As a Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Coach I get asked all the time, what supplements will help me lose weight or gain muscle. This is actually really tricky, since most of the supplements on the market are bogus and pretty much worthless. Since most supplements are pretty much bogus let us discuss a few that are actually beneficial. The first to discuss is a protein supplement. First of all, the reason to take a protein supplement is twofold, one to get added protein into your system, and the second it can be used as a meal replacement. So why is protein beneficial?
First of all if you are starting a new workout routine, it is likely that your body fat is higher than normal and your nutrition is off. Protein helps your body burn fat, build muscle and protein keeps you full and is less likely to cause you to snack. So you understand that Protein is beneficial but what kind. There are hundreds of protein supplements out there but here are a few key things to look at when you choose a product. It should be low in carbs, sugars and fillers. Minimum protein per serving should be around 20 grams of protein.
Look out for powders that require you to mix with a “milk” product; the reason is that milk is loaded with hidden sugars that can actually derail your workouts. Two product lines that come to mind that have quality products is Beverly and Animal. Both have their own websites, and have been around for a long time. Beverly is orientated toward the natural lifter where as Animal does both hardcore bodybuilder and the average person that wants to lift.
When buying a product, a dollar per serving is a minimum cost. If the serving costs less, then you are probably dealing with an inferior product. Which leads me to the next supplement for the day and that is a good multi-vitamin.
Multi-vitamins are a tricky supplement since most of them on the market are loaded with fillers, and either too many minerals that your body cannot absorb or not enough. One of my favorite Multi’s is from the Animal product line, which has all the vitamins that you can use, but the only draw back is the 11 pills you have to swallow.
When I take mine I break it up over a few hours, this prevents me from getting a little sick and allows my body to absorb the vitamins.
The other issue is whether or not a multi is even needed. I would say that if you are getting most of your food from a whole food source then I would limit taking a multi to only a few times a week. On the other hand if you are training 5 to 6 days a week, regardless of your food source then a daily vitamin is helpful for recovery and general wellness.
If you are one of those individuals that have a hard time eating healthy, then you should be taking a daily multi. You should also evaluate what the heck you are doing.
If you have questions about supplementation please feel free to ask. Remember that while I am a certified trainer I am in no way sponsored by products that I mention, only that I have used them and found success.