Everyone asks the question. What supplements should I be taking? What do you think of fat burners? Do you take a pre-workout?
And my answer is simple.
Since I usually keep my answer short and sweet, I wanted to get a little more in depth on the topic in this blog post, with the intention to educate you guys (especially the younger readers) on not wasting your hard earned cash on a product that is detrimental to your health.
Now, before I go any further, I want to state that there are some natural supplements I recommend. Vitamins, herbs, minerals and essential fats. But let’s hold off on those for a moment and get into the more popular, glorified supplements out there first!
So what is a pre-workout supplement? A pre-workout supplement is taken prior to your training session, usually in a powder form and mixed into a liquid. Typically they are the fruity, colorful drinks that you see guys chugging like it’s nobody’s business. The intention of a pre-workout drink is to give you energy and an incredible “pump” from your training session. And that in fact, it does. You will certainly gain energy and get a good pump. But what is causing this “rush” feeling and extreme blood flow to the muscles?
Well, first off the energy is coming from the massive amounts of caffeine that are in these powders. Let’s compare the caffeine in a popular pre-workout to the amount of caffeine in one 8 oz. cup of coffee. The cup of coffee contains about 91 mg of caffeine. Some popular pre-workouts range from 100-419 mg of caffeine per scoop! Which some guys are definitely using more than one scoop. That is fucking nuts! Imagine the impact that has on your heart over time. Caffeine consumption this high will also burn out your adrenal glands in no time, leaving you dependent on caffeine which makes kicking the supplements harder and harder.
Next on the list is the artificial sweeteners, dyes and coloring. As most of you already know, artificial ingredients are very detrimental to your health. They are linked to things like cancer, birth defects, reduced functioning of sexual organs and memory loss. Let’s keep in mind that artificial sweeteners are not just found in pre-workout supplements. They are everywhere including diet sodas and juices, any fake foods that say “sugar free’ or “reduced sugar”, and in packets at every diner, quick stop or coffee shops, protein powders and many other things. Always read labels and know what you are ingesting.
The pump that comes from pre-workout is mainly from the amino acids found in the supplement. L-arginine is an amino acid that can dilate blood vessels causing an increased rate of blood flow. This however does not last forever, rather just about an hour. Is $60-$100 a bottle really worth it to damage your kidneys, liver, heart, fry your adrenal glands and increase the risk of cancer for a good pump for an hour?
The bottom line is that these supplements are loaded with chemicals that are extremely harmful for you and definitely do not turn you into The Incredible Hulk like they promise they will. Save your cash and if you need a pre-workout, a cup of coffee will do just fine.
Fat burners actually used to be pretty effective when ephedrine was still legal. Since it has become banned these supplements are now loaded with a ton of caffeine to replace the feeling you got from ephedrine in the old days. Well, I just explained the harmful effects of excessive caffeine and although they are thermogenic, they really do nothing for fat loss. Trust me, you don’t need a fat burner. They don’t work. You know what does? Training hard and not eating like shit.
Most supplement companies will tell you that their test enhancers will make you look like Arnold in just 4 weeks! Guess what, they’re lying. There may be some studies that show a slight increase in test levels when using a product. But believe me you can increase your own testosterone production naturally, without ever touching that crap. Plus the chemicals added to most of these supps will do more harm than good. The effects of these products are minimal AT BEST. Save your cash!
Now believe me, at one point in my life I was just as naïve as you. Getting sucked into all this crap because I didn’t know any better. You name it, I’ve used it. Pre-workouts, amino acids, fat burners, test boosters, everything I just mentioned above I have taken. And guess what they did for my physique? Nothing. Some shit did work, but then it was immediately taken off the market. Plus all of the potential side effects are just not worth the risk. These products can be dangerous and serve no purpose. Do not waste your time or money!
Now on the other hand, there are definitely some supplements you should be taking to enhance your health and performance. I will always advise to consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplement, so if you are considering them please make sure you do so.
Here is my list of supplements I typically recommend.
MultivitaminsVitamin CVitamin D3ProbioticsOmega-3 PURIFIED fish oilsHigh quality NATURAL protein powders (no artificial sweeteners, fillers, or sugar)
There are a few others I will recommend to some people. They typically consist of herbs and minerals. But first, let’s start simple and grab the few supplements I suggested above.
Those are all beneficial and can help with any deficiencies as well as gut, brain, heart and joint health.
Remember that when you are healthy and have nutrient balance and mineralization your hormonal production will be higher, you will get better sleep, have more energy and feel stronger. Which will lead to more muscle mass and strength since you will be able to train hard more consistently.
So please, take it from me and save your cash on these harmful products. Invest in the stuff that will keep you healthy because that is how you will make the most gains in the gym and on the playing field.
So stay strong, stay healthy and train hard!
Until next time guys,
Let’s make some gainz!