First and foremost, the supplement industry is bullshit.The industry makes millions by scamming poor, naive and often uneducated (perhaps to an extent gullible) people by using loose scientific terms and clever marketing techniques. I firmly believe that about 99% of the supplements out there are dog shit, however the leftover 1% may yield some potential health benefits. So below I’ve listed the supplements I currently take and those that I recommend:
- Fish oils – I don’t consume a lot of oily fish and therefore get most of my omega 3 fatty acids from flaxseeds, however flaxseeds really don’t compare to fish oils when it comes to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content. Supplementing fish oils can yield a myriad of
benefits ranging from cholesterol support, to mood enhancement to improved bone health. If you already eat a lot of oily fish then you’ve probably no need for a supplement, but for those that don’t (like me) you can find fish oils relatively cheap. I take around 3-6g per day.
- Vitamin D3 – If you live somewhere where it’s always sunny then you’re most likely getting enough vitamin D. Sadly for suckers like me who live in the UK we get one week of summer then return to the rain, meaning we’re probably deficient in vitamin D. Having enough vitamin D is crucial for bone health through promoting calcium absorption and enabling remineralization. Without sufficient v
itamin D our bones have the tendency to become brittle and misshapen due to insufficient remodeling by our osteoblasts and osteoblasts and ultimately increases our overall risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – I won’t go into too much detail here but ACV has been shown to reduce blood pressure and could possibly lower blood sugar, improve heart health and help with weight loss. I take 1 tablespoon with a glass of water everyday, the taste is a bit odd at first but you quickly get used to it.
- Caffeine -I don’t really take caffeine as a supplement as such (I drink coffee regularly) but rather than waste your money on an overpriced pre-workout supplement that most likely has caffeine as the main ingredient alongside a “proprietary blend” just save some pennies and grab yourself some caffeine pills or some coffee.
- Creatine -The “bros” steroid alternative! I stopped using creatine long ago but it does have some significant longstanding research behind it. I’ll quickly state that creatine IS NOT a steroid. Now with that said the research behind creatine has shown supplementing with 5g daily (no need for this ridiculous frontloading nonsense) can lead to greater muscle mass and power output and is a pretty expensive experiment if you’re still unsure. I suggest you take 5g of creatine monohydrate everyday (doesn’t particularly matter when).
- Whey Protein – This truly is one of the biggest supplement scams going. The marketing behind whey protein will have you believe that after downing a few shakes (30 minutes post workout for that anabolic window guys…..not serious) you’ll be like Arnie. This couldn’t be more wrong! Whey protein is exactly what it says……protein! One of the main macronutrients in our diet and contrary to what the industry might tell you, you DO NOT need obscene amounts. In fact over consuming protein essentially just means you’ll be converting the excess into expensive carbs (look up “gluconeogenesis” for more info). Now (impending hypocrisy) I do use whey protein, however I think of it as a food. I mix a scoop of Nutrisport 90+ chocolate whey (endorsement hint) with porridge, peanut butter and blueberries for breakfast.
The bottom line with any supplement here is that they are only supplements, there are no magic pills or powders. The problem with over the counter supplements really is that they make outrageous promises that they simply cannot deliver. If they were capable of producing these amazing results then they would be regulated the same way anabolic steroids are. All in all you should only take a supplement if you are deficient in any nutrient that cannot be rectified with your diet.