February 15, 2017
Today I want to talk about supplements.
This is a subject that can be very confusing for a lot of us. Especially for those just starting their health and fitness journey.
Do we need them? Are they helping me? Which ones do I choose?
Supplements can be expensive and some do more bad than good, so before you go crazy, let’s break it down to the point and purpose of them.
A common supplement that I can assume most everyone has heard of, is protein powder.
We have animal-based proteins that come from dairy (find out why you need to stop consuming dairy here) such as:
Whey Protein Powder
Casein Protein Powder
And then we have plant-based proteins such as:
Pea Protein Powder
Soy Protein Powder
Hemp Protein Powder
Brown Rice Protein Powder
Vegan Protein Powder
Um? yeah, that’s a lot.
Now, I have tried almost every protein under the sun. Because I used to think that it was a must after your workout in order to build muscle and lose fat.
Although some source of protein is, in fact, necessary for muscle recovery and development immediately following your workout, protein powder itself is not essential!
The most common form of protein powder is Whey.
but, is it the best protein for you?
The Not-So Goods?
Some plant-based proteins, like Vegan, Brown Rice, Soy, Hemp & Pea:
Most powders should have a very low amount of fats and carbs. Seeing as it’s used for post workout rather than a meal replacement.
so which is best?
Although I can’t decide what’s best for you, I can share what I use and why.
Brown Rice & Pea Protein Powders are the best in my opinion. Especially for those trying to drop body fat and gain lean muscle. Brown Rice not only builds muscle and strength, and helps with recovery (on the same levels as Whey). It also doesn’t have all the added junk.
I am not a vegan, I very much love not being a vegan. BUT, I do know when my body feels best. Whey makes me feel very bloated and I don’t have that feeling from brown rice or pea proteins.
AND YES, YOU WILL GET ENOUGH AMINO ACIDS FROM PLANT BASED PROTEINS
Is protein powder the magical thing that will you make you be strong and lean?!
A lot of finding out what is best for you is simply a trial & error. You’re most likely going to go through a couple bad ones to find the best one for you. Kinda like with boys.
Whether it be Animal or Plant Proteins, the only time it’s necessary is immediately following a workout if you cannot make it home, and have food in your mouth within 30 minutes after your workout. Then having protein powder mixed with water would be helpful in refueling the muscles and rebuilding them post workout.
So maybe it is ideal for you! I know I can’t always make it home and make food on time, so I keep a protein powder handy for moments like that. I do not use it every day and I certainly don’t rely on it.
If you workout and have a protein drink, please remember, it is not a meal replacement and it’s important to still have a meal. The only time it would be considered a “meal” is if you mixed it into a smoothie including fats and carbs.
(and even then, If you don’t have to, I don’t recommend replacing a meal with a shake)
And that brings me to another not-so-necessary-but-maybe-helpful-sometimes-supplement?
Pre-Workout consists of caffeine and a bunch of other junk. Its primary purpose is to give you energy for your workout.
So you can grunt louder, last longer, and feed your body more crap it doesn’t need! YA!!!
Pre-Workout is a preference. Along with every other supplement.
Supplements do not change your body, but they contribute to the process
It’s for those who need that extra something to get them through their workout. But I think too many people rely on pre-workout to get them through each training session. Men and Women who compete in body building, powerlifting or just putting themselves through long and heavy weight training sessions 6-7 days a week could perhaps need an extra push.
I personally rely on natural foods or coffee to get me through a workout, depending on the time of day I exercise. Food is fuel and if you give yourself optimal nutrition you should not need to take a caffeine supplement.
Many pre-workouts leave you feeling extremely jittery, anxious, and more times than not you crash later on in the day. It also feels like your skin is on fire, and that’s just so dumb. Again, not all pre-workouts have these side effects but do your research before buying any “name brand” pre-workout.
On to a supplement I actually enjoy!
BCAA – Branched Chain Amino Acids
What the hay is that, you ask?
BCAAs refer to three amino acids: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.
Those words are foreign to me, too. You’re not alone.
It’s often used for the repair of damaged and fatigued muscles, decrease muscle soreness and increase muscle function. It’s often taken before, during and after workouts to reduce muscle soreness from exercising like the beast you are. The longer and intense the workout, the more BCAA’s you’ll need.
Before I used it, did I lose weight and gain muscle? Yes. But I workout 5-6 times a week and it’s nice to have during my workout to repair my muscles as they are broken down as well as make my body a little less sore the next day. Meaning I can get back to working out sooner. Meaning I can get to my goals, faster.
So I say,
Talk to me, BCAA’s.
I also LOVE BCAA’s turned into frozen popsicles in the summer, during the day as something to sip on, especially if I’m sore, or even after dinner for “a treat” if I have a sweet tooth.
Here are the supplements I use. I don’t rely on any of these and don’t just buy the first product you see in a celebrities hand. These are what I would recommend for females trying to lose weight, and gain lean muscle. For men…ask someone else.
1Up Nutrition BCAA’s
LivWell Nutrition Plant Based Protein Powder
Start with these, and do your research for what’s best for you!
Other Supplements to include are:
Supplements are not replacements
Alright, this was long. My hands are cramping.
Let me know if you have any questions 🙂
all my love,