Whey protein is one of my top supplements. I choose chocolate or vanilla which is good for baking.
Over the the years I’ve tried a lot of supplements. Some work, some don’t. Some are even banned now. They tended to come under the former category.
But what are the three supplements that I would prioritise over other products. These are my favourites and my supplementation hasn’t really changed over the last few years. I do use other products and I’ll be writing more about some of these in a future post but right now, these are the foundation of my nutrition and supplementation regime.
Whey Protein for Recovery and Building Muscle
This has to be my number one supplement. I’ll take 1-1/2 scoops after a workout. I generally go for Whey Concentrate as it tends to be a bit cheaper than Isolate but it has more lactose and fat. These can affect you if you’re intolerant or trying to lose a lot of body fat.
I buy brands that don’t add too many additives and extras like carbs, creatine, etc as these just water down the product which I don’t like. I either buy chocolate or vanilla flavour (which is great for cooking). I try to keep supplementation simple in the style of Jim Wendler. Whey is a foundation of this.
Whey is also versatile as an emergency meal. If you’re caught out and don’t have anything to eat, a couple of scoops of whey and some nuts will sort you out until you can get some solid food. I’ve fallen back on this many a time, particularly when working or traveling or visiting family.
BCAAs Help to Reduce Muscle Soreness and Keep you Hydrated
I train a lot and mainly for performance at the moment although having and building more muscle is a welcome side effect. I generally train six or seven times a week with two rest days. When I’m at work, I have a tub of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) drink mix in my desk drawer at all times.
The advantages in this are two fold – I’ll mix myself up some BCAAs and sip that between meals. This helps me recover faster and also gives me more energy. I use a caffeine-free version so I can still have my coffee without feeling too amped up.
The other advantage is this: I’ll fill up a 750ml shaker with water and BCAAs at quite a weak dose – maybe 5 grams. By the time I’ve downed two of those I’ve had a litre and a half of water so I’m already on the way to my four litre target for the day.
A Quality Multi-Vitamin Supplement Ticks all the Nutritional Boxes
There are a lot of skeptics out there – medical professionals included – that decry vitamins as a scam. They say that the only thing you get when you take vitamin supplements is expensive urine. That may even be true for someone with a super-duper, healthy balanced diet.
But back in the real world, I know that my diet isn’t always as balanced as it could be. Its tough to eat five servings of fruit and veg a day if you work 7 to 5. It’s even harder if you travel with work. So to take up the nutritional slack, I include a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. When I take these I feel healthier, I seem to get less colds and I recover faster from weight training.
When it comes to a multi, I tend to go for a branded product. The difference in cost is marginal and I feel like I’m more likely to be getting the doses and quality of product that I want. Most supermarkets stock a range of branded vitamin and mineral supplements.
And you know, even if the health benefits are marginal, I’ll take those odds. My multi costs me about 20p (40 cents) a pill so my wee isn’t even that pricey.
Do you have a different opinion? Tell me what your top three supplements are either via email or in the comments below.