Supplements are not magic and Supplements are by in no means necessary, they are simply that; a SUPPLEMENT’ to your diet.
They can end up putting a big dent in your pocket when you would be better off putting that money towards something else such as better quality food or even a personal training session. If your diet and training are not in check, then supplements are not going to help you very much, you may as well throw that money down the drain!
However I do take some supplements so it would be hypocritical of me to say otherwise! Here is a rundown of the ones which make up my current stack and why I take them. If you are taking supplement but cant explain why except that your mate said you should; then chances are that you should probably stop and go and do some of your own research!
I get my products from a variety of sources, the main one being Myprotein. They are affordable, have fast delivery and a huge variety of products. If you decide you would like to make a purchase then I have an affiliate link and discount code for you to use which will save you some money.
DISCOUNT CODE: ABIPT
I debated whether to pop this one in or not as technically it isn’t really a supplement. However I believe there is still a lot of misunderstanding surrounding the use of protein powder, especially amongst females. (for more information on protein powder see this blog post!)
Protein will not make you bulky!! It is essentially just another form of getting in one of the major macronutrients, you could simply say it is a blended up chicken breast in terms of nutritional value depending on which type you get.
I go for a standard whey protein, you don’t need a diet one or a fancy named one with super powers. I like the Impact Whey from my protein and always have a bag in the cupboard. It is cheap, there are lots of flavours to choose from and i like the taste. My current favourites are Chocolate Caramel and Straccitella. It is rare that I actually have a shake, much preferring to mix into yoghurt or make a microwave mugcake. However if I am travelling or know I will be out all day it is such a handy thing to pop into my bag so that I can hit my targets for the day and not worry about where I am going to get enough protein from!
My absolute favourite flavour is Snickerdoodle by PEScience. It isn’t readily available over here just yet though so can work out at a little bit more expensive. But I will order on occasion as a treat so that I have some in the cupboard, i love using it for protein waffles and pancakes!
The majority of people are deficient in Vitamin D without even realising it. It is the only vitamin which we cannot make ourselves, and instead must rely on direct sunlight or supplementation. Now that it is winter time I make sure to add Vitamin D to my daily intake to ensure that I am getting the RDA. I have noticed an improvement in my mood and general well being from taking it. Research is unclear as to the RDA, “The Office of Dietary Supplements suggest a supplemental intake of between 600 and 800 IU per day, with an upper limit of 4,000 IU. Going by more recent research however, it appears that 1,000 IU per day may actually be the MINIMAL amount needed to see benefit and avoid deficiency, with 2,000 IU being a wiser choice, and 10,000 IU being the upper limit.” (Taken from an article by Mike Samuels on healthylivingheavylifting.com) I personally take 1300IU/day.
Myprotein Vitamin D3 £6.99
There has been a bit of conflicting research about at the moment discussing whether we actually need to take a multi vitamin or not. If you are getting in a good varied diet with different types (and colours!) of fruits and vegetables then chances are you will probably have all bases covered, but personally even though I have an extremely colourful food intake, until I see more concrete research I will continue to take one just as insurance really.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
You must have heard numerous times the benefits of including fish and specifically oily fish in your diet. I know I don’t eat enough therefore I will supplement every day, but if you do include plenty of oily fish in your diet then you probably don’t need to supplement. Benefits include Improving cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, reducing risk of depression, managing arthritis symptoms, amongst others. 3g per day is what the research says you should be aiming for.
I take this in the form of an effervescent tablet (Berocca or I like the raspberry flavoured ones from Aldi!) first thing in the morning when I am taking my other supplements. Once again it is more of an insurance than anything else, as I do take in fresh fruit every day. According to examine.com, an athlete supplementing with Vitamin C, can half their risk of developing a common cold, and I would back that up as (touch wood) I am very rarely poorly! It can also reduce the duration of a cold in majority of populations.
I take 5g of creatine every morning. It is the most researched supplement out there, with plenty of evidence to support its consumption. Basically creatine allows you to increase your work capacity, which enables you to train harder and for longer periods.
Taken from a report by Nick Tuminello on creatine:
Specifically, research has shown that creatine offers the following benefits to individuals who supplement with 5g/day:
• Increases fat-free mass
• Improves maximal strength (as measured by 1RM bench press)
• Improve muscular endurance
• Increases anaerobic power and performance
Helps keep you hydrated in extreme outdoor conditions
You simply need creatine monohydrate, and there is no need to overload it, 5g per day is all that you need.
There is so much conflicting information surrounding the use of BCAAs and whether they are necessary or not. Personally I like to use them if I am training on a morning and I haven’t eaten anything. There is some research out there to suggest that they help stop the process of muscle tissue breakdown whilst promoting muscle protein synthesis. I have to do more reading on this subject before i am willing to say I fully back this claim and recommend people take them during or in between training sessions.
I think I have made it known that I love a cup of coffee to get me going in the morning, it perks me up for the day and i am ready to rock and roll. If I am feeling particularly tired or in need of a boost then I will take a pre-workout which contains some form of caffeine. My current favourite is Alphamine by PES, i really like the flavours which they have but also it doesn’t give me the face tingles which a lot of pre workouts do.
PES Alphamine from proteinpickandmix.co.uk
I like taking magnesium if my body is feeling particularly beat up from training, as I find that it helps with recovery but also improved sleep quality. I normally have some in the cupboard.
If you want more information on supplements then my absolute ‘go-to’ research point is examine.com.
Love Abi xxx