So, you've recently started a fitness & nutrition program, and now it's time to start taking some supplements. Where do you start? Should you just trust the young sales rep at the supplement store?
Not so fast... before we go get supplements, are you doing everything you should be doing? Today, I'm not going to be telling you what to and what not to take, but if you stick around to the end, I'll show you what I personally use. Now, let's take a look back and analyze.
All people into fitness have 1 of 2 goals: to lose fat, or to build muscle (usually both). People ask me, "Connor, what are some supps I can start taking to help me reach my goal?" The reason people go straight to supplements is because supplements are easy. Taking a pill before breakfast is 10x easier than eating a healthy breakfast. There are a few things I usually recommend, but first I ask them a simple question... "How's your nutrition?"
Usually, they will respond with a sentence starting with "Well..." which basically tells me they don't have the greatest nutrition. So, before you go spending a bunch of money, let me tell you my 3 out of 3 rule.
1. Nutrition - Are you following an effective nutrition plan?
2. Strength Training/Cardio - Are you following a rigorous strength training/cardio program?
3. Sleep - Are you sleeping enough to recover?
If you can't say yes to all 3, then let's hold off on the supplements. If you want to build muscle & lose fat, these 3 rules will get you there. First, it starts with your fuel. You need to be fueling your body with the proper carbohydrates for energy and protein for recovery. Then, use the energy properly. Work out hard, lift heavy weights, and BUILD muscle that will burn fat for you! Cardio is an important part to keep your energy expenditure high. And the most overlooked of all, sleep like a cat. If you're not sleeping right, you can't recover right either.
See, I actually am pro-supplements. I take a handful myself. But the problem is that people misunderstand supplement with replacement.
"My nutrition is bad? No worries, I'll just buy a $60 fat burner!"
"My workouts honestly aren't too effective, but I'll just buy a really good protein powder instead."
"My sleeping patterns are pretty bad, so I'll just use BCAA's to make sure I'm recovering right!"
This is so wrong! First, let's understand the meaning of supplement -
"noun: supplement; plural noun: supplements
something that completes or enhances something else when added to it."
So, we are enhancing what is already good. Now, I'm going to correct the sentences above :)
"My nutrition is doing great! I can supplement it with some L-carnitine to help convert stored fat to energy."
"My strength training program has been killer, so now I need a protein powder to maximize my gains!" ***Don't take this too seriously, click here to watch a video I already made on this topic.
"Honestly, I don't think my sleep is going so well, maybe I should try supplementing it with some melatonin, and L-theanine."
So, there's not replacing my 3/3 rule, but once you are doing good consistently, then it may be time to add in supplements. So, what do I take? Here's my list:
1. Pre Workout - not necessary whatsoever, but on days when I'm really tired, it does help me get a better workout.
2. Probiotic - great for digestion
3. Greens Powder - great for digestiom & multivitamin
4. Melatonin - great for getting into a deep sleep
Thanks for the read as always, Heroes. Let me know what you want to see next! Make sure you check out the video version of this blog here.