Updated: January 2019
Now a lot of things have changed since I first wrote this page back in February 2011. So I have decided to update this with what I am currently doing supplement wise. As I read & learn more about supplements I regularly change and adjust my plan accordingly. Here is a quick run down of each supplement I currently take and will have full page reviews listed later on with more in depth explanations as to why I take them.
A wise man changes his mind, a fool never.
– Spanish proverb
The benefits of fish oil are countless for everyone, not just athletes. There is also new research showing that Krill oil is the next best thing since sliced fish. So instead of choosing one over the other, I’ll alternate between the two every other day.
Packed with good fats, helps with joint mobility, lowers bad cholesterol, provides energy. I’m sure I haven’t even touched the surface of the benefits of fish oil, but a quick read of the Wikipedia run down on fish oil should be more than enough to convince anyone to take this as a base supplement. One key benefit this has within the body is correcting our out of whack Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios.
Fresh garlic’s health benefits are numerous, however until recently after reading the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferris, I wasn’t aware of aged garlic in pill form. The benefit of aging garlic, is that it releases Allicin and this is a bit harder to achieve with fresh garlic cloves, than it is with a pill. Allicin has several health benefits including reducing inflammation and offer antioxidant benefits. I take between 1 garlic tablet in the morning.
I’ll take this on cloudy days and days that I’ll be stuck in the office. There is evidence suggesting that too much vitamin D is not beneficial to your heath, so I will only take this supplement on cloudy days.
I take melatonin almost every night, I don’t generally have trouble falling asleep but on some nights that I have a late workout and have taken preworkout with copious amounts of caffeine, this helps take the edge off. I mainly take melatonin for the other health benefits that accompany this hormone:
- Potential treatment for prostate & breast cancer
- Can help lower blood pressure & cholesterol
- May help strengthen the immune system
- Help regulate hormone functions
I am generally not too concerned with the brand of protein powder I use. With the knowledge that there are only a handful of actual manufacturers of nutritional supplements in the USA, I have a few things to look out for when purchasing protein powder.
Third Party Inspected
Having the knowledge that a third party has inspected at least some of the protein powder gives me some piece of mind that at least somebody else looked at their operating procedures. This also includes third party websites like, labdoor.com , consumerlab.com , FDA inspected.
They are a reputable brand
This is simply relying on market signaling which isn’t a sure thing, but adds a little bit more credibility to the source of protein. If it’s a well known brand that I recognize, I will generally trust is a bit more than a brand that is starting to advertise on Instagram.
Optimum Nutrition is one of those companies that is ubiquitous in the industry, my assumption is that they make a great product. 24g of protein per scoop and only 110 calories. It’s a great general use protein powder, with a mix of isolate, concentrate and peptides. It’s a good choice for the base of a meal replacement shake that I can mix up with several ingredients. I usually stick with the vanilla, because it allows me to mix it up with almost any ingredient and/or flavoring.
Keep an eye out on the monthly Costco specials, as this is a regular brand that goes on sale.
MusclePharm Combat Protein
Another well known brand in the supplement industry, with third party testing performed. This is another protein powder that regularly goes on sale at Costco and is a great all round powder.
This is an internet based supplement company that regularly runs promotions on protein powders. It has great reviews from Labdoor as well as some third party inspections. Being internet based, they have sales in Europe, which also means they have been tested by European third part inspectors as well. Which give it some more credibility in the marketplace.
I use their Whey Protein Isolate as well as Micellar Casein mix. I use the WPI for meal replacements as well as pre-post workout. I mix Micellar Casein with a glass of milk at night before bed.
A link to a post regarding timing of peri workout nutrition & supplementation can be found here. Here is a list of the supplements I take around my workout:
- 1.5g HMB
- 3.2g Beta Alanine
- 5g Creatine Monohydrate
- 1g Betaine Anhydrous
- 200mg Caffeine
- 200mg L-Theanine
- 25g Dextrose Powder
- 25g Whey Protein Isolate
- 6g Citrulline Malate
- g BCAA powder
- 20-30g of Gatorade powder
- 1 teaspoon of Stevia powder
- 6g Beetroot powder
Is a repeat of my preworkout mix, without the caffeine of l-theanine, and creatine monohydrate.
This is probably the biggest discovery in my recent research around optimal macronutrient intake. A potential problem with taking just a protein supplement after a workout, is that it doesn’t replace the glycogen stores in the muscle. What this can lead to, especially if in a caloric deficit is a process called gluconeogenesis, which is where the body breaks down the protein and converts it to glucose. The body uses protein to refuel the muscle, rather than repair the muscle. By mixing in a single chain sugar with the post workout protein, thebody is able to utilize the glucose to replenish the depleted glycogen stores in the muscle, this has a two fold effect of spiking insulin in the body and helping to direct the protein isolate to repairing the damaged muscle tissues.
I stick with creatine monohydrate, because it is the most researched supplement on the market and the results speak for themselves. It is also one of the cheapest supplements available on the market, simple CM powder is dirt cheap and has proven results. From the research I’ve done, new creatine sources (kre-alkyne, effervescent, phospho-creatine etc), don’t provide any benefits that outweigh the huge price per serving when compared to CM.
I like to stick with 100% CM products, so that I don’t get any extra sugars or flavourings. I include CM in my post workout drink, I use around 5-10g per day, excess is just excreted in urine and the cheap cost means I’m not too worried about overdosing. And for those of you that say, it causes bloating and water retention. I’m pretty sure the point of working out is to have ‘bloated’ muscles and the water retention is intra-muscular and not subcutaneous, so it hydrates the muscles from within, which is not a bad thing if you ask me