Some Quick Yes / No questions
Beta alaine worth it pre/post under bulk?
Glutamin worth it pre/post under bulk?
Is it worth using Protein blend post workout, if you considere how much more expensive it is?
A friend of mine uses this pre workout (Important to mention, that he’s a pro - doing contest)
1 scoop Superpump
10g Beta alaine
10g Advanced protein (Protein blend - Egg/Whey/Casein)
50g Advanced protein (Protein blend - Egg/Whey/Casein)
100g Cell Tech/50g Malt, 50g Dextrose and 6g Creatine
10g Beta alaine
Beta-Alanine - Yes
Glutamine - No
Cell Tech - Definitely not!
Superpump - Questionable
Don’t make your purchases simply because a company has nice advertisements in magazines or promises 15 lbs of muscle in two weeks. Those companies spend more money on their marketing than they do on providing you (the consumer) with a quality product.
Many of the best products will not be sitting on the shelves at your local GNC. The nutritional supplement industry is a multi-billion dollar business and a lot of companies have tried to take advantage of that.
Look for companies who have a good reputation but not the ones who are plastering their name all over the place with 300 lbs walking-pharmacy bodybuilders saying that they take their products.
Here are some realistic expectations for your supplements:
Protein Powders - When used consistently they can increase recovery and help you to improve body composition. The gains are gradual and you should expect maybe 1/2 lbs of muscle per week on average. The most important thing here is to use a quality product that has a good amino acid profile and contains a high amount of isolates. Protein blends are great if you can afford them. If you want a benchmark then you can go with Men’s Health top picks - they chose Biotest’s Metabolic Drive Protein and AtLarge Nutrition’s Nitrean Protein as their top 2 protein powders (both are blends).
Creatine - With a good quality creatine product you can expect to gain about 3-5 lbs of water weight initially. You should see strength increases at about the three week mark and a slight boost in your lifts. Do not expect to automatically put 50 lbs on your bench press, but it is possible to gain 15-20 lbs on that lift over the course of a few weeks. Again, consistency is key - no loading period and just 5 grams per day, everyday. **With products like cell tech you may have a slightly higher weight gain due to the high sugar content.
Beta-Alanine - Works well with creatine, this product is a lactic acid buffer that helps allow you to stay under tension for longer. If you are doing a high intensity program such as 20-rep squats then something like beta-alanine can make a big difference for you. Overall the gains will be moderate but it is a worthwhile supplement when looking at cost:value.
Glutamine - If you are on a high protein diet and drinking shakes this is not necessary. Recent information has shown that powdered glutamine is not utilized very efficiently by your body.
Superpump - You are mostly just paying for the advertising and the caffeine. You can replace this with any stimulant, HOT-ROX is a great product if you are looking for a pre-workout boost.
Hope this helps, there is a lot of information floating around out there about supplements. Some of the resources that you would hope have the best information (magazines) are sometimes the worst sources because they are fueled by advertising.
Shakes, I really like that someone knowledgeable like you is willing to put in thought and time to a post to help guide people like the OP. Definitely a nice addition to the forum.
I will say one thing though in regards to your post: I don’t necessarily agree that BCAAs are a waste. I made some pretty sweet gains when I was at my best level of physique by adding in megadoses of BCAAs. I was taking in about 90g/day on training days, and about 50g/day on non-training days. If you use capsules, this is very pricey but using a powdered version makes this a solid cost-effective addition. Obviously OP should make sure to cover his bases first though.
90 grams? That’s a fair bit. Did you have any problems with keeping the powder down? I kept getting BCAA burps with 20g, albeit in capsule form.