Previous post(http://amirrudinong.com/all-you-need-to-know-about-sports-supplements/), I post about sports supplements in general. Today, I will share with you what supplements I am taking in my everyday life and why I take them, so you can have a better understanding. I know supplements are very personalised and based on individuals. This post is more of my bodybuilding lifestyle instead to the general public. However, you can read on for your knowledge and you might never know if you ever need the knowledge one day!
Whey Isolate Protein
There are 7 types of protein powder in the Singapore market as of now mainly- Whey protein, Whey concentrate protein, Whey Isolate protein, Casein protein, hydrolysed protein, Soy protein and egg white protein. There might be more but it doesn’t matter to me because I only stick to one- Isolate. Let’s make it easier for you to understand. Simply- of all the whey protein, Isolate is the more expensive as the % of protein it contains is way more than normal whey and whey concentrate. Normal whey contains about 60%, whey concentrate about 70-80% and whey isolate is usually higher than 90%. The prices of protein powder are based partly on the % of protein in the product itself as some % are sweeteners and other fillers. For me, I treat my body as a Ferrari. Ferrari don’t use diesel. You get what I mean? And a lot of studies have proved that Isolate protein works. As of hydrolyzed, it is way too expensive to sustain monthly and the sodium content is quite high(which taken excessively can retain water and make you look bloated). I don’t take soy protein as it made me bloat way too much. Casein protein made me sweat each time I finished shaking it. It is 3-4 times thicker than a normal shake and it is mainly used just before bedtime as it takes a much longer time to be broken down. I don’t take egg white protein because I can get it from real eggs! Why would I waste so much money on processed products while I can eat the wholesome! I would have at least 40g of isolate protein for each serving.
I take my whey isolate only 1x a day. Only right after my training. You could have read online to drink 3-4x throughout the day but I don’t agree to it. Remember- it is to supplement you. You can’t depend on it and forget about your main solid meals. However, I know of some people who swears that they gain mass through drinking shakes. Well, good for them but my body doesn’t work that way. I would add additional 10g of BCAA and 10g of Creatine to each 40g of isolate protein shake. Contest period, Shakes will still be taken but kept to a minimum.
Weight / Mass Gainer
This is the best topic for all ectomorph readers out there who are trying to gain mass or weight. A lot of people thought by drinking Weight/Mass Gainer will make you bigger and bulk up more but it turned out otherwise. It is the most worst marketing scam(In my opinion) which has been floating around the fitness industry. I am sure a lot of people can relate this to a bigger and rounder stomach after consuming it instead of a bigger and denser body. First of all, let me address the misleading words- weight gainer and mass gainer. Do they have any difference? Yes, to the fitness industry but no to me. Why no? Because both will still make you gain weight and extra inch around your tummy no matter what. Being an ectomorph to begin with, I actually drink 3-4 times of these daily back then(Honestly, it tasted like some metal and steel). During my time, it was called weight gainer and it was filled with a whooping holly molly amount of sugar and high amount of fats. In the recent years, it was changed to mass gainer where sugar content were surprisedly reduced and more beneficial ingredients like MCT oil, good fats, sea salt are being added(It also taste so much better). Mass Gainer sounds so much better yeah? Precisely. That is marketing. Products are now getting better and have more science behind them. I personally only recommend Mass Gainer to people who really need higher calories in their regime (provided they are already hitting 3000 calories a day and training like a bull). Consuming mass gainer few times a day will help a lot. If you don’t even hit 3000 calories to begin with, don’t waste your money on it. I rather you spend on real solid food and get your diet right first. Do not be confused between protein shake and mass gainers. The only difference is the sugar and fat content. Mass gainer’s sugar and fat content is always sky high while protein powder’s are always very minute. I usually drink a mass gainer right after a meal every 3hrs when I’m looking for more calories. Another good time will be after workout. Read the labels carefully before you buy your mass gainer.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)
BCAA is hell lot of science terms to read about and I don’t wish to bore you. You can google more about it. I bet all these times, for those who have been taking BCAA, you don’t even know what exactly it does to your body and how it is being made. It’s fine. I was once like you. I decided to do my readings of all supplements because my cash was really low and need a change of cheaper ones and I need to stop buying supplements which I don’t need them. Oh yes, by the way, BCAA is made from hair(you can google more about it)-Lol. BCAA can be used 15 minutes before workout, during working and immediately after training. I usually select one BCAA blend which has the combination of Taurine, Glutamine and Electrolytes so I don’t have to buy one product after another. For me, I use BCAA during my workout, commonly known as Intra-workout drink. Other than that, I would drink it the moment I woke up and just before I sleep. The reason why I drink BCAA vs Protein shake immediately when I woke up because straight after, I will be having my 1st meal. I don’t want to feel so full. Contest period, I will switch to a unflavoured BCAA; totally bitter taste. I take 5-10g of BCAA per serving.
This is the most underrated supplement in the world of sports or rather Bodybuilding. A lot of online information will tell you it is a bunk supplement. In my opinion and years of using it, it is not. I actually experimented a lot on Glutamine. The difference is really minute that you need a lot of experiments to notice it. So, what does glutamine does to your body? It helps to maintain blood glucose level and supports glycogen synthesis. There is a cousin of glutamine called L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine. This glutamine is more expensive and usage is slightly different. However, overall, L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine is much more effective when comparing absorption rate between the two of them. You can google more about the latter. I usually take 10g of Glutamine immediately after I wake up with BCAA and another 10g just before I sleep. Total- 20g glutamine daily.
This substance is regarded as the most powerful supplement which will give you strength and muscle gains within weeks. It basically draws water to muscle cells and promote protein synthesis. There are many types of Creatine in the market. The most common and economical type is Creatine Mono-hydrate. There are….. a lot of protocol on how to take Creatine if you search online. There would be a protocol of loading etc. I usually take 10g after workout. I don’t take other times. I do not mix Creatine and Glutamine together because there are articles and research saying that the body can only utilize one due to the same passage way they took. These are expensive supplements, I rather not take the risk. Contest period, Creatine is seldom used due to its notorious water-retention look.
Some people dubbed this supplement as an effect of ‘placebo’. I have no comments on that- lol. This is the one which might cause you a little bit of side effects due to some of the ingredients used. Before and after workout side effects. Before workout, some might encounter tingling sensation of the ears and if taken beyond the recommended dosage, one will feel the fatigue and be restless for the rest of the day. Pre-workout powder contains substances which changes your mood, etc for a while so that your mind can be set right for training. Some ingredients which worked for me are beet-root extract, Beta-Elaine and a few more. Pre-workout drink is usually consumed 15-30 minutes before workout. I have never tried to take double/triple scoops before. I only consumed accordingly to the label. To be honest, nowadays, I no longer take pre-workout supplements anymore. I only use it whenever I remember- lol. Reason being- too busy with life.
If you are eating every 3 hours like me, you definitely need this supplement in your regime. I have tried eating every 3 hours without digestive enzyme and my body feels so bloated. Digestive enzyme actually breaks down the food completely at a faster rate so your body can absorb in a more efficient way. However, in some studies, they disagree in using this supplement. Your call actually. Digestive enzyme has helped me not missing my every 3 hour meal.
Pro-biotics If you don’t know probiotics, then remember it by referring to Yakult. However, I wouldn’t recommend Yakult because it contains way too much refined sugars for consumption per serving. You are literally consuming sugars then taking probiotics. Oh, by the way, digestive enzyme and probiotics are two different things. Please do not confuse yourself or be fooled easily. Probiotics are simply- good bacteria which interacts within your body and to keep your immune system in check while Digestive Enzyme are enzymes that break down polymeric macromolecules into their smaller blocks, making body easier to absorb them. Our human body does produce a certain amount of digestive enzyme which is sufficient for an sedentary person.
Milk Enzyme; Lactase
I have read and research about protein powder and experimented a lot by myself through all the findings. I found that without milk enzyme, the rate of breaking down protein powder is much slower. If you drink a lot of protein shakes, be sure to have a diary enzyme beside you. However, some protein powder do already have dairy enzymes included. Do read the label and buy wisely.
As I do not have the luxury of time to prepare a variety of food, macro and micro mineral intake might not be enough. Although I rotate my protein source(Eg. Fish, turkey, beef) once every 3-4 months, I still feel it is not enough. Moreover, in multi-vitamins, you can find other combinations like digestive enzyme, greens, etc. I would advice you to keep reading the label and ingredients. For Multi-vitamins, I consume as instructed in the content. Whether having a contest or not, I consumed my Multi-Vit daily.
Training about 5 days a week with such a high intensity, my immune system need to be functioning at its optimum. Hence, this is where Vitamin C plays a part. It helps to repair tissues and supports growth. I would take 3000mg daily, spreading 1000mg alongside with every single meal.
Fish Oil / Omega 3 Oil
This is another miracle supplement which is often talked about when you have knee pain, etc. This fish oil belongs to the group: healthy fats. There are too many fish oil floating around in the market with a very low dosage of EFA and DHA contain. What is EFA and DHA? Man… You gotta google it. It is hell lot of science for me to type here again. A lot of people are taking a dosage way below average for it to be efficient inside your body system. Simply blurting out to someone that you are taking fish oil and not taking the right dosage is like telling people you went great wall of china but actually, you are in china. Take a look at the nutritional content, you would see Fish oil, then EFA and DHA. You want to focus only on EFA and DHA. The rest are just oil from other fish, etc. If you are training hard, you have to be taking at least 3000mg of both EFA and DHA combined. If not, you are just exercising 3x a week, 1000-2000mg is enough.
Alpha Lipolic Acid
Commonly known as ALA. ALA has a lot of benefits for you. It is basically a substance which is very important for another substance to produce a specific result. It helps to increase glucose uptake in the cells, hence, putting the carbs you have eaten into good usage and acts as an anti-oxidant too. 100-150mg per high-carb meal is more than enough.
Chromium is a trace mineral essential for the body’s production of insulin. It improves the the uptake of glucose and hence, will not make you feel so bloated after eating carbs. Carbs are better stored in its glycogen storage. Combining Chromium with Vanadyl is very synergistic in many ways. You can google and read about the latter more. Hell lot of research going on. I would take 200mcg after a high-carb meal.
This is another supplement which helps to regulate insulin sensitivity and is a great combination to Chromium. I would take 10mg after a high carb meal. Back then, I would take 20mg just before training because of the ‘pump’ it creates.
This supplement is made up of Zinc, magnesium and Vitamin B6. I find it a hassle to take as my stomach is always full of food. ZMA has to be taken in an empty stomach. I took it with a full stomach before and I always have diarrhea. I take Zinc and Magnesium supplements individually instead. Yeah, just Zinc and it can be taken after a meal. ZMA is believed to promote deep sleep which in turn, produces more growth hormones while you are sleeping. There is no harm trying out this supplement. Definitely a good try as it can boost a higher testosterone level. Having said that, you might encounter some acne issues.
(Conjugated Linoleic Acid) CLA is a fatty acid which is related to Omega-6. It actually reduces body fat by increasing metabolic rates at a very slow rate. I take the CLA especially during contest prep just before training. Dosage is about 3500mg daily.
I take this supplement 6000iu a day to increase my testosterone level. It also helps in retaining the skin to be darker after suntanning. There are many other benefits of Vitamin D3. You can google about it.
This supplement is another anti-oxidant which benefits the skin and hair. I remembered when I was younger, I combined Vitamin E with Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid, it cured my acne instantly. If you have acne, this is the best steal away from my article.
I would usually use herbal diuretics towards the end of contest prep to relax the body and to pee as much as I can to get rid of any body toxins. Here are some herbs you may want to read more about it:
Uva ursi Dandelion root Juniper berries Hawthorn berries Valerian
Preparation Of Supplements
I would take about 10 minutes preparing all my supplements the night before as in the morning, the kitchen will be like in a war! For pill supplements, I would prepare 2 days worth of consumption, separated into 2 boxes. Others prepare 1-2 weeks worth of their supplements which I don’t recommend as these pills will be exposed to the air, plus, most boxes are not air tight. For other powders, I would contain them in 2-3 shaker bottles as I do not put them in plastic bags or containers.
Where Do I Get My Supplements From
I generally buy my supplements from 2 main sites- www.iherb.com and www.myprotein.com. Here is my discount code: iHerb (QUF327) & MyProtein (MP34045504)
What Brands Do I Use
I usually change brands to see its effect every few months. I used the brands which are found in iHerb and MyProtein. To find out more about what brands are good, please visit www.labdoor.com. They especially test products and rate them according to Label Accuracy, Product Purity, Nutritional Value, Ingredient Safety and Projected efficacy. Just visit the site and you make the decision which to buy.
The above are the supplements I have been using and I used them accordingly during on-season and off-season; I don’t use all the above same supplements year round. Hope you got more insights of supplementation after reading this post. Last advice before I go- Supplements are just to supplement you. Without a good solid diet daily, these supplements do not work. Cheers.
If you need anymore help regarding supplementation, do not hesitate to contact me and I will help you to the best of my ability.
Your Fitness Coach,