Tuesday, July 20, 2010
What's Up With Supps?
Alot of people ask the question, "Hey man, What supps you takin?" I usually answer quickly, "Steroids", just to get a rise out of people. Truth is, I don't really take much in the way of supplements. I get most of what I need through the quality foods I eat. I can say with confidence that food is one of the best "supplements" you can take.
There are some supplements that may prove beneficial to those individuals training with higer levels of intensity, the elderly, or any one really looking to gain ultimate health and function.
So what should you take? Well, I am going to step on my soapbox for a minute here and say, "Don't be a fish!" What do I mean by that? Well, all too often I see people, more specifically, men aged 20-30 years old flock to the supplement section of a store. They are mesmerized by the flashy packaging just like a fish is attracted to shiny lures. Stay away from the glitter and glam of MuscleTech and other companies that use buzzwords like "unbelievable gains" "mountains of muscle" or "Limitless energy" Ok, so those probably aren't real advertisements, but I have seen some pretty ridiculous ones like "gain 7 pounds in 7 days." That is just unhealthy, period. Remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Don't waste your money and certainly don't feed the Animal. What I mean by that is, don't do your part in keeping these companies around. Companies that pray on the naive. An industry that feeds off the vanity of society.
Ok, so your supplement selection was just whittled down by, lets say 85 percent. What should you take now?
Fish oil (pill or liquid)- The list of benefits associated with fish oil is long. Some include: Fat loss, anti-depressant, lowers cholestorol, pain relief, higher intelligence, protection of heart attack. You get the idea. Its pretty impressive stuff.
Multi-Vitamin-Sometimes we simply can't take in all the nutrients we need. This, in my opinion acts as sort of a buffering agent between you and optimal vitamin intake. Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, K etc help regulate our bodies natural funtions.
Creatine- This is likely the most studied supplement of the market, so I will give it the credit it deserves.
Creatine is found naturally in our body, so when people say it's not "all natural to take creatine, they are technically wrong. This supplement has gotten a bad rap in some circles, with critics saying that in can lead to hydration issues and muscle cramping. Recent studies show these claims to be unfounded. Creatine boosts your physical performance by increasing the number of times your ATP (ADENOSINE TRI-PHOSPATE) can be recycled during your intense physical activity sessions without actually increasing the amount of ATP stored in our muscles. The down and dirty, laymens terms? It should increase the amount of work you can do without rest. It can also make you stronger, therefore I advocate cycling on and off it, and following the guidelines suggested on the packaging. I wouldn't worry too much about the water weight you will gain, get over the vanity etc, and just get stronger.
L-Glutamine- This is another great supplement for any athletic quest. Why? Glutamine helps you recover faster, thereby reducing the time spent out of the gym from being too sore to train. It can also increase your growth hormones and better your training.
These are the basics. Stick to these and you're money. Or try steroids for a quick fix. Just kidding, but seriously. Before you begin any supplementation, do your research, ask around and just be smart. Supplements can do alot of good in recover, increase in performance etc, but if neglected, they can do more bad then good.
So what supplements do I take?
Occasional Post workout Carbohydrate drink mix
See, pretty simple, and no need to glamorize it with hyped up muscle products.
Shoulder Press 5/3/1
"Helen From Hell" "Hellen" Whatever you want to call it, the second workout from the CrossFit Games.
Run 1200 Meters
63 KB Swings
Run 800 Meters
42 KB Swings
Run 400 Meters
21 KB Swings