My Supplementation Strategy
Recently I have had a lot of questions about what supplements that I used during my transformation and what I recommend. That is a great question and is one that I asked when I started on my transformation journey. So, in today’s post I’ll take you briefly though what I take and why.
First, let me start by saying I am not really big on taking a lot of supplements. In my opinion supplements are over-hyped and most are a waste of your money. A proper diet will provide you with most everything you need to maintain a healthy body. After all, supplements are just condensed food. I try to consume my nutrients in their natural state. If I could do that successfully supplements would not be necessary. I think many people tend to have expectations that are too high when using supplements. The good news is that most supplements are safe, meaning it is difficult to hurt yourself with them if used properly. Likely, the only thing that will be hurting is your bank account.
Having said that, there are a few supplements that I think were vital to my transformation and are pivotal for max performance in some situations. A proper supplementation strategy can help you perform better and live healthier, especially when you are involved in an intense diet and training program such as P90X, INSANITY, INSANITY: THE ASYLUM, and many of the other Beachbody workout programs.
There are some supplements that I take all the time, and there are some that I take only in certain situations. Your diet should reflect your activity level, and so should your supplementation.
There are a few supplements that I consider “basic” to my diet and I take EVERYDAY, regardless of my exercise or activity level. They are scheduled into my daily routine.
1. Shakeology is without a doubt my favorite supplement and one that I consider a “must have”. There is a lot of hype about Shakeology and as usual I was skeptical at first. After all, it is an investment, and I am rather “frugal”. I tried to find an alternative to Shakeology, and trust me when I say it isn’t out there. I have to say, after I did my research on this product and gave it a trial run, I concluded that it not only lives up to the hype, it exceeds it. I have used it every single day since January 2011, and you would need and SEAL Team 6 to keep it away from me every morning. It really is that good…and no, I’m not just saying that to try to sell it to you…that’s not how I roll! That’s the honest truth. You will have to decide for yourself if it is in your budget, but before you waste your money on other supplements you should seriously consider Shakeology. Typically, there are two types of opinions about Shakeology. Those who haven’t tried it and are skeptical because of the price, and those who have tried it and now rave about it. For more information, CLICK HERE. I also have a Shakeology Video Library on my website (www.GetRippedNation.com) with several videos with more information.
2. Omega-3 is another supplement that I take every day. Omega-3 fatty acids give your body the support it needs for optimal heart, brain, and joint health, and it may help reduce the risk of heart-related disease. It is very difficult to get enough Omega-3 in your diet so supplementing it is important. Be sure do your research and find a high quality supplement…they are not all equal. I didn’t do my research and bought a bottle of 300 capsules at Sam’s Club because there were cheap…and I got what I paid for and I’m stuck with it for a few more months. Beachbody offers Core Omega-3, which is very high quality, albeit more expensive than the lesser quality option at the superstores.
3. I also take a multi-vitamin daily, just to ensure I have all my nutrients covered. Beachbody offer a very high quality ActiVit Multivitamin Formula, that I have not yet tried. I bought Centrum in bulk about 6 months ago, and I’m still on it with no complaints.
Now, there are a few supplements that I take on a “situational” basis. There are two very proven and safe supplements that can be very beneficial to you: Creatine Monohydrate, and a post-workout recovery supplement with a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein formulation. Neither should be taken blindly or without thought to situation.
4. Creatine essentially helps to hydrate the muscles with water to allow them to absorb more nutrients. It should really only be used when you are training hard and trying to build muscle or anaerobic strength. If that isn’t your goal, save your money. Using it in other situations is not only a waste of money, but can interfere with your diet by causing your body to retain water to increase cell volume. If you do use creatine it is important to cycle it two months on and 1 month off. There are a lot of reviews and studies on creatine so Google it and do your research. I use pure creatine powder with NO additive like sugars or fancy “transport” chemicals.
5. Recovery formulations with a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio should only be used to replace your glycogen stores which can become depleted from hard exercise or starvation. If you are eating well and doing light workouts of 30 minutes or less you do not need a recovery formula. However, when your are eating a lean diet and training HARD you are using up your body’s glycogen stores. The body has a limited supply of this and it NEEDS TO BE REPLACED! If you are doing P90X or another extreme workout program, chances are you need a recovery formula. I’ve tried several of these formulas and I always end up coming back to the P90X Results and Recovery formula. It tastes amazing and it is perfectly suited to replenish your body after intense workouts. This is another one of my must have supplements if you are doing P90X or Insanity.
6. Whey protein supplementation is also something to consider, again depending on your goals. Protein is essential to repairing and growing your muscles. I maintained the P90X “Fat Shredder” meal plan during much of my transformation which required 50% of my calories to come from protein. Consuming that much protein through healthy, lean foods is difficult and impractical. Recently I have been using GNC Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 protein. Beachbody also has a very high quality Whey Protein Powder, but to be honest I haven’t tried it yet.
7. Pre-workout supplements are something I am very conflicted about so I am going to withhold my discussion on those for a separate article. They are very popular and effective to some degree. I used one for a period of time during P90X, but I don’t think they are necessary, and some could also be harmful. I did like the intensity and energy that I got from using a pre-workout supplement. Do your research and put that low on your priority list for supplements.
If you have more questions or want more clarification please leave a comments below. If you enjoyed the article please share it with others. If you are interested in joining my team and having me as your free Independent Team Beachbody Coach CLICK HERE. I’d love to help inspire, motive and educate you as you strive to achieve your fitness and nutrition goals!