Supplements 101

Okay so this is another really common topic I cover on a weekly if not, daily basis. Supplements are heavily marketed to those who are making a health and fitness change. But with the supplement industry a multi billion dollar beast with millions put into marketing – the information out there on their efficacy can be misguiding.

Hopefully I can make this super simple.

Out of all the supplements on the market, three have stood the test of time regarding scientific research.

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) – milk based protein source. It’s recommended due to having a near complete amino acid profile (lots of proteinz).

Creatine Monohydrate – naturally occurring substance found in mostly meat, fish and eggs. Supplementation of creatine monohydrate has been shown to aid in power output and high intensity exercise. So it’s a popular supplement for those looking to improve strength.

Caffeine – a stimulant that is derived from coffee beans. Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors in the brain which are designed to promote feelings of relaxation and tiredness. The result of caffeine is increased alertness and improved concentration. Strength training performance has been shown to benefit from caffeine supplementation.

Final Thoughts

When to start taking supplements is another question I get. The answer is, it depends.
It will depend on your diet, your goals, your exercise history and most importantly your lifestyle. I recommend sticking to a few healthy nutritional changes for a few months whilst training. Have 95% of your nutrition come from whole foods. Then maybe slot in a supplement or 2 to make up the 5%.

Because that’s all supplements will do for you. Improve performance by the very maximum 5% (it’s probably even less in all honesty).

Protein powders come in many labels and claims. Go for trusted brands (look up reviews on www.amazon.com).

Also check out www.examine.com it’s a free site that provides unbiased reviews and easy to read scientific information on supplements. If you’re unsure on a supplement or ingredient – search it up. If there’s information on it – read and review. If there isn’t – well then that should worry you.

Between these two sites, spending a couple minutes before making a purchase could save you hundreds of dollars.

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Christopher Watts
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Christopher Watts

Head Honcho at Simple Strength and Science
Strength Coach and Exercise Science Student. Part-time athlete and Army Reservist. On the quest for the perfect pizza.
Christopher Watts
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