A Beginner’s Guide To Supplements: Do’s And Don’ts

There are a ton of different supplements out there that range in price, taste, and even in color. For the most part you will recognize some of them but do you really understand them? I will give a brief explanation for the average person.

This post will focus on the basic items that should be fairly simple to understand. I do want to point out that I take a lot of these but the average person doesn’t necessarily have to.

 

Protein

Do – Use this if you are always in a rush and can’t sit down and have solid food.    Remember that it is a supplement just like the others and serves as an easy alternative to solid food. You can still make progress without it. Don’t stress over it.

Don’t – Use as an add-in. If you are already eating enough protein and continue to add more you will start to gain weight – this might not be what you want depending on your goals. Do not assume that by simply taking protein you will grow massive muscles and certainly do not assume that any other supplement will give you results overnight.

Did you know  –

  • The most common type of protein is Whey
  • Whey is an all-natural by-product of milk during cheese production. Approximately 20% of the protein in cows’ milk is made up of whey.
  • There are soy proteins, beef proteins, egg proteins, etc. It’s 2018 – there are several options.
  • It can be pricey
  • 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories
  • It is a macronutrient like carbs and fats

 

 

Pre-Workout

Do – Use it to get rid of the little voice in your head that makes you want to get home and take a nap. Use it to help you push past failure in the gym. Use a pre-workout that has a transparent label that lists out all the ingredients – you do not want to take anything you don’t fully understand. Do understand that BETA – ALANINE is the ingredient that causes you to get the itchy feeling – it is used to decrease fatigue when you work out. Take a break from constant use – your body will start getting used to it and you will be tempted to increase dosage – don’t do it.

Don’t – Overdo it! Use it wisely and most importantly remember to stay hydrated throughout the day as they usually contain high doses of caffeine Don’t drink a lot of caffeine during the day if you know you will be taking pre-workout – it will make you jittery and will increase your heart rate. Don’t use it if you can do without it – it is not something that is necessary. Do not take the full scoop if it is a new product – you do not know your tolerance levels and it could end in an unpleasant way.

Did you know

  • It can disrupt your sleep
  • A lot of the products in the market contain creatine
  • Some products contain Nitric Oxide
  • There have been early pre-workouts that had some very bad ingredients (JACK3D)
  • You could always have a cup of coffee
  • It’s not always needed

 

BCAAs(Branch Chain Amino Acids)

Do – Use them if you are already working out. You won’t feel the benefit unless you have experienced workouts without them. Buy them if you are feeling a lot of fatigue from intense workouts and want to speed up your recovery. They are essentially the building blocks of protein and therefore aid in recovery. Use them if you are into training at a fasted state (when you haven’t eaten).

Don’t – Do not buy them if you aren’t going to use them. As I stated above – you won’t necessarily be able to feel the difference unless you have felt the pain of an intense workout. Don’t stress over this product – although it is very beneficial you aren’t a pro bodybuilder or athlete – however if you want to be one then by all means buy it!

Did you know

  • It can actually help your immune system
  • It will help your muscle from breaking down
  • There are a ton of flavor options now
  • They promote protein synthesis

What should you do with all this information?

If most of this information is NEW information then I suggest you continue to do research. I happen to be lactose-intolerant so when choosing a protein supplement I have to usually go with something other than Whey. It can get a little overwhelming but I suggest you choose a product from a company that you trust and that is transparent – meaning, they use ingredients without proprietary blends. If you notice a company using proprietary blends that should be a turn-off.

Make sure you aren’t being scammed by brick-and-mortar stores – they usually raise their prices and try to sell you on store brand products which actually may be good but I don’t usually trust them. Amazon is a good way to check out pricing.

If you are curious about what products I am currently using then I will list them below (I am not getting compensated for this – I wish I was).

Protein  – Optimum Nutrition Hydrowhey – It isn’t as harsh as regular whey on my stomach and actually tastes pretty darn good. It also contains 30 grams of protein per scoop.

Pre-WorkoutMDRN Athlete – I just started using  a new pre-workout and it has actually been phenomenal. It is not a big brand product but comes from a company that seems to be transparent. I am still testing it out so don’t hold it against me if you hate it.

BCAAsMuscle Pharm – I have used other brands in the past and could never really feel a different in my recovery time. This product has been the first! It is also quite reasonable priced.

If you have any questions or need my take on any other supplement comment down below !