What is The Best Supplement For You?
What supplement I should take. I heard people saying Whey protein is the best supplement to gain muscle. Yet, my skinny Friend has amazing results using Weight Gainers. what is Creatine deal? is it a good supplement, I heard it will damage your kidneys and it is dangerous?
Those are some of the most common questions I hear every day from guys in the gym trying to figure out the best supplement for them. So let me help you figure that out in this article.
Note: I am not sponsored by any of the products that will be listed in this article. It is only my own thoughts and experience.
The best supplement for you will depend primarily on your goal and your current shape. While a certain supplement might help your friend to get in an amazing shape, it may make you fat and lethargic and it all comes down to your current physique. So, let’s figure out which supplement is best for each type of people:
1-A Skinny dude who don’t store bodyfat and looking to gain muscles:
Am talking about guys who don’t gain weight no matter how much food they eat. We all have that friend who eats like a grizzly bear but he weight under a 150 lbs.
While I think that this has to do with the fact these guys often overestimate their intake. So, they first need to start counting calories.
The Skinny Guys Struggle
If, however, you already calculated your calories and you are eating over a 1000 calories surplus but you still can’t gain weight, then, In this case, you need something with a high carb and calorie intake to help you effortlessly increase your total calories and carb intake. If you are one of those guys, a Mass Gainer would be the best choice for you.
Even though am not generally a fan of mass gainers because they are basically a huge load of sugar. those sugars are essentially maltodextrin, mixed with some protein for triple the price. I think for someone who is skinny and don’t have a ravenous appetite to eat rice and beef 6 times a day or don’t seem to add weight no matter how much he eats, a mass gaining shake would help. But let’s face it guys, it is already hard to eat 3000 calories per day from solid food let alone to force yourself to eat more, so definitely a mass gaining shake could be handy.
Now you may be wondering , what is exactly a weight gaining or mass gaining supplement?
Mass Gaining Supplements
A mass gainer is a supplement that provides protein, carbohydrates and possibly fats with the intention of helping to add muscle mass. It is a high-calorie protein powder aimed at increasing your daily calorie intake to promote weight gain. Basically anything with the word Mass in it.
In terms of what actual product to use. I think most weight gaining supplements on the market are horrible and underdosed. however, there are certain products that seem to work better than others and have certain advantages over others when it comes to quality.
Personally, I would recommend Mass Tech from Muscletech because the Protein to Carb ratio is good and it also has some creatine in it which is great for a mass building phase. There is also True Mass from Bsn which has 50 grams of Protein for every 85 grams of Carbs, this is great if you compare it to other junks in the market. also, it contains a good amount of healthy fats, especially MCT oil. The final product that I would recommend is a product that I personally used with a great success which is Optimum Pro Gainer. it is a very balanced mass gainer with quality carbs and adequate amounts of protein.
How much to use will depend on your calorie intake and your budget, since you definitely don’t want to buy a new tube every week. What I like to do is to split the serving size into two servings one took Pre-workout and the other post workout. Also, if you are eating very few calories and protein you can add an extra serving in the morning or as a standalone meal during the day.
As far as I know, those are the ones that produced good results for me and my clients and the people I met daily in my gym adventure.
2-Skinny dude with some fat around the stomach:
For the unlucky ones of us, the people often referred to as skinny fat, those would have the hardest time building muscle because they get confused on what they should focus on.
That question on its own will require an entire article, maybe even more to answer it. but let’s stick to the supplementation issue.
In this case, we don’t want a load of carbs and sugars in your diet so try to opt for a good whey protein product. Also, it is never a bad idea to enhance it with some old school Creatine Monohydrate. Yes, just the plain Creatine Monohydrate, because you really don’t need all this expensive new creatines with fancy names and sky-high prices(although some of them are great ones). But just the plain one will work and save you some bucks.
That is basically it, whey protein will help you to cover your protein needs, and it will also enhance your recovery post workouts. Also, there is another advantage to whey protein use that I wouldn’t count too much on, but there is some research that linked whey protein use to lower abdominal fat. But as I said don’t expect that just by taking whey protein you will have a six pack abs.
Now let me give you a brief definition of both products:
Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs, No. 4 on our list). Bottom line: Whey is perfect for lean muscle gain because it digests fast and gets to your muscles rapidly to start the recovery and muscle building process. Whey also contains peptides (small proteins) that increase blood flow to the muscles.
For Whey protein there is a lot of good ones. However, there is always those products that stand out from the rest. Personally, I will say either Nitrotech from Muscletech or ON Gold Standard.
Why those two? well, Nitrotech the first one already has creatine in it so it is two for the price of one and you don’t need to buy a creatine supplement on its own. also, it has a higher amount of whey isolate compared to other whey products.
The second is the ON gold standard, I bet you already heard about this bad boy, and its fame is well deserved. This product mixes good, tastes good, properly dosed and it delivers results. So yes I will pay the extra bucks for it.
In term of usage, feel free to use it whenever you need some extra protein. it will not hurt your kidneys or any of the dumb stuff you hear people talking about.
Creatine is stored as phospho-creatine in muscle cells and it supplies an extra phosphate group to regenerate ATP during high-intensity muscle contractions. So it will increase your capacity to do high-intensity anaerobic repetitive work by about 15%. That means on any given set, you should be able to do one to two more reps with extra weight.
Creatine is one of the most supplement I recommend when your goal is to gain strength and size.
In terms of which products are best, there isn’t that much difference so any Creatine powder will do it. They are also pretty cheap too so they won’t break the Bank.
For usage, 5-10 grams pre or post workout will do the trick. You can even mix them into your whey shake for convenience. Also, some people recommend a loading phase where you take 25 grams every day for a week to quickly saturate your creatine stores but it is not necessary in my opinion.
3-Anyone overweight or trying to lose fat:
Before I start let me set this straight, to have a six pack abs you need to lose bodyfat first. and to lose bodyfat you need to eat in a caloric deficit, aka you need to diet. No supplement in this word will magically melt the fat from your body. Heck, even with drugs and performance-enhancing substances like Clenbuterol and Thyroid hormones you still need to diet hard to lean down. So, spoiler alert, no fat loss is going to happen without a good diet, period.
However, since the reduced calorie period is very stressful on the body there are some supplements that will help you to hold on to your muscle mass and possibly make the process a little faster. First of all, Whey protein is a must here. why? because you need to ingest higher amounts of protein to preserve lean muscle mass while simultaneously keeping your calories low. Nothing beats Whey protein in that regard, plus it tastes delicious.
I mean you can get a full 24 grams of protein for less than 120 calories generally and without the need to get to the kitchen and start cooking.
Another compound that will help you during your cut is L-Carnitine.
What is L-Carnitine? L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid derivative that’s often taken as a weight loss supplement.
It plays a crucial role in the production of energy by transporting fatty acids into your cell’s mitochondria.
The mitochondria act as engines within your cells, burning these fats to create usable energy.
Your body can actually produce L-carnitine out of the amino acids lysine and methionine. But, for optimal fat loss effect, you need to ingest some form of L-Carnitine supplements.
Those are especially beneficial pre cardio and pre-workout to facilitate the uptake of released fatty acids in the bloodstream. because unfortunately, some people have short mitochondria and because of that even when they break down their fat tissue into fatty acids, they aren’t capable of burning them. So they’ll end up restored again. so yes L-Carnitine will help your fat loss intentions especially if you have a hard time losing fat.
L-Carnitine is best taken Pre-workout to facilitate the use of fat stores during exercise. 500-1000mg 30 min pre workout is all you need.
Next compound is CLA. What is CLA? CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is most commonly found in Omega 6 fatty acid found in large amounts in vegetable oils. When I first researched about CLA, I concluded that using this supplement would mean fighting fat with fat.
Here’s how it works. CLA increases your basal metabolic rates. What is your basal metabolic rate? This is the minimum amount of energy the body needs to function.
CLA not only helps the body convert calories into energy but also keeps little fat cells from getting bigger. That can lead to the alteration of the body’s fat-to-muscle ratio. So yes CLA is a very interesting product when it comes to fat loss and it will certainly help you to shorten the duration of your cut. I mean no one love a 16 week Cutting phase downing pounds of chicken breasts and broccoli.
The perfect fat loss stack will be a combo of both L-Carnitine and CLA especially when want to push through the 15% bodyfat mark and get those nice six-pack abs. and they are both not that expensive which is another bonus especially when you compare them to those fancy fat burner with all those oddly named property blends.
RSP nutrition produces the best products when it comes to fat burning combo especially their QuadraLean product. sick stuff and it will help you shed some stubborn bodyfat.
And Finally, it is not a bad idea to have a pre-workout supplement by the end of a cut when calories are too low. Because if you run across a psycho trainer like me it means you better be ready to work super hard and push yourself. and with low calories and low Carbs that can be hard to do.
4-For Overall Health and Longevity:
Those are the supplements you will need if you want to live a healthy lifestyle for as long as possible. they are like the cherry on top of the cake.
While all the supplements above will help you to reach the physique goals they won’t provide you with all the elements your body needs for an optimal functioning. Since our diets tend to severely lack in certain vitamins and minerals which bring the need of supplementation. here are the top ones to consider next time you visit your pharmacy:
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune system, keeps the heartbeat steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also helps regulate blood glucose levels and aid in the production of energy and protein.
I personally like to include it in every supplement plan whether you are bulking or cutting. In Bulking it will improve your insulin sensitivity which will translate in more muscle gain and less fat accumulation. In cutting it is as important and it is extremely essential to include it in keto diet varieties.
What is the best kind of magnesium to use? Well, there is basically two types of magnesium. The salts, and chelates, and the chelates varieties are way way better than the cheaper magnesium salts like magnesium oxide. So always look for things like magnesium glycinate, malate, and citrate. The best Magnesium product is SynerMag from ATP-Labs.
A 100-500 mg range per day is an optimal range for most people. you can take them at any time you want.
Multivitamins are a combination of many different vitamins that are normally found in foods and other natural sources.
These supplements are used to provide vitamins that are not taken in through the diet. They are also used to treat vitamin deficiencies (lack of vitamins) caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, and many other conditions. So if you think that you aren’t getting enough fruits and vegetables, taking a multivitamin will be a wise choice. It will put your body into a favorable condition where it has all it needs to build muscle, lose fat and perform all the needed reactions in an optimal manner.
Another thing I like about multivitamins is that they give your skin a glowing look. They also improve your hair texture giving it a more shiny and healthy look. As you can see, their benefits exceed the bodybuilding related goals.
The thing I don’t like about most of the multivitamins is that some of them are way overdosed in certain vitamins and way underdosed when it comes to others like vitamin K and B vitamins.
Also some minerals like calcium despite their importance, they compete with other minerals like zinc, manganese, and iron and derail their absorption.
On the other hand, it will interfere with the absorption of amino acids, so if you take them with your meals you might not get all of your protein amino acids.
With all those complications. I think the only product that fixes most of those problems is Vita Jym from Jym supplements.
Fish oil is a form of fatty acid that is derived from the tissues of oily fish. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are what has gained the most attention with regard to health research over the last few years.
There are few supplements on the market that offer as many benefits as fish oil does. Regardless of who you are, it’s almost certain you will benefit from it.
Benefits of fish oil:
Supports healthy cholesterol levels
Boosts your mood
Helps to maintain strong bones
For Fish Oil try to take 3-10 grams spread between your Breakfast. Post workout meal and your last meal.
Of course, there is a lot of other supplements for optimal health. but I think this article is getting so long so let’s stop at this point for now.
- If you are skinny and I don’t hold too much fat Mass gainers are right for you
- Skinny fat dudes need to stay away from mass gainers and opt for a combination of whey and creatine.
- Those looking to shed some bodyfat. You need to stack on some L-carnitine, CLA and maybe a Pre-workout to help you push through your workout when your energy is down
- When interested in overall health and longevity you need some magnesium, a good multivitamin, and some fish oil pills.
Okay, guys, that’s it for today. I know it was a pretty damn long article, but its because there is a lot to cover in that topics so you guys don’t get scammed next time you go shopping at GNC.