Day 321 - My Diet Through Body Beast Part 2: Supplements
Listed are the classes or types of supplements I have taken. No, I am not going to list specific brands, as these are all quite common supplements, so you should be able to find a cheap and reliable source close to you. The brands I have used may not be easily found for you, so just go out and find a brand that you can trust and can afford.
Shakeology - I held off on this supplement for the longest time, partly because it was so expensive, but also because I wasn't really sure if it was worth "all the hype". I started taking Shakeology in October, and haven't stopped since. I firmly believe that Shakeology helped me not only train better, but also compete to the best of my capabilities at World's Toughest Mudder 2012!
Since then, it has been the cornerstone of my diet making my way through Body Beast. It works as a fantastic snack during the "Build" and "Bulk" phases, and a great meal replacement/snack during the "Beast" phase.
The key to Shakeology, is that it helps take a lot of the guesswork out of my diet. I drink it early in the morning, and then I know that I am already set up for a great day, nutritionally-speaking. The more nutrients your body is processing, the more efficient it becomes, and you recover from workouts better, allowing you to push yourself harder and harder every time out.
I know it can seem expensive to some, but when you break it down to around $4/serving (25% off that if you become a Coach), where else can you get a meal that healthy, that cheap? Go here to request a FREE Shakeology sample!
Creatine - You would be pretty hard-pressed to find a nutritional supplement that is more widely studied than creatine. There are plenty of types and variations out there, but time and time again, science has shown that plain ol' creatine monohydrate is the way to go.
Creatine supplementation is great for resistance training for a few reasons. First, it helps give you an extra 'kick' during a workout. It allows you to push through those last one or two reps (more on that later). Secondly, and probably just as important for your Body Beasters out there, it helps to volumize your muscles (make them bigger).
There are lots of people out there who actually have the wrong idea as to how or what creatine actually does. The best analogy I have ever read regarding creatine is this: Think of your body as an automobile with a gas tank. You obviously fill the gas tank up with gasoline to make it run. By supplementing with creatine, you are expanding the gas tank to hold more gas. You are not necessarily filling the tank with premium or jet fuel, but just expanding it, so that you can run the car for longer. Or, in the case of resistance training, you can hit the accelerator many more times than usual in a single workout.
Whey Protein - This is one supplement that I personally think too many people over-think. I get a very basic whey powder from a local Costco. It is cheap. It tastes fine. It mixes well in a shaker cup. It has 25g protein per serving. What else can I ask for? I personally think all of the marketing surrounding many of the other brands on the market is a lot of 'hype', but hey, that's my opinion! During the Build and Bulk phases, I would mix my whey powder with milk to give a bit more protein/calories. During the Beast phase, I mixed with water.
I will say that I prefer whole, natural sources of protein, like eating meat or eggs, but if you are in a pinch or need something convenient, whey protein can work just fine (just watch out for too much sugar!).
Super Suma - The only "Beast" supplement I took from Beachbody was the Super Suma. Super Suma is purported to have some testosterone-boosting qualities to it. To be honest, it is very difficult for me to tell whether or not this supplement aided my results in any way, shape, or form, but if you wish to mimic what I did, I'd say give it a try and see what you think!
Omega 3 Fish Oil - Omega-3's are considered essential fatty acids because the body needs them, but can't synthesize them by itself. I could go on and on all day about the health benefits on Omega-3's, but really, that is Wikipedia is for. I will say this: One plant-based source of Omega-3's are found in the Sacha Inchi plant which just so happens to be in Shakeology.
Vitamin D - Known as the "sunshine vitamin" because it can be synthesized by the body by using cholesterol and our good friend the sun. There is a reason why bodybuilders have enjoyed suntanning in the past. Sure, it helps bronze their skin and help give more definition to their muscles, but they also knew that it helped in building muscle. Despite what so many may say, sunshine is good for you! Humans have evolved to work, play, and be outside. Unfortunately, for someone like me living in Canada, I can't always get adequate sunshine, so I supplement. More on Vitamin D over at Wikipedia.
Multivitamin - Due to taking Shakeology now, I could probably, and will probably give this one up in the future, but I have a bottle left, so I might as well use them up.
If you have any questions/comments/concerns about this list, please feel free to e-mail me.
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