It’s time to touch on many gym-goers favourite topic, supplements! My only theory is that many people looking for change look at the four main areas, training, nutrition, supplementation, motivation, and decide to dedicate time, money and effort to supplements. The reason? It’s the easiest! All you have to do is a little research, scrape some discretionary money together and bam, you can supplement like a pro.
This attitude is good in that you’re seeking to improve yourself, which is great! The only problem with it is it can lead to acute or severe cases of…
1. Empty Wallet Syndrome
2.Obsession with the trivial rather than the important
You can end up wasting money and not spending enough time researching your training and nutrition articles, the important stuff! If I HAD to put a percentage on it (which isn’t really ideal as it depends on the person), I would say supplements should make up 10% of your body efforts (effort, time, money, research etc), MAXIMUM. I would personally have it taking up about 5%.
So to make things easy, we’re going to use a principle I love. I am not going to take credit for it, I only wish I could recall where I saw it to give due credit, it’s called the K.I.S.S Principle, Keep It Simple Stupid! No supplements advertised in pop up ads online that claim to torch fat and build muscle, or easily reduce belly fat or any number of false claims, stick to the tried and tested core of the supplement arsenal.
Work your way up the following levels, by honestly looking at your gym experience and deciding where is an appropriate level to start. If you are an experienced trainer and don’t really Biotox gold supplement, start at beginner level
Ensure you have a supply of..
1. Whey Protein Concentrate: This is your post workout supplement. Use enough powder that you’re having 25 grams plus of protein. You can also use it to top up protein if at the end of the day it’s been too low (beneath one gram per pound of bodyweight). For the lactose intolerant i recommend Egg Protein powder.
2. Creatine: Yes its a great supplement, no it’s not a steroid nor dangerous in any way for healthy individuals. I advise you to save your money and dose a little under the recommended 5 grams, many studies have even shown 3 grams (source; The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition by Anita Bean, a great read!), to be a suitable amount. To be on the safe side I like to use 4 grams.
THAT’S ALL at your level, if you have a good diet you will get most other things. (see my basic nutrition article for a quick low down)
So you have the cash and your other areas are on point? OK, feel free to move up to this level
Note; You should have the supplements in the level below along with the supplements in the level you move up to, eg- You shouldn’t really have fish oils and no whey protein, that just doesn’t make much sense.
Ensure you have a supply of…
1.Fish Oils-These guys are magical, and are especially important if you don’t eat enough fish, or any fish for that matter! If you eat a lot of oily fish (sardines, mackerel, salmon) then you are entitled to one slightly unnecessary supplement here, a pre-workout! These guys have brought a gym session power on more than one late night for me, but if you go with the fish oils a strong cup of coffee is almost as good.
2. A multivitamin-Although people often say that eating enough fruit and vegetables is fine I always use a multi. Yes you’ll get lots of great stuff from plenty of fruit and vegetables, but I believe that your body deserves having tool it needs to make the changes you want. For that reason, I recommend a quality multi-vitamin and mineral supplement no matter the trainee, make sure when you’re choosing it that it gives you 100% of most vitamins and minerals.
Please don’t skip to here simply because you want faster or better progress, these levels also go in order of importance, for instance you creatine is much more useful and valuable then an intra workout, these are for if you really have the spare cash guys!