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What supplements should I take?

You walk into a GNC and there are thousands of supplements on the shelf. It can be incredibly confusing as to what is a gimmick and what can actually be helpful. On top of that, you’ve got Sharon on instagram trying to sell you her green-jamba-juice-detox-fat-burner-tea that has proven to make you lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks without any hard work. Sounds legit… So lets clarify some confusion and help you figure out what might be best for you.

Sup·ple·ment

Noun

/ˈsəpləmənt/

  1. Something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.

The key here is that supplements can be helpful when added to something else. That “something else” being great sleep, stress management, hydration, and a quality diet. You see supplements are simply a bonus. If you don’t have the lifestyle factors in line, you’ll just be wasting your money and frustrated that Carons juice cleanse didn’t work.

For today’s sake, let’s continue assuming you’ve got the rest of your life in line and you’re looking for that last 5% edge. 

Proven supplementation

 

  • Caffeine is the best legal performance enhancer (other than nicotine believe it or not). If you want to perform better in your workout, have higher alertness and awareness during training, caffeine is a must! Take some 30-45 minutes before your workout in whichever form you enjoy the most. With that said, there is actually a dropoff in performance after due to tremors and dizziness. 1-2mg per lb of bodyweight is perfect for functional training like we do.
  • Omega-3s which you can get from quality fish oil, are another great supplement that can help lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and reduce your chances of heart attack and stroke. They also improve joint health by reducing inflammation and improving cognitive function. Make sure you use a brand that is high in EPA and DHA. Not all fish oil is created equal. I personally love metagenics.
  • Vitamin-D is essential for bone and muscle health. Naturally, we get it from the sun. Unfortunately, most of us do not get enough. 10-15 minute in the sun per day is all you need. If you don’t get that, you should supplement with a vitamin-d3 supplement daily.
  • Whey Protein (or beef/plant based protein) can be helpful for those who are on the go often and end up short of protein daily. If you struggle to get to 0.8-1.0 grams of protein per lbs of body weight, consider supplementing, especially post workout when you need something quick. We love ascent because it is the cleanest protein on the market. Many protein powders are filled with lots of crap. Avoid those.
  • Creatine is the most well researched supplement on the market. There has been lots of speculation in the past about whether or not it causes kidney damage, but NONE of the research shows this to be the case. Creatine is something that you have naturally your body. Supplementing with 5g per day is the second best legal performance enhancer for strength and glycolytic sports like weightlifting and CrossFit behind caffeine. When a muscle uses ATP for energy, it breaks the ATP molecule. In layman’s terms, creatine takes a broken off piece and turns it back into ATP to be used once again for energy.
  • Carbohydrates can be supplemented in powders for athletes who train multiple times per day and struggle to get enough carbs in to fuel their workouts. For those taking class for 1 hour, you don’t need to worry about this. There are many ways to get quick carbs for your workout, but they are important especially when you are doing high intensity work like we do.

 

Outside of these supplements you may take something that your doctor recommended after getting blood work, but that is only specific to you. 

Remember that these supplements are only effective if you got everything else in order. They are meant to be an add on for people that have their sleep, stress, hydration, and diet dialed in.

Have any questions about supplements, diet, or lifestyle? Shoot me an email andrew@yankeecrossfit.com