I’ve been taking supplements most of my life and having never met anyone who’s experimented with more of them than I have. I still take them, almost everyday, but what I take is a pretty short list that varies from time to time during the year depending upon my training and goals. Here are my four top reasons to take supplements, along with one reason not to.
1. To change your nutritional template. The world has gotten fat because we eat too many calories of food that has too little nutrients. Supplements have very few (if any) calories for the amount of nutrients they provide. Used correctly they ensure that your nutritional template is balanced in favor of health.
2. Insurance while dieting. Yes, I diet. While not overweight by most people’s standards, the sports I do often require I lose weight to accomplish certain things. When it’s on, I supplement like mad in order for an extreme version of #1. When you’re training you need even more nutrients than normal. Throw in reduced calories and it’s challenging. So I take targeted supplements. I can’t really say what the target is because it changes with the goals but I’ll try and provide a simple synopsis at the end.
3. To hit nutrition targets without additional calories. Notice the variation on a theme here. Supplementing your nutrition works best with a plan. Every training plan I make has a goal at the end. Mine are always sports related, and I do many sports, so they are always different, but whenever performance is your priority you want to target your nutrients as specifically as you can. I’m also busy, which make perfect eating a challenge, so targeted supplements come in very handy for ensuring you’ve got plenty of juice for your workouts, as well as recovering quickly from them.
4. Ergogenics. Last on the list, this is why most people buy supplements, for an ergogenic (performance) boost. While they often support ergogenics, supplements do not–like performance enhancing drugs–change your body chemistry and alter you without you doing other work. They do, however, aid ergogenics safely, which is a huge plus in my book. Supplements work via your body’s natural pathways. There are, essentially, condensed nutrition. Side effects, which are rarely present at all, tend to be minor. Killing yourself with supplements takes abuse–usually major abuse. As directed that are safe, even safer than most foods, and when you know what to take can offer nice ergogenic boosts to performance.
Now a reason not to take them.
1. Money. There are a ton of supplements on the market and if you don’t know what you’re taking chances are you’re wasting money. Supplements are not a more-the-merrier or one-size-fits-all scenario. Each is an ingredient, or targeted cocktail of ingredients, designed for a certain purpose. If you don’t have a goal with your supplementation you’re probably wasting money. Taking supplement should have an entry fee, which is research. Know what you’re doing and they can be a great advantage to your diet. Skip researching and you’re more likely just hemorrhaging cash.
I can see this post bringing up more questions than answers, and that’s a good thing. We can answer your supplement question on the Message Boards but there are simply too many scenarios to start covering here. My use of supplements generally targets these things: overall health, recovery post-exercise, night time recovery, pre and during exercise nutrition, daily tonics (based on personal medical reports), stress reducers, sleep enhancers, and maybe more but that line reminds me it’s late and I’ve got another big day tomorrow. Hasta mañana.
Heeeeeeere’s the numbers…
Beachbody Workout of the Day
Power 90 Sculpt 3/4– Dancing with the one that brung ya, as Darrel Royal would say, Power 90 was Beachbody’s first hit and Sculpt 3/4 was the workout I did to see if I thought the company was legit enough to work with. I liked the workout. Still do. The rest is history.
Synopsis – Squeezing stuff between rain and a big work day. Turned out pretty good, since I feel better now than I did this morning–even with a 53,000lb arm day. I honestly woke up thinking I was over trained. Now feel much better.
Reading & questions answered: /2809 (53/day) – 13& 115 (163 questions and 670 pages), Got sucked into an animal behavior book that was rad so I’m counting it. Animals are awesome.
Servings of Shakeology: /53 – 1(14) – w/ water
Days of Ultimate Reset: /5.3
Days taking supplements: /53 – 14
Days of no alcohol: /53 – 14
Days of no meat: /53 – 14
Coffee Cycles (more on this later): /5.3 – round 2.
King Pin fritters: /5
Beachbody workouts: /53 – 1(16)
Push-ups: /5300 – 150(1,020)
Jumping jacks: /5300 – 150(900)
Leg lifts: /5300 – 0(1160)
Crunches: /5300 – 0(1150)
Ab Ripper X Moves: /5300 – 0(1200)
Beast back day: /53,000 lbs. 54,000 CHECK
Beast chest day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast shoulder day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast leg day: /53,000 lbs.
Beast arm day: /53,000 lbs. 53,000 CHECK
P90X2 functional warm-up: /53 – 1(13)
Running drills: /53 – 1(13)
Neuro-integrating stretching: /53 – 2(13)
Iron Mind gripper and extensor band reps: /10600 0(3400)
Breath hold sessions: /53 – 1(13)
Stabilizer sessions: /53 – 2(13)
Internal Organ Training: /53 – 1(16)
5.11 Climbs: /5 4(4)
5.12 Climbs: /3 1(1)
5.11 Boulder transverses: /5 – (1)
5.12 Boulder transverses: /3 – (1)
Campus board movements: /530 – 0(66)
Climb-specific pull-ups: /530 – 10(75)
Cycling on road bike: /53 miles
Cycling on mountain bike: /53 miles 10(10)
Cycling on cyclocross bike: /53 miles 0(26)
Cycling on time trial bike: /53 miles
Cycling on fixed gear bike: /53 miles
Cycling on single speed bike: /53 miles 8(41)
Cycling on tandem bike: /53 miles
Hiking: /53 miles – 2(22)
Running: /53 miles 12(14)
30 minutes of rowing: /5 times 1(1)
30 minutes of elliptical: /5 times
30 minutes of swimming: /5 times
Tasks for his wife: /53 – 0(13)
Chores around the house: /53 – 1(20)
Tasks for his dogs: /53 – dogs are basically sidekicks so this one’s a freebie
Blog posts: /53 – 1 (17)
Team Beachbody Instructional Videos: /5
Team Beachbody Video Chat /5 1(1)
Days keeping these stats: /53 – 1(14)
A Few Challenges of Yore