T Nation

What Supplements Do You Recommend?

My Dad (46) is planning to get back into lifting. He hasn’t touched a weight in over 25 years so he’s lost his strength base and will have to start really light and slowly build up from there.

If you’ve ever gone off lifting for an extended period of time and are around the same age as my Dad, do you recommend taking anything to help minimize injury and promote faster recovery?

Initially, I’d recommend tons of water, a multivitamin, and ZMA.
I’m 44 and that’s all I take for recovery. It works for me.

Hey, there, Lama[G]. I do have a few thoughts. (grin)

  • First a well-designed program that won’t promote muscular imbalances. Since he’s essentially a newbie, I kinda lean towards a whole body workout, rather than a split, with 3 times a week being a gracious plenty.
  • Surge PWO.
  • Enough protein to support the repair of LBM (1g x TBW per day, divided by 3 meals plus 3 snacks).
  • Starting off slow and easy; 1 set the first workout, 2 sets the second workout. Just go through the motions and protect him from himself.
  • A good multi-vitamin (one where you take them 2 or 3 times per day; not a one-a-day Centrum-type), a proteolytic enzyme, MSM and fish oil capsules would round out my recommendations.
Let me know if you need dosing recommendations or why I recommended a particular supp.

P.S.: I really like Tri217’s ZMA recommendation!

Water: absolutely. Drink too much.

Next: he has to really think through carb choices: veggies and fruit are probably the best thing he can do, but, as most of us have noticed, junk carbs are everywhere.

My number one choice is an odd little concoction:

Low-Carb Grow!..a serving
Mixed with
Sugar free Metamucil…a serving. Shake with water and drink.

I’m telling you, this is one of the great combinations for the 47 year old discus thrower/Olympic lifter/Highland Gamer/Dad. The extra fiber really seems to help…and it WILL make a difference in your dad’s annual blood tests.

He does have an annual physical and blood test…right?

Right?

Be sure that is taken care of right away. Why? Baseline. He can measure progress with pictures AND with blood tests…

LOL…I toss in a spoonful of greens powder in mine!
And here I thought I was a loon!

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
A good multi-vitamin (one where you take them 2 or 3 times per day; not a one-a-day Centrum-type), a proteolytic enzyme and MSM.[/quote]

Hey Terry,

Your opinion is always valued, so could I ask you to expound on:

  1. How advantageous a 2 to 3 dosings per day multi-vitamin is compared to a one-a-day type and if there are any particular brands that you’d recommend.

  2. Provide additional details on the virtures of a proteoleytic enzyme and MSM.

Thanks for your response.

I would go with:

Low-Carb Grow! (1-Morning/Evening)
ZMA (before bed on empty stomach)
Surge (Post Workout)
2000 mg Fish Oil
2000 mg 2000 mg Vitamin C
2000 mg Flaxseed or Udo’s Choice
A multi-vitmin (as described above)

There is no sense going for anything performance enhancing, it will only provide an “expensive” piss. Have him check out any of the great workout routines here and search on Berardi for changinf his eating habits. The biggest benefit he will get will be from exercise and dietary changes.

Cheers,

RW

Better Living Through Chemistry!

Hey, T-Bone2!!!

Vitamins and minerals are cofactors in enzymatic processes. Vitamins and minerals for that reason are best taken with food. That’s when they’re most useful.

There are two types of vitamins, those that are water soluble and those that are fat soluble. The body can store the fat soluble vitamins for use at a later time. But it can’t do that with water-soluble vitamins. With water-soluble vitamins the body takes all of what it needs at that precise time and excretes the rest, which is why you get more bang for the buck if you take your vitamins in divided doses; the more the better.

I use a multivitamin made by the Life Extension Foundation. They’re not cheap, but it’s the foundation of my whole supplementation program. It’s a 3-times-per day multi.

The reason I recommended a good proteolytic enzyme complex (which should be taken on an empty stomach, by the way) and MSM is because I’m anticipating that Lama[G]'s father will experience some pain, inflammation, DOMS with starting to work out. The MSM and proteolytic enzymes will help with the pain, inflammation, building and repair. MSM is also protective of joints. I probably should have recommended glucosamine into my recommendations, too, as it also is joint protective.

Dosing? MSM a couple of grams three times a day would be great. I buy it in bulk and add it to my protein shakes. Glucosamine should be taken at 1.5g per day, divided doses. Proteolytic enzymes can be taken in between meals as many times a day as you would like. Proteolytic enzymes help with breaking down damaged protein structures and replacing/repairing/rebuilding said protein structures. If you want the best, I’d recommend Wobenzym. If you’re a college student on a budget, I recommend bromelain, 2400 GDU by NOW.

I hope that makes sense. If I missed anything or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. (grin)

[quote]Tampa-Terry wrote:
I hope that makes sense. If I missed anything or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. (grin)[/quote]

As usual, a very detailed and lucid respond; I appreciate the reply.

Thanks Terry!

Tampa - Terry

What is your opinion on coconut oil. I started to reseach this on the internet and I found so much information regarding the healthful benefits of coconut oil I started using it. I like the results I’m seeing. However, is there some cautionary issues I need to be aware of?

[quote]AlanR wrote:
Tampa - Terry

What is your opinion on coconut oil. I started to reseach this on the internet and I found so much information regarding the healthful benefits of coconut oil I started using it. I like the results I’m seeing. However, is there some cautionary issues I need to be aware of?[/quote]

I know Mercola is a HYOOOGE fan of coconut oil and have looked into supplementing with it myself. Will be curious as to TT’s response to your query.

[quote]RoadWarrior wrote:
I would go with:

Low-Carb Grow! (1-Morning/Evening)
ZMA (before bed on empty stomach)
Surge (Post Workout)
2000 mg Fish Oil
2000 mg 2000 mg Vitamin C
2000 mg Flaxseed or Udo’s Choice
A multi-vitmin (as described above)

There is no sense going for anything performance enhancing, it will only provide an “expensive” piss. Have him check out any of the great workout routines here and search on Berardi for changinf his eating habits. The biggest benefit he will get will be from exercise and dietary changes.

Cheers,

RW

Better Living Through Chemistry![/quote]

Bingo…

That’s exactly to a T what I’m taking along with Creatine. I’m over 40 and this works perfect for me.

Props…

I think a lot of these recommendations are good ones and well thought out.
Do consider, however, that at age 46 after a 25 year layoff, we may be talking about someone with a dinosaur mentality to all this. (hopefully not, and I don’t mean to demean or offend your father) but it is possible to overwhelm an older newbie with all these supplements, vitamins, etc. It is also really possible to turn off someone by radically changing diet. That’s often the biggest barrier for most people.
Consider starting with 3-4 weeks of gradually escalating weights in basic lifts. 3 full body workouts per week is a good recommendation.
You want to accomplish three things in the first month:
1- create a new habit - lifting - that he can and will do three times a week
2 - teach him the exercises. he has to learn how to do this stuff with low to moderate weight so he understands the dance steps before he buys a tux for the ball (so to speak)
3- give him a feeling of accomplishment without overwhelming him. get him to come back for more.

I use a three point scale for evaluating how much weight to use. Start light, do sets of 5x5 or 3x8.
After the set ask if it was light, medium or heavy. When you get answers like “a little more than medium” or “6.7359 on a scale of 10” (I got this once, with a big smile), he is learning to evaluate the weight and pace himself.
For the first two weeks don’t go past “somewhere between medium and heavy”. The third and fourth week try some 6x3 sets in the almost heavy range as a challenge.

I’d wait until the third week to even start talking about supplements and nutrition.
Drinking water during and after workouts shouldn’t be a problem but I’d tread lightly.
In reality he won’t be doing enough to warrant all the supplements, PWO drinks, etc. If you make him really sore (DOMS) too soon he might walk away. Remember you are teaching movements and habits, not building strength.
Wait until the 4th or 5th week when you really challenge him and wear him out after a workout. Then the next time you throw down that challenge offer him some Surge to sip during and after. If he sees the difference, you might have an edge to work with.

Good post, there, Major Dan!

Hey, AlanR & aschy! Along with being tasty, I think there are health benefits to using coconut oil. In general, for body comp goals (and health), 1/3 of your fat requirements should be met with EFAs (some being flaxseed oil or fish oil), 1/3 with monounsaturated fat (like olive oil or avocado), and 1/3 from saturated fat. Coconut oil is a saturated fat.

It can be used for cooking and has a higher smoke point (a good thing).

No downsides to using it. I would not take coconut oil at the expense of the other fats you need to get. And I wouldn’t take it in excess of the caloric intake I was shooting for if I were cutting, even though it’s supposed to help you lose weight.

It all boils down to goals. It’s a useful (tasty?) tool to have in your nutritional toolbox/cupboard. But I wouldn’t give it any hallowed status unless I had a health condition that would benefit from its use; low body temp, compromised immune system, a defect in fatty acid absorption.

Lama(G)- Instead of spending the money on Surge, I recommend your dad has a “smoothie” PWO. This assumes he wants to become more fit, healthy, and active. Don’t get me wrong, Surge is a great product. However, for a beginner whose also older, have him make a protein shake/smoothie for after his workout. A banana and berries, water, ice cubes, and some vanilla whey protein powder. He could also go for chocolate whey protein powder, skim milk, and a banana. He could follow this up w/ a healthy meal an hour or two later. If he’s not going to eat for 2-3 hours after this shake, I recommend using Low-Carb Grow! because of its blend of proteins. He should feel free to throw in some oats to his shake to tide him over till his next meal and supply him w/ fiber and more carbs. I’ve found through experience that someone easing into working out that’s older will enjoy a shake/smoothie more than Surge. However, if money is no option and he’s really serious about changing his body, I encourage Surge.

I’d like to second what Major Dan said. The best exercise, diet & supplement program is one he’ll stick to (within the relevent choices). Keep it simple, expecially in the beginning. The worst thing is to make him feel overwhelmed or that he is "changing everything. After the multi, I’d make the fish oil & glucosamine or msm my first choices to add. From my experience, it takes several weeks to see the benefits from these but they’ll go a long way.

There are 3 or 4 “over-fifty” body builders where I work out that use what they call the Lifewave energy patch. They absolutely swear by them. I do not know what good they do them, but maybe some of you do.

[quote]spence28732 wrote:
There are 3 or 4 “over-fifty” body builders where I work out that use what they call the Lifewave energy patch. They absolutely swear by them. I do not know what good they do them, but maybe some of you do.[/quote]

I just read all about the “Lifeway energy patch”…(Eye roll).

Since you did not tell me what they are or do, I did a web search. From what I read, they increase energy and strength endurance, wihin minutes of putting the patches on, by 20-40% (a lot more for some people).

This is done with nanotechnology, and nothing enters the body – no chemicals or other substances. The increased energy comes from fat being burned instead of carbohydrates.

Ronnie Coleman endorses them as does Dayana Cadeau and Iris Kyle, all 2004 Olympia winners.

The US Olympic anti-doping commitee approves use of the patches as does the FDA and the NCAA for college athletic use. Also, Gold’s Gym CEO is introducing the patches to all their gyms nationwide.

While I was online, I bought some and will try then out. When I see the results of a university double blind placebo study showing increase of an average of 34% over ten minutes in strength endurance of 24 athletes, I can’t help but be curious.

Now, what’s with the “eye roll”. Is all this stuff on these web sites----
www.lifewave.com/allenergy and
www.energypatches4u.com — nothing but bs?
If you know something, or have tried them yourself, let me know before I do.

Thanks for your help.

Spence
Haven’t tried them–never will. Let me know how they work for you. Burns fat instead of carbs? Yet nothing is released or absorbed by the skin. Cautionary advice, don’t believe everything you read or because it is endorsed by someone. And Jay Cutler looks like he does because of Cell-Tech.
Short of pharmacology, there just are no magic potions. Hard and smart work is the only way. Look at it as one hell of a journey. You’ll take a few wrong forks in the road, but it’s all good. It’s alifestyle, not just a destination.