Most supplements are a waste of money. Let’s say that again: The vast majority of supplements are only good for making your urine more expensive.
But of course there are exceptions to every rule. Well, maybe not “don’t slam your testicles in a drawer.” Aside from that rule, there are always exceptions.
So we asked our trainers for the supplements they most often recommend to their clients. Here’s what they said.
Hakim Medfai – Magnesium
“Helps increase and regulate energy. It’s important for balancing anxiety and stress levels which help improve recovery and sleep. It can also help reduce muscle aches and spasms by controlling the levels of calcium, potassium and sodium in the body.”
There is a raft of research in favour of magnesium for anyone who trains regularly, so you can be sure this isn’t some pseudoscientific waffle. Magnesium is a safe bet.
Magnesium is best absorbed trans-dermally, ie through the skin. Get yourself some topical magnesium spray. Start with ten sprays per night before bed and work up to 20 sprays. This has the added bonus of helping with sleep. But be warned, it also tends to give you crazy dreams due to the longer duration of REM sleep.
Tim Walker – Vegan Protein Powder
“We train a lot of clients whose goal is body transformation, are short on time and don’t always want to prepare lots of meal. But we insist that they hit their protein targets for the day, so protein powders often become useful. On the other hand, many don’t do well with dairy. I’d estimate that one in ten of my clients seems to suffer with bloating when they have dairy. And when it’s about getting ripped abs we can’t have that, can we?”
One serving of a decent vegan protein (we like the Innermost range) should contain about 30 grams of protein, which is perfect for a post training shake or an afternoon protein top up.
Max Gingell – Vitamin D
“I like vitamin D as it’s proven to maintain healthy bones, muscle tissue and Testosterone levels. Yes, we get vitamin D from the sun, but we don’t see a lot of that for most of the year in London. And even then, we only manufacture it when we have most of our skin exposed to the sun during it’s peak hours, so mid-day to 3pm. So unless you go naked jogging by the Thames at lunch time, a D supplement is your best bet”
“I take 3,000 IUs a day. This is 300% of your RDA, but it’s pretty impossible to overdose on it. And if it is, I want to.” In all seriousness, those who train should slightly up their intake relative to the standard RDA.
Zack Cahill – Creatine
“I am old enough to remember the media scare stories when creatine first became popular. It was likened to steroids, which is pretty hilarious. Creatine is probably the best researched supplement in existence. It was being used by track athletes in the early 80’s. It has zero side effects and, more importantly, actually works. It basically helps you get a few extra reps, so instead of failing at six on a squat, for example, you’ll get eight to ten. This leads to more strength and size. It also increases muscle cell volume, making you look bigger, which is the name of the game.”
“Do a one week loading phase of 20 grams a day (four teaspoons). Then stick to 5grams a day thereafter. Use it for three months (the average length of a powerful body transformation) or so and or so then stop for a couple of months. And don’t bother with any of the fancy versions with extra ingredients. Just buy regular, cheap old bog standard creatine monohydrate. You should get a six month supply for about 30 quid.”
Scarlett Hollands, Vitamin C
“It’s necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Basically an all round babe.”
How Much ?
When I asked Scarlet this she barked “1000mg” at me before putting her headphones back in and going back to munching on a dumbbell. So make of that what you will.
Of course you could let us take all the guess work out of this nutrition stuff for you by joining one of our fat stripping training packages. If you want to learn more drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org