T Nation

Essential Supplement?


Hi All-

I've been away from the gym for 6 years and I'm finally back in, re-committing to dialing my nutrition and building muscle. With a fresh case of plantar fasciitis, I won't be running for at least 6 months so I'm looking to hammer down on weight training. I've got my nutrition plan set and my protein sources (including T-Nation Metabolic Drive) lined up. I don't want to make things more complicated than necessary, but if there were one essential supplement I should take to promote muscle growth, what would you all recommend?

I'm 5'10. 155lbs, btw. Probably dragging around a good 7 pounds of flab which I'm hoping my diet/lifting will erase.

Thanks in advance!


At 6 years away from the gym and 155lbs, I'd say you have a way to go before supplements become a differentiating factor.

If you must take something... Fish oil and protein powder (you need calories).


What exactly is your diet plan and no mention of the program you will be following.

And yeah, food.


Thanks for the input. Last thing I want to do is waste money on supplements that I don't need.


I should have describe the program. Sorry. The first month focuses on circuit-based training, the second month focuses on repeating circuits for time intervals and the final month seems focused on heavier weights and lots of deadlifts.

Traditional dumbbell and barbell-based exercises with core and plyometrics added in.


Only 3 months ? What comes after that ?

This looks more like fat loss/metabolic training. (except for month 3)

Sorry, you won't be building any muscle


[quote]Joed858 wrote:
Hi All-

re-committing to dialing my nutrition and building muscle..



uugh. Sounds like bad '80s circuit training i.e. CrapFat!

Eat real MEAT, Lift Consistently and Heavy, then Sleep Well.

If done properly you could gain 30-40 pounds over the next TWO Years !

Consistency, Dedication, Determination, Focus and PATIENTS !


I was recently told Vitamin D was important in muscle growth. And if supplemented by pill, fat is important, so take with a meal.


Any time you exercise, your body naturally depletes itself of zinc. Your body will not store any either, so it is very easy to become deficient in it. Whats more is that calcium will take absorption precedence over zinc, leaving any zinc in your multi-vitamin and/or diet unabsorbed. I have trained hard for a very long time, having been a former professional arena football player. I always noticed a difference in energy, strength and sex drive when taking separate zinc supplement just before bed on an empty stomach. This is due to the fact that zinc increases the amount of luteinizing hormone (testosterone precursor) your body produces. I’d take zinc picolinate on any empty stomach before bed. It’s very cheap, ($10 per 2 month supply). You’ll notice a difference.


The single mistake I see most men make, is not taking a top of the line multi vitamin/mineral. Definately not a 1 @ day.


If I were only going to get “sure thing” supplements I would get Flameout, ZMA and Superfood because they pretty much will benefit everyone. Flameout is far superior to any fish oil, because it gets well over 60% of its free fatty acids from Omega-3s instead of about 30% for fish oil supps, AND because it has about a 2.5 to 1 ratio of DHA to EPA. Men should get more DHA than EPA but standard fish oil gets more EPA than DHA. In fact, flamout is giving you about 4.2 grams of DHA per 100 calories while typical fish oil gives you about 1 to 1.5, so you get more than triple the DHA per calorie or per gram of total fatty acids.


Once more: Eat Real Food !

Meat Eggs Nuts and Cheese ! !


Since you already mentioned a protein supplement:

Vitamin d3
Fish oil

The above being said, if your nutrition is out of line, supplements will be ineffective past a certain point barring any deficiencies.


Lots of good suggestions already. An extra quart of water and hour of sleep a day would be the next step


There is no essential supplemente man, IMHO it’s all about consuming all the food groups. If you really need to take something because you feel incomplete, i’d recommend FISH OIL