T Nation

Really Confused on Supplements

im getting confused with all these supplements on the market “what do i bloody take.” currently i take whey protein and ZMA, but ive been reading up and have found a few others i could be taking to improve my game.

-fish oil
-creatine
-BCAA
-beta-alanine

im doing a very intense training routene of mma, swimming & light weights 5days a week so dont want to be bulking up too much, mainly want faster recovery, higher endurance levels, etc, etc.

whats everyones thoughts, should i begin taking these???

thanks loads neil.

These are all great products.

The fish is a base supp that everyone should be using.

BCAA, BETA-7, and Creatine will help with recovery and performance. You’ll probably notice BETA-7 fastest in MMA, but they are all good choices. Creatine will likely cause you to gain 5 or so pounds, so beware if you’re fighting to stay in a certain weight category.

cheers for the heads up. but the biggest question, when do i take all these supplements? thers just that many, looks like id be taking quite alot in one go.
what sorta time scale am i looking at over the course of a day taking;

-ZMA
-protein
-fish oil
-creatine
-BCAA
-BETA-7

…sorry i just cant get my head round it all…
ment to add that i take the protein
.breakfast
.1st break
.afternoon
.evening
.bedtime
.ZMA at bed time.

so where do i fit everything else in theres just that much to take. if some one could “roughly” layout a table of when to take it all id be SOO greatfull.

thanks neil.

Why not just follow the recommend use for each?

Really, it’s not brain surgery. I just follow what the labels recommend for the Biotest products I use.

there isn’t a timetable… usually the idea is to take it on an empty stomach or not

creatine/bcaa = pre breakfast, pre bedtime, workout/postworkout, or basically anytime when your body hasn’t eaten for awhile

zma = bed time

protein = whenever you need food

fish oil = with a meal

Beta-7 I forget, read the label, probably with empty stomach in the morning or anytime

I’d save your money on the ZMA. There are some massive assumptions tied to its claims of increasing testosterone and IGF-1, the biggest one being that athletes have some sort of huge deficiency in zinc and magnesium caused by piss-poor diets or they’re somehow excreting these minerals through exercise. I think it’s safe to say that if you’re willing to fork over the dough for ZMA then you’re probably paying attention to what you eat or at least taking a decent multivitamin. It doesn’t matter if it’s ZMA or another related supplement. Supplementing with it will not raise anabolic hormone levels if there’s no shortage of these minerals to correct. And then of course there’s the premise that a deficit in these minerals does have an impact on T-levels.

That being said, ZMA can be a successful (albeit a pricey) sleep aid. This is why it’s recommended to be taken before bedtime. Getting a good night’s sleep plays a significant role in recuperation and hypertrophy so if you have a problem counting sheep then you may want to give ZMA a try. Personally, I’d go with another effective but much cheaper supplement such as melatonin as a sleep aid.

As for BCAA’s, the research to date connecting them with performance has been contradictory at best. One of the major drawbacks of BCAA’s as a supplement is dosage. It takes VERY HIGH amounts to see any ergogenic effect and that’s assuming there are any ergogenic effects to be had, as studies are still limited and/or contradictory. Regardless if BCAA’s supplementation is or isn’t effective, it’s extremely cost prohibitive when you factor in the amount needed. The good news is that whey protein is very high in BCAA’s (approximately 30%) so 2 scoops of your standard whey yields roughly 15,000mg of BCAAs.

[quote]ibizan wrote:
I’d save your money on the ZMA. There are some massive assumptions tied to its claims of increasing testosterone and IGF-1, the biggest one being that athletes have some sort of huge deficiency in zinc and magnesium caused by piss-poor diets or they’re somehow excreting these minerals through exercise. I think it’s safe to say that if you’re willing to fork over the dough for ZMA then you’re probably paying attention to what you eat or at least taking a decent multivitamin. It doesn’t matter if it’s ZMA or another related supplement. Supplementing with it will not raise anabolic hormone levels if there’s no shortage of these minerals to correct. And then of course there’s the premise that a deficit in these minerals does have an impact on T-levels.

That being said, ZMA can be a successful (albeit a pricey) sleep aid. This is why it’s recommended to be taken before bedtime. Getting a good night’s sleep plays a significant role in recuperation and hypertrophy so if you have a problem counting sheep then you may want to give ZMA a try. Personally, I’d go with another effective but much cheaper supplement such as melatonin as a sleep aid.

As for BCAA’s, the research to date connecting them with performance has been contradictory at best. One of the major drawbacks of BCAA’s as a supplement is dosage. It takes VERY HIGH amounts to see any ergogenic effect and that’s assuming there are any ergogenic effects to be had, as studies are still limited and/or contradictory. Regardless if BCAA’s supplementation is or isn’t effective, it’s extremely cost prohibitive when you factor in the amount needed. The good news is that whey protein is very high in BCAA’s (approximately 30%) so 2 scoops of your standard whey yields roughly 15,000mg of BCAAs.
[/quote]

ZMA is pricey? Buy Zinc tally if you want to know if you need zinc or not. OR take zinc and see if your energy levels and strength gains shoot up. I think ZMA is the 2nd best sup there is after fish oil. BCAA’s are awesome to if you haven’t tried them, you need to before you knock them. You are right BCAAs do take large doses to be good. 20-30 grams minimum, and unfortunately Biotest brand BCAAs would cost you $3 a day to take at that level.

Who cares if they cost $3 a day to take that. People normally spend 4 or 5 on a starbucks.

I stopped buying lunch out everyday and added in BCAA’s. Good swap IMHO.

In no particular order, Fish Oil, multi, Surge, creatine, BCAA’s, have treated me really well. Of course they are only necessary if you are eating right first.

IBIZAN: Where are you getting the information that 2 scoops of whey (about 48g of protein) contains 15g of BCAA?

I know that amino acids are the building blocks of protein, but 15g of Branched Chain AA’s doesn’t seem very likely.

[quote]PozzSka wrote:
Who cares if they cost $3 a day to take that. People normally spend 4 or 5 on a starbucks.

I stopped buying lunch out everyday and added in BCAA’s. Good swap IMHO.

In no particular order, Fish Oil, multi, Surge, creatine, BCAA’s, have treated me really well. Of course they are only necessary if you are eating right first.[/quote]

People who cant afford $3 a day on supplements. Powdered BCAAs are cheaper getting as little as $0.75 a day, while retaining quality.

[quote]bobo86 wrote:
IBIZAN: Where are you getting the information that 2 scoops of whey (about 48g of protein) contains 15g of BCAA?

I know that amino acids are the building blocks of protein, but 15g of Branched Chain AA’s doesn’t seem very likely.[/quote]Take a look at an average quality whey such as Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard whey. Two servings gets you 11g of BCAAs. Find a decent whey with more isolate instead of concentrate and this amount goes up.

BTW, I’m not knocking ON. It can be a good choice for people who can’t afford pure isolate.

[quote]irvs wrote:
im getting confused with all these supplements on the market “what do i bloody take.” currently i take whey protein and ZMA, but ive been reading up and have found a few others i could be taking to improve my game.

-fish oil
-creatine
-BCAA
-beta-alanine

im doing a very intense training routene of mma, swimming & light weights 5days a week so dont want to be bulking up too much, mainly want faster recovery, higher endurance levels, etc, etc.

whats everyones thoughts, should i begin taking these???

thanks loads neil.
[/quote]

Creatine is mostly beneficial with sports that require bursts of energy(Football, weight lifting, track and field, etc). Creatine can help you with recovery, but other than that, it really doesn’t do much for endurance sports.

Supplements will not bulk you up, youre training and diet from real food will determine that.

[quote]HunterKiller wrote:
Powdered BCAAs are cheaper getting as little as $0.75 a day, while retaining quality. [/quote]

That’s true.

sorry for the late replies lads, thanks for the info its greatly appreaciated. il stick to the supplements i listed give them a blast with my diet (everything i get my hands on) and training n see how things fair out.

thanks again neil

If you’re doing endurance type stuff, beta-alanine may be worth looking into. I haven’t personally tried it myself, but from everything I’ve read on it, i get the notion that it seems to supply you with long term energy supply. Unlike creatine, which are only good for short term (bursts).

Try not to take the Beta-7 and fish oil at the same time. I did that a couple times and couldn’t stop itching. Must’ve been some type of allergy.

Never had an itching problem.

[quote]bobo86 wrote:
If you’re doing endurance type stuff, beta-alanine may be worth looking into. I haven’t personally tried it myself, but from everything I’ve read on it, i get the notion that it seems to supply you with long term energy supply. Unlike creatine, which are only good for short term (bursts).[/quote]

i was thinking about this myself. hopefully will be getting BCAA and beta-alanine. apart from that ive begun to take a better multi vitamin and some fish oil on top of my protein shakes. looking foward to seeing some results in a couple of months.

thanks for all the info everyone.
neil.