What Supplements Should I Take?

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There are a handful of questions that I get as a trainer on a regular basis. Easily among the top two or three is “What supplements should I be taking?”.

In my experience this question comes from one of three places.

Number One: The person who has a goal, be it losing weight, gaining muscle, increasing or reducing body hair, or making their jungle parts the stuff of legend, and wants it NOW and with minimal effort.

Number Two: The person who is already taking some sort of exotic rare bird paste and wants me to back up what the crackpot at the hippie Health Food Store/Supplement Store/Witchdoctor said.

Your prescription is ready.

Number Three: The dedicated, focused individual who’s looking to take their game to the next level. This one I don’t get as often.

Here’s the problem.

There’s a line I heard somewhere years and years ago and I’ve used ever since: “Supplements are exactly that. Supplements”

Supplements (minus the “Super” ones, and those still aren’t miracles) are maybe 5-10% of the health and fitness success equation. Maybe. If your nutrition and training isn’t in line then no powder or pill is going to do what you want it to do.

If you eat, train, and supplement properly, they might give you a little extra edge.

So I’m not a big supplement guy. However, there are a few that I consider to be in the gray area between “nutrition” and “supplements”.

Check it out:




You’ll notice one common thread in all of the supplements I mention above. They’re all things that should be in your diet in the first place.

Here’s my recommendations when it comes to supplementation:

1. Focus as much as possible on whole food, proper overall nutrition, and rest. Seriously. Eat a damn carrot once in a while.

2. Use the above supplements to augment your quality whole food diet, not replace it. Sucking down a couple of protein shakes over the course of the day does not excuse you from cooking and eating meat and vegetables.

3. Find and support quality companies. These will almost never be the cheapest. They also will not always be the most expensive. Finding decent companies is easier said than done, I admit. Research a company deeply before you take their products, and avoid anything with lots of hype. Sexy supplement marketing is sort of like strip club marketing (actually, more so than many would like to admit). The more hype, the more bullshit, and the less results.



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