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Which Supplements Should You Take and Why?

By Adam Kaan | Diet

These are the only supplements you will ever need, stop wasting your time and money on bogus stuff.

But before we even start, first off I will say this, if you’re one of those people who is always looking for the magic pill, I’ll tell you now you don’t need a supplement you need a mindset change.

There is no magic pill ignore those scams about how a mom (insert your hometown here) lost 50lbs in one week by taking this one pill.

No magic, pill ignore those scams about how a mom (insert your hometown) lost 50lbs in one week by taking this one pill.. 

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Lies just complete lies by unscrupulous greedy people preying on desperate folk.

Only a handful of supplements actually work. They are the ones that have enough

  • empirical evidence
  • stood the test of time.

They are the only ones I’m prepared to spend my hard earned cash on. They should be the only ones you should consider too.

Let me tell you nothing will give you steroid like results except steroids. Unless you’re competing for Mr Olympia you don’t need them.

This post isn’t just about supplements that build muscle and help to lose fat.

"There are other little known things you can add to your diet that will blow what supplements can do for you out of the water"

The problem with claims made by supplement companies is often they fund the research so there is a problem of bias.

Secondly they misinterpret and misrepresent the results and end up selling you something for £30 to £50 that has a 2% chance of increasing your muscle mass by less than 1lb a month. Or increase your chance of fat loss by the same.

Of course they never market it to you that way.

The question is it worth spending that sort of money with such a slim chance of such small results?

The Supplements I Take

Anyway swiftly moving here are the ones I do take, just to be clear this is not advice. You are responsible for your own actions. These are just my recommendations.

You know your own tolerances, allergies and all that stuff better than I do.

Do your own research especially when taking high dosages of stimulants like caffeine. Often more is not better.

Creatine

Creatine is one of the most well researched, safest and value for money supplement you can buy. Providing you with proven results compared to a lot of gimmicky supplements creatine is a God send.

There is still some debate of how much protein is needed you can read all about that here. In that same book by contrast creatine is highly recommended.

Definitely worth a read.

What to Expect With Creatine and How Does it Work

Do not expect creatine to give you instant results. It may take a few days to a week for the phosphocreatine pool to build up.

Once it’s built up you’ll get a few extra reps in your sets and be able to lift a bit more, or be able to run a few yards further.

By helping you to train harder and longer it helps you to reach your fitness goal faster.

There is also evidence to suggest it helps with protein synthesis (protein you consume turning to muscle tissue)

Creatine also helps to make your muscle look and feel more firm and fuller.

Just get it from a quality source. That way you know it’s tested and doesn’t have any contaminants that may lead to bloating and digestive issues.

I get them from here. Bulk Powders offer consistent quality at a very low price.

Bulk Powders Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate is a time tested supplement that gives the most bang for your buck

Make sure it’s micronized creatine, that’s just simply referring to the size of the creatine grains.

Micronized creatine mixes more easily and is claimed to absorb better.

One of most common objections I hear about creatine is it makes you look bulky. Let’s put this concern to rest. Too many people are scared of doing so many things when it comes to their health for fear of looking bulky.

The ONLY REASON any natural bodybuilder looks bulky is because their diet is crap and they have a FEW inches of fat covering their musculature.

If you get to 10% body fat which should be your goal. Most people have the opposite problem of looking too small.

Caffeine

Caffeine helps to suppress appetite, and is popular in a lot of fat loss pills. I’ve read in the past that it helps to burn fat for fuel as well, especially during workouts.

This might seem really weird but many years ago, when I used to take the infamous ECA stack, that was loaded with caffeine, I always used to find the fat around my belly would feel watery after taking the pills.

I always find it helps me get through my fasting period a lot easier.

It’s also a great pre workout and pretty much the only pre workout you need, you really don’t need all those fancy expensive pre workout supplements.

A lot of pre workouts are simply loaded with sugar and carbs.

The optimal dose of caffeine is 100mg to 200mg anything more will give you diminishing return and put you at risk of other health complications.

Also stick to only one dose of caffeine a day so no other strong cups of coffee otherwise you could end up with chronic stress syndrome having fried you adrenal glands​

Get Your Perfectly Dosed (200mg) Caffeine Here​.  

Coffee Beans pouring out of a cup

Caffeine doesn't have to be expensive it's just coffee

Otherwise you could be going somewhere else and paying 20 times more per mg.  Just because they've got a cool video and fancy images.

I messaged them asking them how they justify such a high price, I didn't get a response but I guess someone has to pay for all that design and marketing.  That someone are the foolish people that fall for it, don't let that be YOU! 

Hopefully if you're reading this you've shown that you are a part of the thinking crowd and not a part of the mindless sheep.​

Green Tea Tablet Supplements

Green tea has many health benefits, including fat loss, but it can be a chore drinking 6 or more cups of green tea each day. Quite frankly I’m sick to death of the taste. Go here and read all the benefits. Probably one of the most effective, safest and cheapest fat loss pills on the market with other added health benefits.

Fish Oil

The average diet is lacking Omega 3. These are known as essential fatty acids. The body cannot produce them on it’s own but needs them to function optimally.

By now most people have heard about the myriad of benefits fish oil provides such as enhanced fat burning and

muscle building, improved blood lipid profiles and reduced inflammation so I won’t rehash all of them here.

Put it this way every single book I’ve read in the last 3 years on health, diet and nutrition has recommend Omega 3 Oils.

Interesting Fact: I'm Bengali but I don't eat Fish! really how shocking is that!? Once you've recovered from that enlightening piece of news you can carry on reading 🙂

The best source of Omega 3 Fish Oils is Krill Oil, thankfully due to consumer awareness and competition it’s become a lot more affordable. They used to be over £30 a bottle a few years back.

Imagine your monthly supplements bill with this, with protein and everything else you’re told you need.

Comment below if you know how and why Krill is such a good source of Omega 3 more specifically EPA and DHA

Protein

Most of the guys I respect are big believers in post workout nutrition and I am too. With the exception of Brad Pilon you can read his perspective in this brilliant book. How Much Protein. I posted about it on my facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/adam.kaan/posts/10210034067502209

(Whilst re-reading this post to tidy it up I noticed I’ve mentioned the book already, oh well!! It’s that good)

The few times protein shakes are useful is when you are trying to hit your macro nutrient requirements on a strict diet without going over your calorie allowance.

The other is post workout since whey protein is absorbed and synthesized very quickly .

Another thing to consider is that the majority of the studies and experts support the view that a high (1.2 - 1.5g per lb) is crucial to maintain muscle in a hypercaloric state.

From my personal experience and that of my clients. I would go one step further and agree with Jeff Cavaliere of Athlean X who says you can even build muscle in a hypercaloric state, a fancy term for being in a calorie deficit, which he attributes to staying within a positive nitrogen balance through the consumption of protein. Since protein is the only macro-nutrient that contains nitrogen.

Additionally the other thing to bare in mind is finances, you get the most protein per pound spent than any other source. It’s also a quality protein with an amino acid profile suited to building muscle in particular leucine.

Whey protein has also shown to increase, protein synthesis (the conversion of protein that you eat to muscle tissue)

Premium Whey Protein Supplement

Bulk Powders do a great Grass Fed Whey protein, highest quality you can get. I've seen some companies milking the issue (excuse the pun) and selling their protein at $99 dollars for 2kg because it's grass fed

The problem however is people are mislead into believing they need excessive amounts of protein over 2g per lbs of bodyweight or more and that they will lose fat with it.

Consuming protein has no DIRECT relationship to fat loss whatsoever, especially if you’re in an excessive calorie surplus, it’s more likely to hinder your fat loss.

Do not fall for those marketing claims, which leads us to another problem.

As a consequence of those false claims many fall under the impression then, that they can get results by just consuming protein with a crappy diet.

The attitude becomes one of ‘Oh I’m spending all this money on supplements my diet doesn’t have to be great’. Which then spiral into ‘Must be something wrong with me, or my metabolism’

Bottom Line:  If you understand you won't lose fat or magically grow muscles by consuming excessive amounts of protein to the contrary it could even make you fatter, then protein can help you build muscle and indirectly lose fat.  Here is my favourite protein supplier that won't burn a whole in your pocket and leave you broke 

Vitamin D3

At one time vitamin D was thought to be just good for bones. In recent times a lot of research has come to light highlighting the importance of this vitamin.

Insufficient vitamin D levels increase the risk of many types of disease, including osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, and even the flu, but we’re going to focus on the positive.

Thanks to the hard work of many scientists, including the notable Dr. Michael Holick, we now know that nearly every type of tissue and cell in the body has vitamin D receptors, which means it’s an essential hormone that plays a vital role in a large number of physiological processes.

When we ingest vitamin D or produce it in the skin (as a result of sun exposure), it gets converted into its active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D , or vitamin D3.

This substance then interacts with and supports virtually every tissue type in your body, including your heart, brain, and even fat cells.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 5000iu

It also regulates genes that control immune function, metabolism, and cell growth and development.

As you can see, this vitamin deserves a lot more attention than it has been given over the last couple of decades.

Fortunately, however, vitamin D’s vital importance and amazing benefits are becoming more and more widely known and accepted. Now, as you may already know, our body can’t produce vitamin D without sun exposure, and according to research published by the Center for Disease Control in 2011, 8 percent of Americans are vitamin D deficient, and 25 percent are considered “at risk” of a deficiency.

According to other research, however, deficiency may be as high as 42 percent.

There are two ways to ensure you get enough vitamin D:

  1.  Spend 15 to 20 minutes in the sun every day with at least 25 percent of your skin exposed. 
  2. Take supplements.

.As most of us aren’t able to take midday tanning breaks, and we live in cold cloudy climates supplementation is the answer

Without getting into all the detail just know that you need at least 2000iu

If you’re wasting money on all sorts of latest fad supplements that promise the world and deliver very little then STOP!

And get something that is very affordable and delivers. Here is the Vitamin D3 I take.

Some places will tell you all the benefits I’ve mentioned above to justify a really high price tag be careful.

Other Stuff

These aren’t supplements but worth having in your plan

Transdermal Magnesium

If you read the Magnesium Miracle where the author lists up to 68 ailments related to magnesium deficiency, or the works of Dr Sircus, you will find that the benefits associated with magnesium are practically endless. Some of them include:

  • Improved energy
  • Reduced bad cholesterol levels
  • Enhanced protein synthesis
  • Improved capacity to manage stress
  • Improved ability to relax
  • Improved sleep quality
  • High testosterone levels
  • Reduced joint pain

The problem lies in with modern farming methods even if you ate all organic your diet would still be deficient in magnesium.

If you take magnesium orally it causes diarrhoea.

The best way to take magnesium is through the skin. You can purchase Transdermal magnesium here.

However a more cost effective way to do this is to purchase magnesium flakes and dilute the flakes with 1:1 ratio in some mineral water, then poor the mixture into an atomizing spray bottle and utilise it that way.

Chia Seeds

High in quality protein, high in EFA ( more than salmon), so if you don’t like eating salmon or any fish for that matter, like me, then chia seeds might be worth considering. Especially since the price is relatively a lot lower.

In addition the benefits of chia seeds don’t stop there they are also high in fibre, high in antioxidants and get this, even higher in calcium than dairy.

It’s a wonder supplement companies are not milking this ‘Superfood’ that actually genuinely deserves the title... yet! If they could produce something even remotely providing all the health benefits of chia seeds believe me you’d be paying a fortune for a few grams.

If you’re a diabetic reading this, then you should know that chia seeds can significantly lower blood pressure and a marker for inflammation. (1)

What are you waiting for get it here

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds one of the few foods that really does deserve the title of superfood

Coconut OIL MCT

To be continued.....​

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About the Author

36 Male, Teacher, trainer, father of two with a passion for health and fitness amongst other things