What are your favorite supplements for diet and exercise?
I take 25-30 grams of high-quality “Paleo” protein before and after each workout when I’m lifting heavy or doing extensive cardio (HIIT – high-intensity interval training, like bootcamp and/or Insanity).
Here’s my list of supplements:
- Protein powder (Paleo protein, my personal preference; has zero carbs/sugar; or Whey Isolate)
- Conjugated linoleic acids (CLA; fat-burner)
- Nitric Oxcide (NO) pre-workout
- Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA)
- Beta-alanine/L-arginine/citrulline malate combo-mix
- L-Carnitine (great fat-loss combo with fish oil and CLA)
There’s lots of supplements out there on the market. Some are highly recommended, and some are not. Some are a waste of money. Talk with the trainers to get their recommendations. Take a supplement that provides focused, long-lasting energy, and does not result in an energy crash. Watch out for supplements with side-effects, hidden sugar and caffeine…stay away from those! Don’t buy the cheap protein powder…most of it is made with low-quality protein and includes some unwanted chemicals. Stay away from cheap whey-based protein if you can, and get an “isolate” whey protein mix.
Supplements with Beta-alanine are especially great, because it’s a naturally occurring amino-acid. Supplementation with beta-alanine has been shown to increase the concentration of carnosine in muscles, decrease fatigue in athletes, and increase total muscular work done…it’s one of the best muscle building supplements available.
Citrulline malate (found in watermelon) is found to increase workout intensity, improve blood flow, decrease fatigue and soreness after your workout…you’ll do more reps, and not be as sore if you take this supplement.
L-Arginine is another good supplement that helps stimulate protein synthesis, thereby building muscles, strength and endurance. By taking 10-15 grams per day, the body’s insulin levels will decrease by 20-30%, and there’s many references in my blog that talk about reducing insulin to reduce fat. L-Arginine will also increase nitric-oxide production in blood vessels, which increases their diameter, without raising blood pressure. When blood vessels dilate, more nutrients reach the muscles. Many of the better supplements will include it.
Creatine is great for muscle strength. It helps the muscles by prolonging anerobic glycolysis even though the lactic acid level has risen because of increased activity. So, that means that it helps push your muscles past their normal limit and beyond, leading to bigger, leaner muscles.
Glutamine is great for muscle repair. I take 10 grams per day (2 servings of 5 grams, before and after workout, with protein powder). I read somewhere that Jack LaLane used to take 50 grams per day…just saying…
CLA : Available at Mother’s Market, but best to buy it at a bodybuilding/supplement store (Wholesale Nutrition or Bodybuilding.com) to get the best combination of milligrams and price. It’s a great year-round fat-burner. Read more here… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjugated_linoleic_acid
BCAA : branched-chain amino acids. Don’t skip this important supplement if you are working out hard! I sip it during my workouts for best results and decreased muscle soreness afterwards. Read all about it at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branched-chain_amino_acid
If you are working out hard, you’ll need some or all of these supplements…and stay with the natural ones above, available in the best nutrition shops, nothing “off the street”.