T Nation

Smart/Affordable Supplements??

I guess i should give you my stats first. I’m 5’7’’, 175 lbs. In highschool i weighed around 145 and after working out a solid 3 years and playing sports, ive managed to work up to 175.
I know the importance of diet/supplementation in the building of quality muscle; and in highschool i experimented with a variety of supplements (creatine/zma/glutamine/ high quality protein/etc), with fair success.
I have done “my homework,” and i obviously know that getting good, quality protein (atleast 1 gram per pound), is essential, but the information out there regarding other supplements (and their effectiveness) is wide spread and ambiguous at best.
So I’m looking to the veterans for the best advice: with a limited college student budget for supplements (about $75 or less a month), what would be the most effective supplements (along with protein) to gain a solid 10 lbs + of lean muscle (granted i know it will take a while, which i am dedicated to work for)?? Just confused about ribose vs. creatine vs. glutamine vs. zma…the list goes on! Thanks!

O.K…I am just pasting this from an earlier post in the T&N forum, so it does NOT count as productive post #2

And to ensure the proper level of impropriety I am sitting in my gauch, scratching myself while I burp the theme song from “The Munsters” and daydream about naked root canals…


Hey look! a productive post from Cupcake (don’t tell anyone please…)

I use ProLab “Creapure” creatine for no other reason than the assay is printed on each and every bottle (current bottle, 99.99%!) Yeah they could just print random, high 90’s # on them but I’m not that cynical…yet…

I enjoy using creatine a ton, Size, Strength and Endurance all peak for me when I supplement with it, I would say that besides Protein and Multi’s it’s the most important IMO…

“We’re switching to a more productive coffee-break paradigm”

~ Jacob Donham

Remember…SSSShhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!


Creatine…absolutely gotta have Creatine…IMHO…

“I’m always amazed to hear of air crash victims so badly mutilated that they have to be identified by their dental records. What I can’t understand is, if they don’t know who you are, how do they know who your dentist is?”

~ Paul Merton

I know you don’t want to hear this… but 1) how’s your diet? Is it as good as it can be for gaining 10 lbs of muscle? 2) how’s your training? what are you doing?

If those are on the money, then gaining 10 lbs of muscle shouldn’t really require many more supplements. You said you used creatine before, what did you think? Many people on here have used MAG10 with good/great results, but I’m not sure how that will work with your cash situation.

I’m also a poor college student, and right now I’m taking no supplements other than vitamins. The right diet and proper training are enough for me to worry about.

Besides multivitamins, extra vitamins B, C and E, fish oil caps and protein, I recommend a good post-workout shake like Surge or Relentless. Once you use the above in combination with a good training and nutrition program, you can always think about using MAG-10 or 4adec for a quick muscle/strength gain.

Intensity, make sure that you’re taking a good multi-vitamin, fish oil or flaxseed oil, and use Surge after your workouts. That’s the bare minimum. Save the money you have left over and when you’ve have enough, do a round of 4-AD-EC or Mag-10. In the meantime, read the Mag-10 Plan for Success. If you eat big (2g of protein per day and 3g of carbs per day, minimual fat while “on”) and work out hard, you’ll not be disappointed.

Good luck, and if you do, I’d love to hear your results.

Thanks for the advice. At the moment, I am taking a good multivitamin, I’ll try out creatine, and see how the gains go on that. I think the problem is (for me anyway) that even though im getting about 180 g of protein a day (body weight 175).
[Although as far as protein goes, I am getting about one third of my protein from a 5lb tub of fairly cheap (optimum nutrition) protein. Instinct tells me that the more expensive something is the better…the cheaper it is, well…]
I dont seem to be making many strenght gains. I switch up my training (# of reps/set) every few weeks, but still, at my weight guys are a lot stronger than I am.

I guess when you get down to it, my real question is: Are cheaper supplements (i.e. whey protein, etc) a waste/ineffective?? Are others just marketed better and that is why they are expensive?

Eat more protein. Double the amount you are eating now. Eat the following:

  1. Lean meats (beef, fish, chicken)

  2. Eggs

  3. Cottage Cheese

  4. Protein Powders

  5. Raw nuts (in small amounts)

If you had properly done your homework you would know that Optimum Nutrition makes just about the lowest quality protein on the market. You are essentially spending your money on dirt cheap protein. Get yourself some Grow!, Surge for post-workout, and eat and train good for a year and see where you’re at.

Creatine, multivitamin, and some protein powder will keep you under budget.

What about the effects of calcium supplements? I just finished reading a book by Franco Columbu about Calcium (about 2,000 (mg?)) for aiding in strength gains. 
 Anyone have a website/info on the benefits of supplementing with calcium?

Also Vitamin B6 i’ve read is good.
Thanks for the advice about Optimum, never heard much neg. about them, but i’ll can it once im finished with the bottle.

Anyone know of a good place online to get vitamins???

In the order of importance:
Multi-vit, fish oil, Grow (Low-Carb if you’re concerned about carb intake), and Surge.

Coral Calcium.