and week out.
*****Disclaimer****** I am not a certified Dietician or Nutritionist, therefore it is not in my scope of practice to give diet or nutritional advice. I am simply giving you the information on what I take.********
A. CGT - Creatine, Glutamine, and Taurine
Creatine - Creatine provides your muscles with energy and draws in water needed for growth and recovery.
Glutamine - Glutamine is an amino acid, the building block of protein, that is most abundant in muscles.
Taurine - The amino acid taurine is found mostly in meats and fish. Taurine also affects neurotransmitters, and it supports cell membranes, regulates your heartbeat and prevents overactivity of your brain cells. Taurine is also part of bile, which helps in fat absorption.
I take this on my weight training days Tues, TH, Sat. before my workout. Mixes easy with water and I really feel like it aids in recovery and I notice that I am maintaining my weight at around 190 even with burning around 3,000 calories daily in workouts.
Totally necessary. It's very hard to get all your essential vitamins in food daily. So a multi is a common way to supplement.
C. Caffeine (in the form of a single 200mg pill/day). I am careful with this. Some have sensitivity to caffeine.
I like coffee but I start training early in the morning and don't like to have a cup of coffee on the belly while doing burpees. I also don't like staining my teeth or the coffee breath! A caffeine pill is a convenient way to supplement this.
D. Fish Oil Capsules -
Fish Oil contains omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. These fatty acids are essential for proper brain and nervous system function and development. They also have protective effects on hypertension, heart disease, inflammation, adult-onset diabetes and certain cancers. Fish oil is the popular choice when it comes to omega-3 supplementation, but it is the food fish eat -- microalgae -- that makes them such an excellent source.
I take a fish oil because I like to get my fats from sources other than red meats and processed foods. Fish oil is a great solution. Same goes for flaxseed below.
E. Flax Seed Capsules -
Flaxseeds are a high-quality source of healthy omega-3 fats. Hence, it is a good option for people who do not like the taste of fish or fish oil supplements. Flaxseeds also contain lignans, plant-derived estrogens. You can benefit from increasing your intake of omega-3 fats and lignans through flaxseed consumption, including melanoma skin cancer prevention.
F. ZMA (before bed)
ZMA is a trademarked product made by the company SNAC System. It is a proprietary mixture of zinc monomethionine aspartate, magnesium aspartate and pyridoxine which is known as vitamin B6. ZMA is a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders for testosterone and sleep support. Before you decide to take a ZMA supplement, please consult with a doctor.
I swear by this stuff. I work long hours at the gym so sometimes I can only manage to get 5 hours of sleep. If those are quality hours in a deep REM cycle, then I still feel rested and strong.
When taking ZMA, I notice I get more REM sleep. How do I know?? I have long vivid dreams that I remember upon waking and when I don't take it, there is a noticeable difference in my recovery time and energy level.
G. Whey Protein Isolate -
Whey is a byproduct in the making of cheese. Whey protein isolate is a complete protein, which means it has all of the amino acids that are needed in a daily diet. It contains high levels of branched chain amino acids. Branched chain amino acids are unlike other amino acids in the promotion of muscle growth because they can be metabolized directly into muscle tissue.
I take a whey protein isolate immediately after a workout to aid in recovery and to fuel muscle growth and repair.
H. Casein Protein -
Casein protein is the predominant protein found in milk. Casein protein is a slow-digesting protein that forms a gel in the gut. Amino acids are then steadily released into the blood stream over the course of time. Unlike whey protein that peaks absorption in forty minutes, casein protein takes 3-4 hours to reach peak levels in blood amino acids and protein synthesis. The body can continue to absorb casein protein for up to seven hours.
I take this before bed so that my body does not cannibalize my muscle during the fasting hours of sleep and to aid in muscle growth and repair. I also use this as a meal replacement at times when I can't get real food.
This is what I take on a daily basis. Hopefully this serves as a guide to you in your fitness and nutrition journey.