Tag Archives: whey protein

Zinc & Magnesium (ZMA) Supplements – Worth It?!

zinc-magnesium-zma

Quick Take: Zinc and magnesium are important for a healthy immune system and optimal testosterone levels.

If you’d like to read more about them, the Examine page about ZMA gives a nice summary.

 

My View On Supplements

I’m not a huge fan of supplements. I prefer to stick to the following basics:

Whey Protein, if needed to top off protein requirements.

Creatine, if you want the extra boost it provides.

Beta-Alanine, if you want to improve recovery. I usually don’t take this one all the time.

 

So… GET TO THE POINT! Is ZMA Worth It?!

With all that being said, I ordered some ZMA (30mg of zinc, 450mg of magnesium and 11mg of Vitamin B6 per serving) with my last protein order and have been taking it for a couple days now. My sleep has improved (I sleep like a rock for 8-10 hours) and I feel like I got less sore from my training sessions. If you think you might be deficient in either one or both minerals (zinc and magnesium), then you can either get blood work done to make sure or get yourself some ZMA and see if it improves how you feel.

A good ZMA supplement is the one from ON. If you’re male, take 3 capsules 30-60mins before bedtime. If you’re female, take 2 capsules 30-60mins before bedtime. That means the 180 caps will last men 60 days and women 90 days.

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That’s all. As always, I’m not a doctor or personal trainer. Take my advice, if you think it might be a good idea. Don’t take my advice, if you think I’m an idiot.

Honest Supplement Review from Elliott Hulse

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One of the reasons I really like Elliott Hulse’s YouTube channel strengthcamp is his no bullshit approach to both training and nutrition. In the video below, he goes through a supplement box he received from Jacked in a Box (you may also have heard of Jacked Pack).

Cliffs (with a dash of my opinion):

Most supplements are terrible and a waste of money, while there are some supplements that don’t suck.

The supplements Elliott Hulse actually takes are a greens drink from Living Fuel and PaleoMeal (I found it available in vanilla, chocolate, berry, strawberry banana, and strawberry flavors). I also saw that the same company that makes PaleoMeal makes a greens drink called PaleoGreens, which is a little cheaper than the Living Fuel one.

Judging by what he says in the video, coffee is his pre-workout. Mine is also coffee. If you’re too lazy or unable to make coffee, another alternative to get some caffeine would be caffeine pills. They’re way cheaper than most pre-workout supplements. Or maybe instant coffee will work for you?

Elliott thinks a well-balanced diet is most important and supplements should be used to supplement your diet. The only other supplements I remember him ever recommending have been basic ones like creatine and whey protein (I’m linking Optimum Nutrition’s whey because it’s fucking delicious). He’s also mentioned that he takes krill oil in a previous video.

 

I hope that helps some of  you weed through the lies a lot of the supplement companies are telling you.

Some Supplements That Don’t Suck

This is going to be a short list, because most supplements are either borderline worthless (i.e. fat burners) or completely worthless. By no means is this a complete list of supplements that actually have some benefits, but it’s a list of supplements I’ve personally tried and which at least have some medical research backing them.

 

Fish Oil

It’s great for essential fatty acids, reducing inflammation and improving heart health. It’s also relatively cheap, when you compare it to other supplements. If I was only going to take one supplement, fish oil would be it.

krill-oil

Bonus tip: Krill oil contains the same fatty acids and might be better absorbed by your body. You’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it to spend more money on krill oil for you personally. I take fish oil.

Further reading about fish oil: Web MD | Examine.com

Further reading about krill oil: Web MD | Examine.com

 

Protein

The debate over protein supplements is ridiculous. It’s an easy way to increase the amount of protein in your diet. Most other supposed benefits have very little scientific backing, if any. If you need more protein in your diet, my advice is to buy some protein powder you like the taste of and that’s about it.

Don’t waste your money on ‘special’ protein powders. Remember that supplements should supplement your diet… you should still be eating a variety of real foods to be healthy. With that being said, below are a few of my favorite protein powders.

I’m only going to list whey and casein powders. Whey has been shown to be digested faster than casein protein, so casein might be a better protein powder to take before bed or if you do intermittent fasting and are about to begin your fasting period.

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optimum-nutrition-natural-whey

optimum-nutrition-casein-protein-powder

Further reading about protein powder: Examine.com about Whey Protein | Examine.com about Casein Protein

 

Creatine

It can help. It’s not a steroid. Get the cheapest kind, so creatine monohydrate. Only buy it, if you have the extra cash.

creatine

 

I have to say it: Creatine… Not Even Once! (Not serious.)

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Further reading about creatine: Examine.com

 

Multivitamins

I don’t think they’re needed or beneficial. Read this.

 

Beta Alanine

It may help with muscle endurance and possibly soreness. It might make your entire body tingle, but this side effect is harmless.

beta-alanine-powder

Further reading for beta-alanine: Examine.com

 

Vitamin D

I’d recommend supplementing with Vitamin D, if you don’t get enough sun exposure. That’s where Vitamin D comes from naturally! Some benefits of getting enough Vitamin D are improved bone health, lower risk of heart disease and cancer, and also improved immune health overall. It might even raise your testosterone levels, if you’re currently deficient. It’s best to take it with fat (i.e. fish oil or olive oil), that’s why I personally prefer the soft gels where it’s already in oil.

vitamin-d

Further reading for Vitamin D: Examine.com

 

BCAA

Supplements containing branched chain amino acids (Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine) might benefit you, if you train fasted. I can’t really recommend buying a BCAA supplement otherwise, because protein powder is much cheaper.

xtend-bcaa-supplement

Further reading for BCAA: Examine.com | Lean Gains (Intermittent Fasting)

 

That wraps up this article. Remember that I’m not a doctor, so don’t take my word for anything. Ask a doctor or do your own research before taking any supplement, if you don’t believe me.