Confused About Supplements?
Over the past few weeks I have received so many great supplement questions from readers wanting to know which supplements support a healthy, lean, muscular physique. Perhaps because it’s the start of the new year or perhaps it’s because there are so many different options out there, picking the ones that are best for you can get confusing. You know I am a rather conservative supplement user and tend to work with people more interested in eating quality whole foods as a first step toward nutrition while relying on supplements to do just that, “supplement” your food intake, not replace it. Let me be clear. I do not recommend spending a ton of money on nutrition supplements nor do I believe it wise to focus on supplementation when a person’s training and daily nutrition practices are not in order. Once you are training smart and eating to the best of your ability, then it is time to consider supplement options.
Having been in the fitness industry for over two decades, it is not news to say that I have a variety of supplements I recommend often and that yes, indeed, I do tend to profit from their sale. This happens mainly out of providing my clients with the convenience of quick and easy access to quality products and nothing more. All of the products I recommend can be found at various retail stores so getting them through my site is certainly not required. However, I’ve found that getting them online tends to be less expensive than buying them in stores, so I buy mine here and therefore, since we must buy them from somewhere, I will share my affiliation sources with you as an option for you to consider.
DISCLAIMER – These supplements are the ones I recommend currently (2012-2013). As time passes and science emerges of course different supplements will take their place. I probably won’t update this article so if you come across it in 2064 or something, contact me for my most recent recommendations.
#1 – The supplement I recommend most to people on a daily basis is this organic and raw green supplement. You simply cannot go wrong with a quality greens supplement like this. Our cells need vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals (phytochemicals) that support a healthy body. None of us eat enough organic fresh vegetables and this supplement goes a long way to ensure we get the vegetable-derived nutrients we need. I use one serving every evening before bed.
#2 – The second nutrition supplement I advise my clients to consider is this raw meal replacement supplement. Depending on the client’s motivation and health consciousness, I only recommend this to people who are very concerned with eating healthy foods versus good tasting foods. I don’t mind the taste, but if you’re used to a cheap supplement made to taste like a milk shake, then this isn’t for you. I mix it with organic almond milk and cocoa and find it to be quite good. You can spice it up however you wish. This is absolutely a key supplement for me. It has live probiotics and enzymes to aid in digestion and I’ve only received excellent feedback on the results clients have gained using this supplement.
#3 – When it comes to protein, you usually get what you pay for. One brand I like a lot is called Jay Robb. Protein supplementation is something I consider to be a staple in just about any comprehensive training program. To put it simply, most of us are not able, or do not have the time, to prepare adequate protein quantities throughout the day, so if you’re like me, you choose a great protein supplement. This particular supplement option is one of the few areas where I have more than one option that I recommend.
The reason I recommend a couple of different protein supplements is this. Your body can develop an intolerance to proteins over time. Milk and soy proteins tend to be the primary sources that people’s bodies develop intolerance to. It is important to change your protein sources from time-to-time. This video from nutrition expert Dr. John Berardi explains this nicely. I tend to have my clients use one large container of protein, switch to another, and then another. I tend to have them use a whey protein source, egg protein and at least one form of plant protein, perhaps hemp or pea protein, sometimes both.
#4 – A quality multi-vitamin is something more and more health conscious Americans are deciding to adopt. There are so many out there, I prefer to stick with a brand known for quality that is backed by a number of top-rated fitness, wellness and medical professionals. Both of these are very high quality and are also surprisingly affordable.
#5 – Fish oil is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Wild grown fish are the best, most natural source and this supplement brand uses this type of fish. The health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is profound and can be easily researched as new science is emerging each and every day.
#6 – Definitely the supplement I recommend the least, but for some people, especially those trying to pack on lean muscle and finding it a difficult task, every little thing helps. A quality post-workout recovery supplement is sometimes the best thing to provide a high quality source of calories to the body after training. As with protein powders, you usually get what you pay for with recovery supplements. These are the brands I recommend.
So there you have it! These are the six types of supplements I recommend on a daily basis to various clients, blog readers, and gym-goers. I always recommend my clients work under the guidance of a well-informed physician and Registered Dietician. In fact, I just recently hired an amazingly cool Registered Dietician to oversee all aspects of nutrition for the fitness programs I manage. Working with personal trainers who know they’re role and stay within their scope of practice is important and I work hard to ensure that my recommendations stay well within my job description.
As with any recommendation I make, you must understand that no single supplement, exercise or program is appropriate for everyone. My clients know and I encourage you to do your research. Certainly do not go buying something and putting it in your body just because I featured it on a blog post, we all have to be smarter than that. This listing is simply to keep you informed about what quality supplements are out there and which ones I think will probably be the most useful for you to consider.
Should you have questions, feel free to post them below and I’ll get right back with you.
As always, train hard, train smart and in all things do your best.