Now whether you’re just starting out training or you consider yourself a seasoned pro, supplementation is probably gonna be a reoccurring topic of your lifting life. Each time you order your most recent ‘stack’ you’ll always be faced with some degree of doubt as to whether you should stick to your guns or try something new. This also includes adding a tub or two of pre workout to your basket so you’re “eligible for free delivery” and not because you now need three scoops just to get you through ‘cardio’ – whatever that is. Ultimately, you’ve rationalised a huge section for supplementation in your diet so much so that not only will most of what you consume be full of sweeteners/preservatives by convenient means such as bars or shakes, you most likely have very little left to afford the main component of your diet, food.
So why does it seem like I’m forbidding people to buy them? despite the fact that I spend a fair amount of supplements. Well the function of supplementation for me is simply a matter of convenience. If I had a different job or was lucky enough to work from home, I probably wouldn’t even buy supplements just so I could focus more on the better nutritional sources from actual food rather than something in powder form.
This does not mean however, most supplements aren’t nutritionally sound or useful as part of your diet, because most will be exactly that. However the fact that people may have allowed supplements to overshadow more important aspects of their diet without knowing, may be problematic when perhaps they can’t afford it, a certain product is out of stock or even discontinued. You may feel like your progress will suffer without supplements and probably already convinced yourself that you look smaller after missing one shake post-workout, but be realistic and don’t keep checking yourself at every mirror opportunity, because it was probably only a bit of water weight the starter three servings of ‘x’ or 5 servings of ‘y’ would do anyway.
This is another thing, look on the back of your containers to see exactly how many servings you’ll get and how many you actually need daily as opposed to what is suggested for “the hardcore gainer” -this is by no means a challenge and not only will this stop you getting your money’s worth by doubling up servings, you’ll soon begin to replace the food in your diet, by something that will obviously be more convenient but insufficient in the role of fueling your body properly, rather than just feeling temporarily ‘full’ Despite acknowledging that consuming more specific nutrients during the whole “anabolic window” may have some benefit behind it, this is also yet another method to encourage you to consume more and buy EVEN more, so try to sieve out genuine serving instructions from yet another marketing ploy.
For a lot of people, the addition of any new supplement will be for an extra ‘boost’ and that’s understandable, but be sure to at least research some of the ingredients in certain products individually before jumping straight in. Many substances can have a profound effect on one person and not even touch another, regardless of ones tolerance to ‘similar’ compounds, so obviously don’t take the amount you may have had using a previous product.
When it comes to any kind of stimulant or test booster making it’s way into your shopping basket every month, be sure to realise whether it’s still having a constructive part to play, as the effect from these types of products will gradually wear off. If it’s the break from caffeine you need in order to allow your system to level out, realise the advantage of saving such energy-based supplements for when you actually plateau or have recently had a few weeks off from training because of injury or otherwise.
When if comes to preworkout, if you haven’t already made the connection to the ‘3D’ – perhaps another topic- I myself became dependant on stimulants to the point where training without them seemed redundant. Making this realisation probably saved me from seriously harming my body as well as the detrimental effect on my training. I now appreciate the facility of supplements that I believe potentially have a positive effect in moderation to the point where I only find myself buying essential supplements that support an active schedule such as protein powder and maybe even pre-workout when I feel it will be beneficial and not destructive.
In terms of what you could potentially take that may be beneficial to your diet considering all of the above, I’d suggest researching a few different ingredients or compounds yourself to help you consider your options when choosing a ‘pre’ or test-booster.
For pre workout, any reputable brand with enough CAFFEINE that’s gonna get you through a demanding workout but not gonna keep you up for a week. As far as CREATINE is concerned, I don’t see this being of immediate enough effect to you to make it a must despite the fact this’ll probably be in every pre’ on the market anyway, but again nothing stupidly dosed everyday that’s gonna swell you up like a puffer fish but shrivel you like a prune when you haven’t had as much water that day. Any HERB or l long-ass word that seems to be a plant-like substance that you tried to google but ended up on some hippy-bashing Wikipedia page; take with a pinch of salt and see if you can find a credible study or even more credible BRO that has tried it himself. If this is the case and if seemed to work for him, see if this was actually legit or not due to the concoction of other shit, but anyway. BETA-ALANINE, this is the stuff that makes you feel like you’ve got ants crawling on your skin if you have too much, but a warmish buzz of energy when ‘dosed’ correctly, you’ll also find this in most popular products on the market, so if you’re deterred by the thought of an unfamiliar sensation double check if this ingredient happens to be in the product you may still be deciding on.
As far as test-boosters are concerned, most of the ingredients you will find within them will feature some of the same plant-like substances previously mentioned, where the official effects are mainly myth but can prove otherwise after trying it yourself. Naturally occurring herbs such as ‘TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS’, ‘MACA’ and ‘HORNY GOAT WEED’ all share a similar credibility within certain cultures as aphrodisiacs, thus instilling a stronger libido and even appetite in some, although others claimed no significant benefit. Despite some of their outlandish titles, along with SODIUM D-ASPARTIC ACID, I believe it’s definitely worth investing in some if not all of these at some point to satisfy the curiosity of boosting testosterone naturally without total hormonal shutdown that improper use of anabolics or prohormones may have.
For any supplement advice or general discussion about any aforesaid topic, feel free to email me;
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