The world of workout supplements is full of products that generally suck giant donkey dick. Of course that would be cruel to classify all supplements in the donkey dick category. It just wouldn’t be fair to those select few that have a rightful place in your regimen.
Most supplements will give you some marginal benefit during the time you’re on them. Earlier this week we listed 5 Workout Supplements That You Shouldn’t Be Wasting Your Money On and today we are doing the exact opposite of that. These are the 5 that will give you the biggest benefit, have the greatest scientific backing, will help you get jacked, and healthy.
Forget the hype that comes with all the buffered, waxed, polished, chelated, passed through the digestive system of a monkey creatine. Nothing compares to good ol fashioned creatine monohydrate. The same creatine monohydrate everyone was terrified would destroy their kidneys and liver.
Not only is it one of the most studied workout supplements in history, with over 100 different studies examining its effects, creatine monohydrate has been proven completely safe and 100% effective. It also happens to be the cheapest supplement out there.
Why should you use it? Start with the fact that if your body didn’t make creatine in small doses, this would be an essential vitamin. Creatine helps in the creation of ATP, which is basically the currency your body uses to pay for energy. When you store and create more ATP, you make it a hell of a lot easier to develop more power and more size. Last time I checked, that was a good thing when trying to hop on the gain train.
Protein Powder – Whey and Casein:
Protein is probably the first ever supplement you bought. Your mom thought you were taking steroids when you walked in with a 2lb tub of 100% whey protein. Silly moms.
The main difference between whey and casein is speed of digestion. Both come from milk, and about 75% of milk protein is casein. Whey is a rapidly digesting form that is broken down and used quickly in the body. Casein is slow digesting that takes hours to break down, and usually used when baking with protein powder. Generally after a workout it’s good to get a mix of both, for sustained release of protein.
While it’s not necessary that you HAVE to get it in 30 minutes after a workout because of the “anabolic window” or some other bullshit myth, it definitely doesn’t hurt to get in a fast digesting protein source to help with recovery. That’s where a good whey protein supplement comes into play.
Quality does matter with protein powder. Companies will “spike” their supplement with amino acids that have no real beneficial effect towards muscle protein synthesis. That makes their protein numbers look higher on the label, and helps marketing. Look at it as karma for the douchebros who spike girl’s drinks. In return their protein is spiked with amino acids that won’t do shit for them.
Unless you live on the coast and eat fish 3-4x a week, no not your girlfriend’s fish, this is a non-negotiable. Fish oil is the best supplement out there when it comes to looking out for your health.
It’s pretty simple: there are 2 kinds of fats you have to get in. Omega-6 and Omega-3, which are both essential fatty acids. We have far better health when the ratio of those fats is close to 1:1. The standard American diet has a ratio that comes close to 20:1. Which means some pretty serious freaking health issues like rampant inflammation – which is a culprit in many different diseases, stiffening of the artery walls, and heart problems.
Fish oil is a solid dose of Omega-3 that can help keep your heart healthy, help with cognitive function, help keep your hair, skin, and nails looking better than Derek Zoolander’s, and keep your joints feeling young and sprightly. Regardless, there’s still plenty more reason to be taking a fish oil. Aim for about 1-2 grams per day and you should be good.
Vitamin D and Vitamin K:
If you’re lucky your girlfriend probably has no issue getting her dose of Vitamin D. That probably doesn’t work the same way for you. However if it does, no judgment here – I love all the bros. You still need to supplement with the actual Vitamin D though, and Vitamin K while you’re at it.
Why do you need these? Average people get far too little Vitamin D, which is frustrating because it’s the easiest to get. All you’ve got to do is go the fuck outside, lazy bastards. Vitamin D is good for cognitive abilities, can help with testosterone production, bone strength, and immunity.
Vitamin K is necessary for circulation and cardiovascular health because it keeps your arteries from getting stiff as a board. K also helps with bone density, making it a perfect complement to Vitamin D. In fact, bonus points if you take them together. They work synergistically.
You can also get them in food from meat, eggs, fish, dark leafy greens, dairy, and getting the fuck outside. But clearly people suck at that, so it’s wise to buy these two and take them together. Don’t bother yourself with a multivitamin. They don’t come in high enough doses, and multivitamins themselves are pretty iffy when it comes to the actual benefit they provide.
Does this list alone prove these are the only supplements you need? Of course the fuck not. All supplements can be replaced by a consistent diet and training hard, despite what the supplement industry will tell you. This is a listing of the 4 most beneficial supplements to all bros out there who are looking to get jacked, while also looking out for their health.
If you feel like deciding for yourself which ones are worth your beer money, Examine.com is an excellent resource to make use of. It’s free, and references thousands of different studies – all done on humans, a surprising problem when researching supplements and nutrition.