T Nation

Supplements for O-Lifters

I was just wondering what kind of supplements you guys think are relevant to olympic lifting? Now I don’t know if I’m right about this and Im sure someone will say other wise but I find that O-lifting really causes no trauma to the muscles, just simply fatigues the nervous system. But since the nervous system isn’t something you cause trauma to and actually break down (don’t know if Im right on that one) is it just something that you fatigue and its recuperation is just totally dependent on rest?

With that said I find a lot of supplements are aimed more towards repair and recovery of muscle trauma, so does this mean that a lot of supplements are irrelevant to o-lifting?

But anyways I just want to know what supplements you guys think are beneficial to o-lifting. thanks.

Also as for what I already use, I use the basic stuff no matter what, as should anyone

Protein Powder
Fish Oil
Multi

Rather than the multi, I would supplement with vegetables.

Protein and fish oil can be considered concentrated food when consumed with the right things to round it out.

I think training-wise, such lifters would benefit from supplements like Power Drive, Spike, caffeine, etc., though this can be a very individual thing.

Training nutrition could be as simple as electrolytes to amino acid cocktails, and post workout nutrition should be consistent with diet, e.g.: more carbs for more carb tolerant people, whey, glutamine, glycine for the other end of the scale. Power Drive after training would also help nervous system recovery.

As for the forces involved, they are much greater than what a normal weight-lifting individual experiences. For this reason, I think there is still significant muscle repair ongoing, albeit at a lower level than an hour-long negative-heavy workout.

The same proper nutritional protocols that enable rapid recovery from weight exercise are the ones that will help you with neural recovery (also the Power Drive is recommended here). After this point simply limiting the amount of mental and physical stress you face is the next most powerful modulator of neural recovery.

Other supplements that are beneficial are ones for the joints, CLA, GLA, polyphenol antioxidants, and of course good old creatine.

No trauma to the muscles? Surely you’re squatting and doing other heavy accessory lifts to aid your snatch and C&J…right?

You’re correct about it being more CNS intensive, but I don’t think an olympic lifters nutritional requirements are that different from any other person who does weight training.

Awesome, thanks, and I agree with what peter and dfreezy both said , but I would still like to here out of curiosity other supplements that o-lifters use.

Also can anyone tell me about a product called “Fast Twitch” by Cytosport and Id like to hear any comments on the product and also opinions on Power Drive.

Power Drive postworkout is strongly recommended by Thibs for cns recovery- its good stuff give it a try.

Definitely give ZMA a go

I wouldn’t lift without a pre and post workout drink.
I also wouldnt lift without taking in 30g of maltodextrin and 15g of microfiltered whey during my workouts. Plus an amino acid complex.

Performance during a workout has a much higher effect on your body than a post workout drink will have.

Post workout drinks dont make up for pussy workouts.

Id do this unless I was lifting for therapeautic reasons where Im not causing much stress to the body.

I would suggest getting an amino acid complex supplement sometime during the day, this will help manage the stress you are putting on your body.
A high quality fish oil/good fat supplement is a must. This will reduce your bodies inflamation and help in performance.
You also cant go wrong with a greens supplement. Just helping your body recover and perform more efficiently.

Multi’s dont really do that much, you’d be better off eating tons of highly nutrient dense foods and taking in the greens supp. The vitamins and minerals you get out of that will be of higher quality and will be absorbed much better. You just might be heading to the bathroom a little bit more often.

Hope that helps.

What about Biotest’s Power Drive to aid neural recovery?

If you’ve got some extra money to throw around Power Drive could be something to try out.

Everyone is different though. It might work very well for one person and the next might not notice a thing.

I tend to stick with the staples.
Pre + Post drink, Amino Acids, Good fat, and Greens (and by greens I dont mean the medications that parents give/force to kids with ADD to make them tolerable.)

10 hours of sleep a night is probably going to have a much more positive impact than taking in another supplement.
A couple 20 min naps/day would also be a good idea.
This helps recovery a ton. Especially the nervous system. It also helps you to have kick ass workouts.

[quote]W.Laporte wrote:
I would still like to here out of curiosity other supplements that o-lifters use.[/quote]

For performance/strength/recovery, I use:
-BCAAs pre and peri workout
-whey or Surge peri and/or post workout

For general health, I use:
-multi
-fish oil
-green tea extract

I agree with adam, there are many things you can do for recovery that are critical like adequate sleep, stretching, foam rolling, etc.

[quote]adam.rees wrote:

I would suggest getting an amino acid complex supplement sometime during the day, this will help manage the stress you are putting on your body.
[/quote]

If you’re eating enough complete protein, there’s no reason to use an “amino acid complex supplement.”

The only time I can think of where it might make sense to use such a product is when you’re dieting very strictly.

Good call, didnt think of foam rolling. Along those same lines if its within budget go grab a massage once a week.

Also I know some lifters that squat alot will take the weight off their back for a couple weeks. Reason being that this is the area where alot of neural functioning takes place. Dave Tate wrote a good article on this. dont remember what it was called though.

As far as restricting an amino acid supplement, I might be wrong but in my opinion anyone could benefit from taking in a few extra amino acids. Especially since the quality of proteins, no matter what the source is probably fairly poor. Unless you are an experienced cattle/pig/chicken farmer and do all your own testing on the meat you produce and you raise your animals then its probably not gonna happen.

Just to start with that steak from the grocery store is low in amino acids to start with compared to what a good quality steak would have, then you flop it on the grill with the other 20 steaks and kill more of those amino acids, then when your reheat it for the next meal your going to ingest even less of those precious amino acids cause they are simply not there due to the heat.

Now if you are willing to eat all your veggies and fruits and meats raw, then you might get close. Me personally would rather go with an amino acid supplement whenever I can.

One of my typical breakfasts when I want to splurge and have something taste a little better. I fill a bowl with dry oats, add ultra peptide chocolate protein powder, and milk then mix that all up. Its good then I have another glass of milk and mix up (not together) some ICE amino acids that contain glutamine which is gonna keep my pH balance in check. Its low glycemic, good source of lean protein, high fiber, keeps my pH level appropriate and satiates for a good period of time.

Read up on amino acids, or write Eric Cressey or John Berardi and ask them what they think of amino acids. Cant get enough. They are up there with good fats and micronutrients.

[quote]adam.rees wrote:
Especially since the quality of proteins, no matter what the source is probably fairly poor. Unless you are an experienced cattle/pig/chicken farmer and do all your own testing on the meat you produce and you raise your animals then its probably not gonna happen.

Just to start with that steak from the grocery store is low in amino acids to start with compared to what a good quality steak would have, then you flop it on the grill with the other 20 steaks and kill more of those amino acids, then when your reheat it for the next meal your going to ingest even less of those precious amino acids cause they are simply not there due to the heat. [/quote]

That’s complete nonsense.

Grocery store steaks low in amino acids???

You don’t have a clue what you’re talking about here.

By the way, I was raised on a rather large farm and have never heard of farmer testing livestock for amino acid content or anything remotely similar. Animals are tested for disease.

You’re also confusing the denaturing of amino acids with “killing” them. Again, you’re way off base.

Awesome, I really appreciate all suggestions. As for Power Drive do u think i would benefit more pre or post workout? and also how do you guys think BCAA’S would benefit me?

[quote]adam.rees wrote:
a bunch of stupid shit [/quote]

I think all that glutamine dropped your brain ph into the negatives.

Talk to David Barr for awhile, he’s a big help. But I love the back and forth disagreement it really ignites the thought process and the reasoning behind stuff.

When your body is in an acid state it will rob the muscle of glutamine, as well as the calcium from your bones.

This is the reason you always want a vegetable with your protein, because protein has such a high RAL (Renal Acid Load), and the vegetable, particularly highly nutritious dense ones, will help keep this balanced.
So taking in some extra glutamine will have a similar effect. Also go check out the ingrediants in antacids like tums for instance. Its loaded with calcium to help with this same issue. You can check out a very simple version of this from johnberardi.com. He wrote a very good article on it.

Also, you are very correct. I should not have used “kill” when cooking the amino acids. My bad. But I might be misleading with this but protein denatures, amino acids dont. Dont know where Im going with that just thought Id throw it out there. Id appreciate it if you let me know what you think.

As far as the quality of meats you get from the grocery store. I was raised on a market beef farm. There are tests for how much and what types of fat along with amino acid density and micronutrient density of the meat. This can be done on any kind of meat. Thats how we know that cold water fish caught from the ocean are much more beneficial than ones taken from hatcheries.

Probably 95% of beef raised in the US was fed 80-100% grain from the time it was wheened (taken away from the mom) from the cow.
Now if the calf was raised on highly nutrient dense foods, so different kinds of grasses and plants it would have a much higher density of amino acids and micronutrients and the its kinda cool but it also has a much better density of good fats, even CLA.
Its really pretty cool stuff. I get into the nerdy side of things like that. Its the same with chicken and pork.
Some companies even have their beef testing close to the numbers of cold water fish.

Check out US Meats. I think it is www.usmeats.com. I might be wrong on that one though.

Im big on reasons though. So Id really appreciate it if you let me know what your reasoning behind your opinion is. I doubt its a bad one Im just trying to see what reasons behind your way of thinking are. Thanks

Oh, by the way. I obviously think BCAA’s can only help (cant hurt).
Whats the worst that can happen, you get some extra amino acids.
There’s no fat or any negative side affects. Anyone could take them everyday of their lives and be completely fine.

I would feel kinda weird about giving a 3 yr old extra amino acids. Think it might be a good idea to stay away from that.

Sorry for writing so much, like to be thorough. K, I hope everyone has a good night, and am excited for some good responses. Later

I definately agree the BCAA’S cant hurt but would they make a noticeble difference for the cost. My protein intakes extremely high so if the BCAA’S wouldnt make a noticible defference I dont know if that would be the best purchase on my rather tight budget and also any comments on fast twitch by cytosport? and if I got Power Drive would it be better pre or post? thanks

[quote]W.Laporte wrote:
I definately agree the BCAA’S cant hurt but would they make a noticeble difference for the cost. My protein intakes extremely high so if the BCAA’S wouldnt make a noticible defference I dont know if that would be the best purchase on my rather tight budget and also any comments on fast twitch by cytosport? and if I got Power Drive would it be better pre or post? thanks[/quote]

I don’t think you’ll see a lot of strength diff with BCAA if protein intake is very high, but the only way you’ll ever know for certain is to try them.

I support the use of Power Drive. Try both pre- and post-workout to see which works best for you. I usually prefer it PWO.

I haven’t used the other product you mentioned.