Supplement Series # 3

My Supplement Recommendations

A couple of points before I list the reasons for my supplement recommendations. You will notice that the supplements that I do recommend are basically a form of food. They derive of the nutrients that come from food. They could even be considered as a meal replacement, and are basically food in liquid form.

jack3dBanThey do not include any chemical or mood altering supplements. I don’t recommend supplements that have anything to do with altering your energy levels, taking you out of your natural state; for example, a pre-workout formula,  energy formula, or anything that proposes to trick the hormonal system into producing more testosterone. If you need a boost in a pre-workout formula that you cannot get from some natural fruit, then you have not addressed the fundamentals of eating healthy to begin with and no supplement will be able to help you.

With that said, the supplements I recommend are safe for young kids engaging in high activity. One caution with young bucks, particularly mine, is that they can tend to drink too many calories and not eat enough. Once they know they can drink a small protein drink in a matter of  a minute, they will forego wanting to eat a meal. The same applies to kids as with teens, the supplement is an addition to eating good meals.

examineExamine.com is an independent organization that presents unbiased research on supplements and nutrition. The site is run by editors who collate the latest scientific research. From their site: Since inception, “Examine.com has become a highly-trusted source for evidence-based information on supplementation and nutrition. With over 250,000 visitors every month, more and more people are relying on our research to differentiate between marketing hyperbole and real world effects.”

What I base my recommendations on:

recommendSimply, if you’re eating properly you should be getting everything you need from the foods you eat. However, I have noted my reasons for believing that supplements can be a good addition to a healthy diet. Remember that my goal or focus in my nutrition is to eat for sustained energy. That is what I base my use of supplements on. Here are the other reasons for the supplements I recommend:

  • Does it do anything for me? —I don’t just take something for the sake of taking something. I want it to have some benefit, otherwise it’s a waste of my time and of course my money. Generally I look for something that will provide me with energy  throughout the entire day. If I’m eating and sleeping properly, then I will not feel any effect to a supplement that I’m taking. At that point I am just putting faith into the ingredients and nutrients that is provided through that supplement to ensure I get sufficient amounts throughout the day.
  • Cost—Is it worth what I’m paying for? I know that often you get what you pay for, but I certainly do not like paying more than necessary. Cost is factored into what I eat, and the same applies for my supplements.
  • Is it effective/necessary?—I recently have utilized examine.com to target specifically certain supplements to determine what their effectiveness through legitimate double blind studies are. Needless to say, I have been surprised to learn that many supplements I once believed were necessary, really have no effect on humans. So I look at their data to determine whether or not something is effective and/or necessary.
  • Is it convenient/practical?—Much of the reason I do take a supplement is out of convenience. I do get tired of eating, particularly breakfast, and a supplement drink is a good way for me to get the fuel I need in a quick time.

The supplements that I am going to recommend are based on the following:

My personal use —I’ve tried quite a bit of supplements, and spent quite a bit of money,  and to be perfectly honest most had no positive effect on me at all. One of the supplements I recommend did give me some immediate energy and I felt great, but that is because I was quite deficient in those nutrients to begin with. What I recommend is the only supplements that I use. No more, or no less.

Does it taste good?—Trust me, if it tastes bad it will sit and sit in the cupboard. Fortunately the taste in supplements has become quite good. Unfortunately that good taste often requires some extra sugar and artificial colors and flavoring. I’ve done my due diligence in trying to reach a common ground between the two.

There are a few other supplements that I could make the argument that are possibly worthwhile. But on the same token, I could make the argument against them being worthwhile. If you have any questions about any supplement, I recommend you go to examine.com and/or contact me and I’ll look into it. With that said, these are the supplements that I recommend, and in no specific order. In the next article I will give my recommendations to the specific products that I recommend.

protein powderProtein Powder – We know why protein is important to us – it provides the body critical amino acids that serve as building blocks for the formation of new muscle. I mentioned earlier that the supplements I recommend are almost considered a food. Protein shakes are that. This is an extremely convenient, and easy way to get quality protein into your body. You can simply put powder into an empty bottle or shaker, and whenever you want add water and drink. The two types of protein that I would consider are whey, and casein.  Whey protein is fast digesting and is recommended to be consumed following a workout, and casein has a slower rate of digestion and results in a slow but steady release of amino acids into circulation.

Meal Replacement Powder – Basically this is similar to the protein powder in regards to getting quality protein. However, most protein powders contain mostly protein only. They do not contain carbohydrates and fat. Meal replacement packets contain a balanced variation of protein vs. carbs vs. fat. I have used protein powders in the past based on the fact they didn’t have carbs and fat. I am now leaning towards the MRP’s and am experimenting with which product I like. As far as young athletes go, I prefer an MRP over a protein shake, due to the fact that you are getting balance. This is a definite option to replace a meal. One other thing I love about these is that you can get good fiber as well, so it is the ultimate balance.

greensGreens Drink – A greens drink is basically an all natural food supplement to provide your body with the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes it desperately needs. Providing these through diet alone can be quite difficult so these supplements are well worth taking. Green food supplements are made from super green foods which help to alkalize, energize and nourish the body’s cells along with balancing the body’s pH level. It will help with digestion, energy, and supporting your immune system. Many greens drinks, including what I recommend, not only include a wide variety of green foods and vegetables, but also include a large supply of the nutrients from whole fruit. I highly recommend eating fruit and or veggies/greens at least 5 times a day. Obviously that is pretty difficult to do and there is no way you can even come close to getting the same amount of nutrients that a greens/fruit supplement provides. I highly recommend this supplement for everyone in the family. You cannot get enough of these nutrients, and they will benefit your health in every imaginable way. I try to take this supplement twice a day. By the way, this is the one supplement that I actually felt a newfound energy, which proved that I was deficient in some of these vital nutrients.

Essential Fatty Acids – These consist of fish oil, omega 3-6-9’s, or flaxseed oil. Basically these are the good fats that I find to be difficult to get through a regular diet consistently throughout the day. We refer to essential fatty acids fish oilas “essential” for a reason. They are vital to human health, despite the body’s inability to manufacture its own supply. For this reason, they must be obtained through the diet or supplementation. EFA’s are an anti-inflammatory and cushion the joints of an athlete. With all the benefits by EFA’s, my main support for supplementing with them is they are crucial for children who are developing physically and mentally. They are necessary in maintaining an optimal hormonal balance. Like the greens supplement, it can be difficult to get healthy fats throughout the day. Putting a tablespoon in a drink twice a day will ensure that you are getting enough.

That’s It! That is pretty much all I recommend. These are the only supplements that I use, withstanding the MRP’s which I plan on switching to. Part of the reason I do not use an MRP is because I add foods to my protein shake. These are all foods/supplements that I add to my shakes:

  • Water—Sometimes a little milk, and sometimes ice
  • Protein powder
  • Frozen fruit – when using strawberry (or non chocolate) protein powder
  • Peanut butter—When using chocolate protein
  • Greens—Scoop of greens (probably like a tablespoon)
  • Omega 3-6-9—About a tablespoon of oil
  • Apple cider vinegar—I haven’t mentioned alkalyzing the body and Ph levels, but a good addition
  • Yogurt—primarily when I use a smoothie protein powder

recommended2These are primarily what I use in my shakes. This is much of why I haven’t used MRP’s because I am getting balance through other foods. If I were using a MRP then I would not need to add these items. That’s why I like the MRP, as it is simple and convenient, primarily for on the go.

Again, you can see where my supplements are basically liquid forms of food, or the nutrients that are found in whole foods. This is a nice and convenient way to get the nutrients I need without having to eat all the time, as well as just giving my digestive system a break. These supplements all provide the main important nutrients in a healthy diet—protein, vegetable & fruits, and healthy fats. It makes eating a whole and balanced diet much easier.

smoothieThere are other supplements out there that may benefit you. But it is my opinion that if you eat a healthy balanced diet, you should not need any supplements whatsoever. However, I do believe that the supplements I recommend will benefit you in terms of ensuring you are getting enough of the vital nutrients, and in a convenient and easy to consume fashion.

In the last article in the Supplement Series I will list the products that I use and recommend based on the reasons provided earlier. I will also touch a little on post-workout nutrition, as well when are good times to drink a protein or MRP drink.



Supplement Series

1  To Take or Not to Take
2  Best Supplements for Athletic Performance
3  My Supplement Recommendations
4  Supplement Products That I Use and Recommend

Nutrient Timing for Optimal Performance
Post-Workout Supplementation