Something I haven’t discussed very often in the past is the use of supplements in my nutrition and training routines. Generally speaking, I do not go for the super-expensive, unproven supplements pushed by the fitness magazines and GNC stores. I definitely do NOT use any “fat burners.” My daily supps are pretty much limited to a multivitamin, fish oil, calcium, and whey protein, which I sort of consider a food product. The rest of my list is comprised of optional items that I only use on occasion and often will not replace for a while after I run out.
I am with Tom Venuto and Craig Ballantyne on the subject of sports supplementation beyond the basic vitamins–if you aren’t already 95% of the way to your goal by dint of exercise and nutrition alone, throwing your money down the drain by loading up on a dozen mysterious, unregulated supplements isn’t going to get you there either.
CVS Spectravite Advanced Formula Tablets (250 TB for $9.44)
– (Daily) I take one of these daily without fail. It’s a basic store-brand knock off of the Centrum multivitamin. I pick these up whenever CVS runs a sale. Wal-Mart also carries a Centrum-like multivitamin at a good price.
CVS Calcium 600mg + D (400 capsules for $7.69)
– (Daily) I currently take only one calcium + D capsule a day with breakfast, but I plan to add a second capsule in with my lunch or dinner meal since I do not consume much dairy in my regular diet.
Kirkland Signature Fish Oil Concentrate Soft Caps (400 soft caps for $8.99)
– (Daily) These capsules are 1000 mg “Concentrated” Fish Oil w/300 mg Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Sold by Costco). I take six fish oil capsules a day: 2 caps at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’ve had noticeably better skin and hair since I started boosting my Omega-3 intake last year.
Dymatize Elite Gourmet Vanilla Whey Protein (5lbs for $29.38)
– (Daily) Very neutral in flavor, not fabulous on its own, but is a GREAT mixer for fruit shakes and smoothies. Add your own baking cocoa powder to get a chocolate flavor.
Dymatize Elite Rich Chocolate Whey Protein (5lbs for $29.38)
– (Daily) FANTASTIC all by itself with icy cold water. You know that hot cocoa flavor beloved by all chocoholics? Well, this powder has it, and there is no noticeable “whey” aftertaste. My favorite so far!
Dymatize Elite Berry Blast Whey Protein (5lbs for $29.38)
– (Daily) I mixed this one with 8th Continent Light soy milk and got something very much like a slightly thickened, yummy Strawberry Yoohoo drink. I waited for the usual fake fruit flavor migraine to kick in after drinking the shake, but it never developed. Excellent if you like a fruity shake.
MRM Digest-ALL 100% Plant Enzyme (100 capsules for $12.25)
– (Optional) I don’t use digestive enzymes daily anymore, but I do keep them around for meals that I know will be heavier or loaded with starchy carbs or unusually high amounts of protein. From past experience, I can tell you that one or two of these before a high protein meal (or chili!) can really help control what one of my fellow Pink Dumbbell forum members likes to call the “protein vapors.”
MRM BCAA+G 1000 Lemonade Flavor — 2.2 lbs (1000 g for $48.99)
– (Optional) This is definitely classified as optional for me. When I am cutting, I try to take a serving of BCAAs before and after a weight lifting workout. Theoretically, BCAA supplementation helps to prevent the loss of muscle when your calories are restricted. I don’t consider this a must-have unless you are pretty advanced and already eat 100% clean and hit all of your workouts. If you aren’t doing those things, the benefits of supplements like this are negligible.
NSI L-Glutamine Powder — 4,500 mg – 1000 grams (2.2 lbs for $27.99)
– (Optional) If I’m starting a new lifting routine, I’ll add in a serving of l-glutamine powder with some water or my last shake of the night to help with recovery and to minimize the delayed onset muscle soreness that comes from working my muscles in a new way. This is an optional supplement as well, and absolutely not necessary to get results.