So I havent ordered shit for supplements in a long time. I’m getting pretty bogged down from work load, and having less time to eat. Plus it cant hurt to get some extra nutrition in. I’m a little heavier than I care to be, so I’ll be diminishing calories very slightly for a bit, but otherwise I’m in pretty good shape. I’d say I’m a lower end intermediate lifter.
What’s the consensus now? If you were ordering supplements for natural strength training tonight, starting from an empty pantry, what are your must haves?
Psyllium husk (like a boss)
If your calories get low and workouts are getting tough (and you mentioned difficulty timing your meals), something like Surge Workout Fuel can make an enormous difference
It’s carbs and leucine with some other really nice items that works in synergy with one another to aid your performance and consequently recovery.
You can make similar blends on your own, but in lieu of a sale I cannot confidently say it’ll be cheaper to do so. And then you’d still have to measure out small portions (a few grams) before each workout. So there’s a time cost.
For me, my list would be (written in blocks of importance):
Some carb, waxy maize, maltodextrin, HBCD, Surge/Plazma*
* if you get Surge/Plazma the need for other supplements go down
@Voxel did a better job explaining than me. My list was also in order of importance for me (when you’re an old man, sleep and “regularity” rise to the top of the list).
Surge Workout Fuel and Plazma are intraworkout supplements. It’s carbs and amino acids/ proteins that are meant to be extremely fast-absorbing. There’s also a huge hit of electrolytes in each, which I’m actually coming to think is the biggest deal. Anyway, I treat it as something of a meal replacement: so I don’t compare them to the cost of not using them, I compare them to the cost of a small meal.
For me, they’re most useful in a calorie deficit for a couple reasons:
I am feeling worse and these drinks really do improve my performance in the gym
It’s convenient to not have to try to “waste” calories timing out some perfect pre-workout meal
By the same token, I feel more “covered” after a workout; this lets me save some calories until dinner, when it’s convenient for me to have most of them
I also workout in the morning, and I don’t feel like eating; this is convenient there.
Every time I start dieting, I toy with the idea of dumping these calories. I always end up doing better but reducing them instead, but still keeping ~20g carbs or so in the workout window (I just let the rest come with whatever approximate carb total I’m trying to hit).
Anyway, not trying to sell you on it; I’ve just noticed it helps. I don’t know about brand comparisons because I have not tried any others.
And to add to the discussion this small token: if my national currency had a better purchasing power parity to the dollar I would swing for Biotest. I haven’t tried Surge, but I have tried Plazma, and I have not found that I can replicate the quality on my own.
Also, you’d be helping keep these forums humming so thanks if you do go that route.
Cost effective is arbitrary when its affordable. Basically , I dont want to buy something with anything other than long term intentions. Sure, I could buy it now, but what happens if a product only lasts me 2 weeks and suddenly i cant justify another $60 or so, but I really liked the product? More or less is what I mean by cost effective. I’m not as bad off as a broke teenager, but I cant drop hundreds a month for a minute percentage in recovery. I might give it a shot, I need to do some research, including price/serving before i can fully come to terms with it.
Protein powder, and whatever money you have that you could use to buy supplements, spend it on slightly higher quality meat and fish. Why supplement when you can food?
And bio test products are super high quality, but super expensive. No matter where you are. Could never justify buying any when I could get more quality food.
The best thing you could do would be to buy enough tupperwares for a weeks worth of meal prep and learn how to do a week long meal prep. If you have money left over after your whole food nutrition is solid, THEN supplement. Not before.
Just my opinion. None of the supplements mentioned are bad- all of them can help. But I don’t see any point in spending money when there are improvements to be made.
Unfortunately there in lies the issue. I know its fucking touted around by every beginner on here, but I dont have the time of day to eat the way I would like/need, and the window I do have is closing. Generally, I can slam down a quick breakfast (I’m not a big morning eater, but I’ve managed to at least get myself to eat a bit of Oatmeal and a quick protein choice) at roughly 6am. I wont get a chance to eat again until around 1pm, provided the day goes as planned, and that generally amounts to a 10 minute lunch, while I sit at my desk at work and look like a fucking barbarian slamming as many turkey and rice burritos as i can within that time frame. My next chance to eat wont be until around 8pm. At which point, I just eat until I’m fucking miserable for the sake of calories.
This worked well when just trying to get calories, but now that I’m interested in actually cleaning up my diet a bit, it makes it difficult to have some semblance of a schedule when eating.
My main intent here is to shrink my 2 big ass meals a day down, and find some foods I can keep under my desk to munch on throughout the day whenever I get a second to breathe. Ie some fruits and nuts and the like.
Which leads to the desire to actually supplement a bit again.
I ended up settling on:
5lbs Gold Standard Protein (for obvious reasons)
The biggest conatainer of Creatine I could find (regardless of its actual effect, it’s so cheap its negligible)
Some aminos (while my workout doesnt intrinsically take forever due to the amount of lifts, I’m lifting with 2 others, and this has been pushing the workout to ~1 1/2 hours)
ZMA (I definitely dont have an issue getting to sleep, but my quality of sleep seems to be suffering a bit, plus the other possible positives in the research/affordability made it appetizing)
So I guess I’ll start here and just keep tabs on any positive effects.
I’m working around a literal inability to eat the way I want/need through my job that I want/need.
I eat like a horse, and relatively clean. However I only have on average 5-10 minutes to eat through the entire summer for lunch, and get about 3 hours at night to get in the majority of my calories. (Breakfast aside)
So while I’m going to eat, and well, through the at best 3 meals a day I can get, it’s not ideal, and I was looking for good advice on supplementing my main food intake.
I know we all get sick of everyone looking for the magical supplement, that will make their bench shoot to 500, however, like many others on here I’m sure, 5 days a week, for about 4 months a year, I’m lucky if I get more than a 3 hour window a day to eat. And it can be fucking hard to slam ~4K calories and >200g of protein in a 3 hour window without feeling like complete shit, day in and day out.
I apologize for being a dick, but I think looking for advice to attempt the best out of a non-ideal situation is fair.