Yep that’s my hand full of pills I take every morning, with my whey protein, immediately after my workout. Most of them have a specific function and a few have a “hopeful” function. Be honest with you the “hopeful” function ones I can’t prove actually work, but I can’t prove they don’t so I keep taking them. All of them are based on the most important factor I can name in buying vitamins, minerals and supplements, they are the cheapest. Realistically unless I can prove the cheaper ones are crap, I don’t knock myself out trying to pay for these things. Part of being healthy is being mentally stable and nothing makes you more mentally unstable than wasting money.
So here’s the list of what I take and why I take it …
Multiple Vitamins – I personally think it is important to take multiple vitamins that are geared towards your specific sex and age range. It makes life easier if the “extra” nutrients are in there that you require either as a man or a woman, and based on whether you are young or old. There are other factors like if you are active or not but you will find that you are taking enough of those things based on whether you are active or not without them in your multiple. Based on price and quality I use Puritan’s Pride brand Mega-Men Sport.
Fish, Flax and Walnut Oils – Omega 3, 6 and 9 are extremely important because your body can not make these oils on their own. Everyone by now has heard how great they are for your heart but they are also very important for overall vascularity if you are a very active person or you work out a lot. Again this is something I get from Puritan’s Pride in bulk. The quality and price are hard to pass up.
Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM – Yep there are as many studies saying this stuff is crap as there is that says this stuff works to relieve and strengthen your joints. Around the time I started taking this I started having joint relief and it could be a combination of all kinds of things, but I don’t care. I don’t rock the boat, and I also don’t pay much for this because I order in bulk from Puritan’s Pride.
Beef Aminos – Yeah the amino acids from beef are pretty important and eating it every day isn’t an option. Taking a couple of these a day makes it pretty easy on you. When I first started taking them I would order the Universal brand really cheap on Amazon, but of course found them to be even cheaper at, you guessed it, Puritan’s Pride.
Glutamine – Of all the essential amino acids (ones that your body can’t produce on its own and needs to have from food) this is the most important for your muscles, and especially immediately after working out. Now I use a glutamine powder in my during workout drink (well the first 32 oz anyway, then it is plain water from there out) but taking a couple of glutamine capsules afterwards is a good idea too. Yep, Puritan’s Pride sells these cheap.
Lecithin – Is a soy byproduct that they say is good for your nervous system. It’s also pretty cheap. You can usually get 360 gel caps for around 5 bucks and you only need one a day. In the old days (when I rode a dinosaur to my college classes) this was considered the most important bodybuilding supplement next to Brewer’s Yeast. I just keep throwing it in there because it is a very good stimulator for cell growth in the human body. Nature’s Way at any Wal-Mart (bet you thought I was going to say Puritan’s Pride didn’t you?)
And the other one in that pile that isn’t a staple, but could be sooner or later after I am done testing it on myself …
CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) – This is another joint supplement, and when my wife got her hands on it I was surprised to see it. When I was in college this was one of the things that was being touted for arthritis. The FDA had been throwing up road blocks on it as a pharmaceutical grade arthritis medication, which I never could understand, other than some sort of profit motive for the FDA. They apparently gave up on it and now it is an over the counter supplement. We got ours really cheap from Puritan’s Pride.
Now of course I am not saying GO OUT AND GET THESE NOW! I am saying that this is about a dozen years of research as to what works for me and might work for you. There are many other supplements out there that others swear by, and you should probably give them a chance too. The secret is to just make sure that you make your day as nutritionally complete for your needs as possible. The hardest thing for any weight lifter, bodybuilder, strength trainer or athlete to get is the bulk of the muscle building nutrients into their system in that 45 minute window you have immediately after working out. These supplements, with whey and casein proteins, immediately following a workout, really does make it easier to just go about the rest of your day without fretting over a wasted workout. Your overall health will thank you too.