So, you’re trying to figure out whether or not you need to take your hard earned dollars and invest in supplements to achieve your dream physique. Don’t worry playa, you’re not alone. Plenty of folks out there encounter this same dilemma when they first decide to transform their body.
Now, the first thing you should try to understand when attempting to figure out if supplements are right for you is…
What Exactly Are “Supplements”?
Without trying to sound too scientific, supplements are exactly that, supplements to a HEALTHY and Nutritious diet. Supplements are usually non-food items that are used to enhance your nutritional program. The keyword to emphasize there is …..ENHANCE….not replace!
That means that you shouldn’t take any supplements in the hopes that they’ll make up for a poor diet and lack of exercise, because sorry to burst your bubble playa, but they won’t!
Supplements may include but are not limited to, vitamins, minerals, bars, and energy drinks or sports nutrition products to enhance overall performance. A key thing to remember here is that supplements should be used ALONGSIDE a healthy diet but NEVER replace it.
Do you Need Supplements to Become Bigger or Stronger?
NOPE, not at all. Regardless of what these multi-million-dollar supplement companies try to get you to believe, they’re not required to increase muscle mass and strength. Anyone who trains SMART and hard and focuses on eating adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fats from whole food sources can and will see a significant increase in muscle size and strength.
With all that being said, I do want to be completely transparent and let it be known that I do use a few supplements myself. The four different supplements that I use (I call them my Core Four) are a protein supplement in the form of protein shakes (usually two a day), Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s for short), a Multivitamin and creatine.
There are definitely a bunch of worthless, ineffective supplements out there, but these four supplements have proven to me time and time again to be both effective and worth the money. If you’re looking to gain an extra edge and are serious about reaching your muscle-building goals, they are definitely worth looking into. And if you keep scrolling, I’ll show you exactly why.
Here are the “Core Four” scientifically researched supplements that I routinely use to enhance my personal regimen and why I use them.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder – (Get It On Amazon)
WHY: Taking this Whey protein helps ensure that I hit my daily protein goals that much easier. I don’t always have time to catch a bite and this protein makes life that much simpler.
WHY THIS BRAND: I like to go with Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard because it’s one of the cleanest brands of Whey Protein out there without all the unnecessary garbage that most supplement companies like to sneak in there. (Hence the name Gold Standard).
WHEN: I usually drink a protein shake right after my workout so that my body gets those fast digesting proteins in right at the most crucial point that it needs them. I also might sneak in another protein shake during the day if I haven’t had time to eat and I need a quick protein source.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) – (Get It On Amazon)
WHY: Scientific research shows that 5 grams of BCAAS before exercise can potentially reduce soreness and aid in recovery. They increase protein synthesis and decrease protein breakdown. Branch Chain Amino Acids (or BCAAs) are the building blocks of protein.
WHY THIS BRAND: Optimum Nutrition knows that not all BCAAs are created equal. That’s why they honed in on the three essential ones—L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine—and packed five grams of them together in each serving. Gold Standard BCAA is also infused with 220 grams of electrolytes to replenish what you will (and should) be losing through sweat.
WHEN: I usually take 5 grams (one scoop) right before my workout. You see before training, you want to boost energy and focus. And then I put another 5 grams inside my water bottle to fuel me during my workout. In the gym, during your workout, BCAAs can help spare muscle tissue from excessive breakdown and electrolytes can help support your performance during intense training.
Creatine Monohydrate – (Get It On Amazon)
WHY: Creatine Monohydrate is the most well-researched form of creatine. It has been shown to support muscle size, strength and power when combined with high-intensity activities.
WHY THIS BRAND: This brand is made with Creapure which is a form of creatine monohydrate that is widely considered to be the purest and finest quality micronized Creatine Monohydrate on the market today.
WHEN: I usually take 2 pills (2.5 grams) right after my workout with a protein shake afterward I take another two capsules with my lunch and dinner. (I’ll cycle on and off the creatine every two months).
Myovite Multivitamin – (Get It On Amazon)
WHY: This multivitamin keeps me going with several essential vitamins and minerals as well as support blends for my rigorous training schedule. Not to mention the liver support, cardio support, joint complex, probiotic blend, and performance support definitely make this a multivitamin that sticks out amongst the rest.
WHY THIS BRAND: Quality ingredients designed for people who train hard daily (like me). I mean just take a look at the ingredient list!
WHEN: I take one in the morning with my first meal. And if I’m cutting I’ll take another packet with my lunch.
Optimum Nutrition Casein Protein – (Get It On Amazon)
WHY: If taken right before bed this slow-Digesting Protein, will deliver 24 Grams of slowly digesting protein per serving that will fuel your muscles while you rest which is extremely beneficial since when you sleep your body typically goes for hours without food.
WHY THIS BRAND: Because of the way it’s made it takes longer for Gold Standard 100% Casein to be broken down into its amino acid subcomponents.
WHEN: Right before bed. (You can also take it in between meals if you know you won’t get a chance to eat for a while).
And there you have it, folks! These are all the supplements that you should consider if you were considering taking supplements at all. Everything else is completely unnecessary and a waste of money!
If ANY of this info was at all helpful to you, you might want to take a look at this if you’re REALLY serious about making those GAINS!