Let’s get one thing out of the way before we get into this blog post:
SUPPLEMENTS ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR SUCCESS!
Yep. So if you’re reading this thinking that I’m about to drop the best “fat loss” secret, welp.. I’m not. I’m here to let you know what’s important, what you could probably live without, answer some common questions, and explain what certain supplements are used for.
Let’s start with the basic: protein. If you’re looking to improve your protein intake, protein powder is a super simple and effective way to do that. However, there are SO many different TYPES of protein out there, not to mention, so many companies their protein is the best for FAT LOSS or MUSCLE GAIN. *eye roll* I cannot tell you how many supplement companies I’ve seen showcasing a generic protein powder, labeled as some magic fat burning, muscle building powder. This could not be farther from the truth!
Let’s get one thing straight: protein powder in itself does not CAUSE fat loss or BUILD muscle. You could have a diet full of protein powder, and if you’re not eating enough or your training is not conducive to muscle growth – you’re not going to be gaining muscle. Protein powder does not “BURN” fat, and it certainly is not a magic supplement.
As simple as I can put it: protein powder is PROTEIN in the form of POWDER. Period.
Now, there are different TYPES of protein powder that are used for specific purposes. I’m listing my personal favorite brand of each of the following supplements, solely because I trust their ingredients and they do not make any unrealistic claims.
Whey Protein ISOLATE : A fast-digesting unrefined protein, with 98% lactose removed. This specific protein is 98% lactose-free (as compared to regular whey protein) so oftentimes those with digestion issues can tolerate Isolate protein more so than whey. This is the case for myself as well, and this has become my go-to protein choice for my shakes.
Whey Protein: If you want to get super technical, cow’s milk is made up of two types of protein (whey and casein) and whey protein is the mixture of those proteins isolated from whey. You know like, when you open a cup of yogurt and there’s liquid on the top? That’s technically whey protein. I will say: NOT ALL WHEY PROTEIN IS CREATED EQUAL. Just like with anything in life, quality matters. The purity of the whey will also vary from company to company. There are a lot of different ways to check the “value” of a companies protein (that’s a whole nother blog post of its own) but I would start by checking out their ingredients. If you see a lot of synthetic additives, loads of unhealthy sweeteners and artificial flavors, I’d suggest passing on that one.
Casein Protein: Again, LOTS of different types of casein protein, but for this one specifically, Micellar Casein is the slowest absorbing protein of them all. Made from all five of the milk proteins which basically just gives you a gradual release of the amino acids. People typically take Casein protein at night, since that’s the longest period of time they go without eating.
So hopefully that helps you narrow down your choices of protein powder! As for everything else, I’m just going to share with you my personal choices and what I use them for. I don’t think you need to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on supplements, but they can certainly help in certain areas of your health. Think of it as a pyramid:
The base of your pyramid should be your caloric intake and food choices. Whole, nutrient-dense foods, then eating in a caloric surplus or deficit (according to your goals), then macronutrient breakdown, then sleep, THEN supplements. Supplements should never be the base of your pyramid. That being said, this is my own personal “stack”
R&R – This is by far my favorite supplement to take. It’s been a part of my night time routine for months now, and the quality of my sleep has improved tremendously and I wake up much less throughout the night. It’s a blend of magnesium, melatonin, Gaba, Kava and B Vitamins. I take 3 every night about an hour before bedtime.
Berries & Greens – Long story short, this is a way to get some extra micronutrients in. If you’re someone lacking on your veggies or fruits, this is a great (NOT GRITTY) way to sneak some in, and my personal favorite is that it’s made with a probiotic blend so it’s easy on my stomach.
BCAAS – Amino acids! Again, not a magic supplement, and to be honest with you, I drink these SOLELY because I love the taste. Fresh lemonade is my favorite and it’s not too sweet. One of my least favorite things about supplement flavors is when they have an obscene amount of artificial sweetener and taste “fake”. This doesn’t at all, and tastes super fresh. Every single person I’ve recommended this to has loved it as well!
I personally don’t take a pre workout! I know that’s probably one of the more popular supplements out there, but I just stick to my iced coffee. The simpler the better honestly.
Hopefully this helps narrow down your choices for some supplements that you may have been searching for! I care about the quality of my products, digestibility, and taste of course, This has been the first stack that has checked off all of those boxes for me, so I wanted to share it with you guys.
Hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this time!