What Supplements Should I Take?


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“What are you taking?”

I get asked this a lot no matter where I am. I think everyone is hoping I’m taking some super secret supplement that could burn fat, build muscle and give me the testosterone of a teenager without doing anything.   Where is the fun in that? I tell them what I am taking and they always seem disappointed. They never say it verbally, but their eyes say “that’s it?” I like to keep it simple with supplements and get most of my nutrients from my diet. This makes me eat a wide variety of food and let the supplements fill in the holes. Exactly what they are supposed to do. That is why they are called supplement and mains or something more creative.

The only supplements I take are a pre-workout, creatine, whey and casein protein, fish oil, vitamin D and BCAAs. I’ll give a brief overview of what each does this blog post would be 20 pages long. In future blog posts I’ll go into each in more detail.

Pre-workout- Pre-workout is designed to give you that extra pump and boost of energy at the gym. I’m up at 3:30 am and hit the gym at 5. So I think the energy portion speaks for itself. Most pre-workouts have a Nitric Oxide ingredient that helps with widening the blood vessels which allows for more nutrients to reach the muscles while you workout. Beta –alanine is also a major part of the pre-workout. Beta-alanine is responsible for the tingly feeling in your face after you take a pre-workout. Beta-alanine helps block the pH in your muscles from lowering which causes muscle fatigue. This allows you to work more before the your muscles give out.

Creatine- There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to creatine in the eyes of the general public. I’ve heard everything from bloating to it being a steroid. Well it’s not a steroid, bloating it may do but it is definitely not a steroid. The main action of creatine is used in converting ADP (adenosine diphosphate) into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in the muscles. Muscles use the phosphate off of ATP for energy for the muscle which creates ADP. Creatine is then used to reattach a phosphate to ADP giving back ATP which could be used for energy again. Supplementing with creatine is more or less the equivalent of running your car with a gas pump attached to your car.

Whey and casein protein- Everyone knows protein is the what muscles are made of and if you want to make muscle you have to ingest enough protein. Whey protein is fast digesting so this is ideal after a workout when your muscles are starving for food. Casein takes a while to digest and is optimal to take at night. This way you have a steady stream of protein throughout the night. Casein supplies enough protein over the time you sleep so your body doesn’t have to break down muscle for fuel.

Fish Oil- To list all the benefits of fish oil would take me all day. The reason I take it is mainly for joint mobility and to lower my triglycerides. Currently I don’t have joint pains or high triglycerides but it’s a little preventative maintenance for the future. I don’t eat a lot of fish during the week so this helps me get some of the benefits of fish.

Vitamin D- Like fish oil, the benefits of vitamin D are almost limitless. There are 3 main reasons I started taking vitamin D: 1) Cancer inhibitor 2) Regulation of immune system and 3) Mood regulator. My family has a history of cancer so #1 was a no brainer. The more time I have on this earth to write these blog posts and help clients the better. Reasons 2 and 3 kind of go hand in hand with where I live. I live in Massachusetts that suffers through long cold winters. Long winters equals more sickness and less sun. Vitamin D helps my immune system fight off colds and regulates my mood from the lack of natural vitamin D from the sun.

BCAAs- BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. Supplementing with them helps your body repair muscles and reduce muscle breakdown. Since BCAA don’t need to be digested, they can move quickly into the muscles and start working. Leucine, a BCAA actually helps to stimulate protein synthesis. Here is some simple math: Less muscle breakdown + stimulate muscle repair = more gainz and less soreness. Big Win!

This goes without saying, please don’t take any supplements mentioned here without talking to your primary physician first. You can’t make progress if your sick or dead and that is a fact. Aesthetic Physiques is not responsible for you not doing your part in your safety.

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Dave