The buzz about supplements nowadays is hilarious, in my opinion. You can read about them everywhere.
"Gain 20 pounds of lean muscle with our brand new protein!"
"Scientifically approved supplement will scorch your fat away in 4 weeks! Especially at the belly region!"
"Only our NO-booster will give that skin-tearing pump and your arms will grow bigger and 900% faster!"
How many times have you heard that? Some claims are pretty ridiculous. But people will believe those claims again and again and support supplement manufacturers. It's business after all.
But What's the Problem with Supplements?
There is only one problem with them. People have tendency to overcomplicate things and to give them more value than they can really provide. Supplements are really what they are. They just SUPPLEMENT your training, diet and restoration. You can take all the supplements in the world and get zero results. You need to know where, when and how to use them. Don't expect miracle gains if you take powdered protein. As well as don't expect miracle fat loss if you take some "scientifically proven" fat-burner. Attaining better body is a hard work. And if you don't plan to inject tons of illegal performance-enhancing substances then prepare for war.
Focus on the Big Three: Training, Diet and Restoration. I am a big believer that you actually need NO supplements to gain strength, build muscle and get ripped. In other words, you can make it rough. There are so many people that follow all the new supplements on the market while forget to devote adequate time for their training, nutrition and restoration. Supplements are luxury. You must understand that once and for all.
I actually was there. Long time ago I was also obsessed with all that supplement-buzz. All the bodybuilding magazines preach that crap. You need protein powder. You need amino acids. You need transport systems. You need creatine. All that stuff. What a joke! Look at all the mighty men of the past.
John Grimek wasn't aware of N.O. boosters and HMB
People were athletic and muscular without supplements. So why do you need them at all?
When Do You Really Need Supplements?
The important point here is that I don't say that supplements are evil and you should avoid them like a plague. I'm saying that people are too obsessed with them. However there are times when you can use supplements. But, in my opinion, you should fit one or several conditions below to start using supplements:
1. You have extra cash.
You can start using supplements only (I mean ONLY) when you have extra money that you don't have idea where to spend. If you short on money forget about supplements and focus on real healthy food at first place. It works like that: if you have money buy food, spend it on your girlfriend/family and after that consider purchasing supplements.
2. You have some health problems that can be overcome with supplements.
There are situations in life when people need supplementation in medical purposes.
3. You understand that supplements won't bring you superhuman results.
It's simple. Training, Diet and Restoration first, supplements next. They can enhance performance a bit but wait nothing extraordinary. It's a sure way to frustration.
So now you really want to use supplementation. What to choose?
Rough Strength number one choice will be fish oil. The benefits of this supplement are tremendous. Your health will improve, your hormones will improve, your cardiovascular system will improve, your mood will improve etc. No need to waste time and space on counting the benefits of fish oil. If you have money and desire this one should be number one priority.
UPDATE: You should take about 6-12 g per day of quality fish oil. Recent studies show increase in muscle protein synthesis if you take about 2 g EPA/1.5 g DHA per day. So choose your supplements wisely. Read the label. Also I consider it a not bad idea to take 1 tbsp of flaxseed oil per day too.
Vitamin C should be the next in queue. It's an anti-oxidant. And it helps with fighting diseases. It's required in multiple essential metabolic reactions in your body and more.
UPDATE: Pick high quality vitamin C and you can take several grams per day. And no more than 500 mg of crappy one. Well, you can also use high quality multivitamin supplement as well.
Digestive enzymes would be my next choice. They help help with digestion, cure GI tract and fight inflammation all over the body. It's definitely wise supplement choice.
And after that if you have money and desire left you can experiment with other supplements. But take care of your health first. The healthier you are the more gains you can expect. And remember: no supplements can substitute training, diet and restoration.
UPDATE: You can also use protein supplements for convenience. No need to get too fancy. My choice would be casein with at least 80% protein. That should do. There are other effective protein supplements. But they are too expensive for their value in my opinion.
Stay tuned for more on rough training.
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil
Probably the most effective supplement out there. The hormone optimizing benefits of magnesium oil are not the only benefits. when you are stressed your ability to absorb and utilize oral forms of magnesium is compromised. Fortunately, magnesium lotion is applied topically and does not have to deal with the GI tract. The benefits of magnesium are numerous. However, you actually have to absorb the magnesium to derive maximum benefit (or for many any benefit) so why even bother chancing it with oral magnesium? Magnesium Oil is inexpensive and should be part of your health routine today.