As we all know, there are literally thousands of different types of supplements to pick from. They all claim to perform some sort of miracle and say they are indispensable. But are they really necessary? And do they really do everything they say they do?
It can be difficult to get the amount of nutrients you need every day. That’s why they are called ‘supplements’. Don’t forget they are just that…they are mean to supplement your otherwise healthy diet. They should not be used as a shortcut or a replacement.
In this post I’m going to cover what I personally consider to be your must have stack, with a few good extras to consider. Feel free to comment and tell me what your favorites are!
First off: PROTEIN! I think this comes before all others. If you aren’t going to pop any pills or use any other form of powder supplements, at the very least…use protein!! Even though it is best to get your protein from natural sources like chicken and tuna, a few scoops of protein can be both beneficial and convenient. Not everyone carries around a few extra chicken breasts in their bag, but it is easy to carry some protein powder. Protein is essential for both building and maintaining lean muscle while losing fat.
Multivitamin: This is your overall key to wellness. I personally hate taking vitamins…but there is nothing else you can take that has so much to offer for your health. I rate this right up there with protein. Take your daily multivitamin!
BCAA: Branch chain amino acids. BCAA’s assist in delivering protein to your muscles while at the same time preventing the protein from breaking down before it can be utilized. BCAA’s are great for pre-workout for cardio because they do not make you jittery and nauseous when your heart rate goes up.
Fish Oil: Fish oil is like multivitamins: it is good for your overall health. It is good for your heart, your bone health and has even been shown to help keep you in a good mood. Fish oil contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) that your body requires but cannot produce so it is very essential you are eating food or taking supplements that contain EFA’s (like fish or fish oil).
Calcium: Calcium is another must-have, especially for women. Most women do not get nearly the amount of calcium they need every day, which can lead to many problems later in life. In addition to it’s well known bone health properties, calcium has been shown to promote a lean physique. There are more varieties of calcium than you think. I prefer calcium citrate with vitamin d and magnesium.
Glutamine: Glutamine is essential for your post workout recovery. It speeds the recovery process while preventing muscle soreness. All you need is a little scoop to add to your post-workout protein shake to keep your muscles primed and ready for the next day’s weight lifting brutality session.
That does it for the absolute must haves. Here are a few extras to strongly consider:
Pre-Workout:This is a tricky one, and finding the right pre-workout can be difficult and frustrating. Pre-workout has a bad rep for making one jittery and can even make you throw up if you go too hard. That isn’t the case with all types though. Honestly you just have to try a few out until you find what you are looking for. I personally love 1.M.R. Vortex. It gives you great energy without making you feel like you are tazmanian devil and losing your mind on a caffeine high. It also contains fat burning properties, which makes it a great two-in-one product.
Fat Burners: CLA and caffeine products are the two basic choices. CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) promotes lean muscle mass and speeds up your metabolism. Caffeine essentially raises your core temperature, causing your body to burn more calories. Many caffeine based fat burners also contain niacin, which does the same thing. Many people do not have a very good capacity for caffeine, so be careful when beginning a caffeine supplement. Too much can cause you to be dizzy, nauseated, and increase your heart rate too much. Think about it being like red bull or monster on steroids in a pill form. As with anything else the type of fat burner that works for you is a personal preference and one you have to figure out for yourself. Just be cautious and begin with the smallest dosage and increase it over the period of time specified on the product label.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article. If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment!