What supplements should you actually take??
The fitness industry is oversaturated and it can be confusing when every influencer is pushing supplements left and right.
Which supps are actually useful to take??
A lot of supplements aren’t really “necessary”, more like they are trying to take your money…
- Protein Powders- Do I recommend? Yes, to a certain extent. If you have a hard time actually eating enough protein, then yes it can be useful to have on hand! I am vegan and always like having a protein shake after my workouts, and I only like Plant Fusion brand. A lot of brands can put fillers in (rice protein, other crap) so I like PF because it’s pretty clean and helps me hit my protein goals.
- BCAA’s- Ehhh. If you’re consuming enough protein from food on your own, or taking a protein shake that has a complete protein (pea protein), then you are solid and don’t “have” to take bcaa’s since they are already found in your protein shakes or food (and I prefer saving money since I already have a protein shake that contains them). Here’s an interesting article on this topic: https://ladder.sport/blogs/main/bcaa-vs-protein
- Pre-Workout- I’m personally not a fan and prefer my clients drink a cup of coffee 20 mins before their workout (more natural source of caffein). The problem with pre-workouts is you can become dependent on them and over time need to take more and more for it to actually work. When I was done competing in 2017, I had developed adrenal fatigue, it was AWFUL. I always advice only taking pre-workout if you absolutely neeeed a pick-me-up, but not something to take on a daily basis. Read this: https://mclubspaandfitness.co.uk/the-pros-and-cons-of-pre-workout-supplements/
- Creatine- Yesssss. Love. Creatine is the nutrient found in red meat which boosts muscle and strength, and is the most studied supplement on the market. If you’re plant based or don’t eat a lot of red meat, I think it is a great supp to add in. Creatine monohydrate is the best form to take, and you will notice an improvement in strength a few days after taking it. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-monohydrate-is-best#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
- Fat burners- No no no no nooooooo. Don’t do it. For my 3rd bikini show I experimented with taking fat burners and actually placed worse than when I took zero supps. They are terrible for heart health and don’t actually work for the long term. Based on my 2018 experiment I don’t think they work and or worth it!!
- Weight/Mass Gainers- Yes, if you’re trying to gain weight, then mass gainer can definitely help. I went from 130lbs to 140lbs in 2018 to 2019 after competing because I felt too frail at 5’9. I took dextrose for a year and was able to successfully stay at 140lbs. (Gaining weight is just as challenging as losing, if not harder, because metabolism goes against you!) Here’s the dextrose I like: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/creatine-monohydrate-is-best#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4
*Again, I know there is sooo much on the market. This is just from personal experience and knowledge from coaching world. Always chat with your doctor before taking supplements!