Top 5 Supplements for Sleep

Fitness, Lifestyle, Review, Supplementation

Before just throwing money at your sleep hygeine and hoping for that illusive 8 hours on your Fitbit, look at singular ingredients which effectively improve your stress symptoms and aid recovery in the long term as opposed to anything that’s just going to knock you out and have you dragging your knuckles on your morning commute.

There’s so many different products containing these ingredients and in different dosages, so be mindful of certain ingredients alongside other  compounds that come in the form of higher concentration proprietary blends before purchasing and potentially making a habit of it.

In no particular order, here are a few sleep supplements that I have personally tried myself during prep last year and that which I have continued to take going forward to assist better sleep and stress recovery.

  1. Ashwagandha/ KSM66

I’ve probably been taking this supplement for the past year and have definitely noticed the benefits with regards to sleep and better yet sleep ‘quality’ on the whole. Stress management is essential when it comes to a successful prep, but these definitely have a place in effective stress reduction day to day also, not just for bodybuilding and high impact exercise.

It doesn’t make me groggy the next day which is essential when getting up at 5am and earlier. Nor does it leave an aftertaste, which some herbal capsules do when digesting. This is a lighter note which one can apply to those likely to forget or misdose different products when taking a few at once, it wouldn’t be dangerous if you happened to forget a dose and have more than one. Now I’m not saying that’s a green light to have as many as you can swallow but You’ll be surprised how much harder it would be to wake willingly to the sound of your alarm had you done this with sleeping tablets or anything stronger. Overall I’ll continue to take this product throughout the year, I have around 800mg half an hour before bed and may have slightly more on a higher output day or one with more stimulants or caffeine in the mix.

  1. ZMA

While ZMA shares similar effects to Ashwagandha, promoting deep sleep and lucid dreaming, ZMA assists the regulation of various vitamins and minerals that are responsible for essential functions of the body, now I’m not a doctor so I couldn’t tell you the specifics supporting these claims but all I know is that this supplement helps me feel well rested and resolved in any particular area of thought that I have been repressing subconsciously, which is essentially what sleep is for right? Besides the obvious resting part. This isn’t something I’d haphazardly have too much of as some of the most vivid dreams I can recall have been whilst taking ZMA. Great product use with caution if you tend to have nightmares already.

  1. 5-HTP

5-Hydroxy tryptophan is an amino acid which helps produce serotonin, the chemical which ascertains the extent or lack thereof, further concerning your overall mood and wellbeing. A prolonged deficiency of these chemicals can be negatively contributing to cases of irritability, depression, anxiety and essentially anything antonymous to happiness.
People tend to take this supplement before and after taking anything which will further affect serotonin production, heavy stim pre’s, party drugs and alcohol. Though prolonged use of 5-HTP would essentially counteract and negate the bodies natural production of serotonin, resulting in a suppresive, overcompensating effect of these feel good hormones. Too much of a good thing isn’t good for anyone, but if you want a pick me up to help you sleep after a stressful day or want to reduce the come down symptoms of a few too many nights out this may be just the thing. Do your own research before taking anything frequently.

  1. Melatonin

Matthew Walker, the author of ‘Why We Sleep’ commented on people’s reliance to sleeping tablets and such to counteract the biproduct of disjointed work schedules, too much caffeine and not enough rest. Melatonin is our sleep hormone, it determines night from day which in turn tells our body when it’s time to sleep. Anything naturally occurring in the body is easy to justify taking considerable amounts of, its already there anyway I just need more of it? Well just like 5-ATP there’s only so much application of supplementing these chemicals in the short term before it becomes detrimental to long term production. On top of this, it’s hard to quantify the exact amount of melatonin contained within certain supplements and products that probably won’t be readily available at your local Holland and Barrett. Nor will they be easy to get hold of, but if you do shift work, are catching more flights than feeling’s and would benefit without being jetlag for longer than necessary, do your research and find a product with the dosage clearly stated.

  1. Valerian root

Considered ‘nature’s valium’ valerian also has the potential to reduce to stress and anxiety alongside being a great night cap supplement. It inhibits the breakdown of Gamma aminobutyric acid or GABA, an amino acid which blocks certain brain signals and decreases activity in the nervous system, promoting autonomic rest and recovery. I personally haven’t tried GABA and this is something which I have been recommended on numerous occasions, but I’m assuming this works in the same way valerian root does, alongside serotonin production and sleep enhancing benefits.

I personally wake up groggily when I’ve taken previously, maybe look at this kind of alternative when you don’t have to get up early and need to be firing on all cyllinders from the off.

Products that contain these ingredients…

Sleep-er by Trec Nutrition


-Valerian root


Cool as a Cucumber by Boxed off


-Ashwagandha KSM66

Do your research and get your rest 👌

You’re gonna need it 💪

Jake 👊


Review, Special

During a particularly poignant time in which we find our political system and current affairs, Todd Philips’ ‘Joker’ delivers Arthur Flecks’ (Joaquin Phoenix) dramatic transformation into madness whilst brushing together the parallels of justice and anarchy.

Aside the Joker’s denouncement of the media masquerade, we bear witness to the social divide separating suffering and privilege; the gloomy hues of poverty, endless steps, paving the ground for grander paths and carpets of plenty. Arthur Fleck’s contest to justify his purpose as a clown by trade compliments the entitlement of a younger Bruce Wayne, one that lends into Batman’s own burdens and inception with violence

We quickly acknowledge the conflicting notion of how laughter gives Arthur purpose besides suffering, whilst confining him to the disillusionment of a brewing sourness which slowly bubbles over into reality. It’s a sourness with the system and disregard of matters surrounding mental illness which stand resolute throughout film, though we are neither led nor assume Arthur is categorically ‘crazy’, until he reneges the hand that makes him human and reveals his calling-card. It is ultimately a realisation which puts the entirety of both his own existence and the audiences morality into question, ushering the same measures of what is right and wrong, entertaining or palpable. 

Arthur’s optimism is shattered by the reality of being upstaged by Murray Franklin  (Robert De Niro) amidst his own dismay for existence or lack thereof. It is only until Arthur takes both the role and pragmatics of character that his malcontent for the system transpires, amassing a crowd of clowns to play out the blissful pandemonium of mob rule.


Subverting a now familiarly human face under that of the quintessential masked villain provides enough reason with situation. We proceed to diffuse responsibility for murder, allude to alternative means for stable establishment and reevaluate Arthur Fleck’s role of passenger to chaos rather than a perpetrator. Audience, centre stage, living in fear, inciting it. We undertake the Joker’s decaying sense of purpose since he has no job, family or any real friends besides a dwarf who he spares from killing. It begs the question of how existence is entirely based on what you earn and certainly not the character you behold. A social criteria ascertaining order to make sense of death, when you make no ‘cents’ worth living for. 

Onto my favourite point which concludes on the ground of ‘That’s Life’ is this whole dichotomy of humour and morality, though subjective. Something amusing to one differs with what others consider or know to be morally conflicted, which begs the greater question of ultimately who decides what is funny and what not. Arthur Fleck sits and reads from his diary/joke-book, often sagaciously, prescribing his own means for purpose and entertainment besides that of which is eagerly handed out to him already. The ways of suppressing or diluting his dismay and tainted disposition towards society is one no longer contained by the now lack of drugs enlisting council for. He plays devils advocate to his own inception into madness though not initially mad, as humanity fails to diagnose the undiagnosable, equilibrium hangs in the balance along with the earlier allusion of unstoppable forces and immovable objects; one cannot exist without the other, Batman, Joker, happiness, suffering, reality, insanity.



Should I take Test-boosters?

Lifestyle, Review, Supplementation

So in a recent article I mentioned the use and dangers of pro-hormones, the synthetic compounds one would take to facilitate higher levels of testosterone. Our testosterone levels peak around the stages of puberty and throughout our twenties, to decline as we age. While some men may have low testosterone for a number of medical and psychological reasons, there are some with much higher base levels, a section of men that will most likely build and maintain muscle much easier than the average guy even without the use of anabolic steroids, growth hormone etc. To narrowly avoid the precarious genetics debate of such individuals, let’s just say that it’s no shock to see these guys on a bodybuilding stage or in sports that require such muscular size, strength and endurance. If you believe that anything is possible with consistent training and diet, continue to work against the odds and persevere through scepticism. For everyone else who may suspect that there are more than just an array of physiological factors in place to look like these guys, yes, testosterone is certainly the catalyst. Nonetheless, higher testosterone levels can be acquired naturally; through exercise, through diet and of course adequate supplementation.  The benefits of using testosterone-boosting supplements will differ from person to person, making their overall effectiveness questionable to those expecting to notice bigger arms or a bigger bench. 

Even though there isn’t is a resounding correlation between visual muscularity -that most guys want, and strength, we still think it’s just as important to be reasonably strong, maybe its an ego thing, I don’t know. But I would say that upon adhering to the numerous factors aforementioned in articles concerning: macros, the importance of sleep, hydration and the effects of alcohol, it is definitely possible to make substantial strength improvements when implementing testosterone boosters to a well-structured diet and training routine. This isn’t just from my own experience, plenty of guys I’ve trained with in the past, friends and fellow fitness enthusiasts have reassured me of the same. That being said, and although these supplements are considered ‘enhancers’ they still can’t possibly substantiate the improper practice of the fundamentals. In ‘Over supplementing your diet’ I mentioned how the likes of supplementation should support a somewhat already perfected diet, a mere cherry on top of the cake of basic principles everyone seems to neglect and question when their importance is stressed in conversation. In terms of tangible effects, I’ve noticed elevated energy levels, increased appetite and even a substantial libido boost, depending on the relevant product and its ingredients. I wouldn’t say they have such a shock-like capacity as pre-workout or fat burners but still enough to fill the once lethargic, demotivated void that one often faces at the end of a busy day or stressful week.

You will probably notice how much your appetite goes up whilst training regularly, imagine that your testosterone levels take the same route in this respect. Which is why taking test-boosters has been an essential part of my supplement regime over the last few weeks. I have had to take a short break from training due to a recent injury, and while assuming that I’d be eating a lot more with all the extra time on my hands, it’s been quite the opposite. I do feel that during this time my appetite would have been next to nothing without test-boosters. By now you can probably sense that I highly recommend these supplements, incorporating them as part of a cyclical regime, as opposed to taking them over consecutive months. This way the potential benefits can reciprocate upon each use, rather than being somewhat taken for granted.

While there are probably hundreds of different test-boosting products, you’re likely to find a handful of key ingredients that even define subcategories on supplement sites such as Dolphin FitnessMost of these are somewhat herbal, deriving form medicinal plants and compounds renowned for matters concerning sexual health and vitality, nonetheless, they are highly useful in boosting testosterone;

Sodium DAA
ZMA- Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin B6
Tribulus Terrestris
Horny Goat Weed
Tongkat Ali
Bulbine Natalensis
Massularia Acuminate
Ginger root

In my opinion these are the most popular ingredients you will find on the market, also including a few that I have used and found highly effective. For products that feature these ingredients in higher amounts, I’d recommend using either T-Up Black by Nutrex or RELOAD by Extreme Nutrition.

Please follow my IG fitness page, hopefully new content and videos in the near future.




While Ryan Reynolds returns as the special forces mutant, Deadpool, it’s safe to say that the newly improved Wade Wilson has come a long way since the sewn-mouthed, shiny-headed weapon of X-Men Origins. Looking at the influx of DC Comics characters set to be unleashed with Suicide Squad, it seems Marvel’s timely spectacle of the red-suited rebel will mark a new era of rough-cut immortal bad-asses that would key Batman’s car and force feed Alfred viagra.

Due to the fact that Deadpool features more dick references than all of the Van Wilder’s combined, it’s definitely a poster that you don’t wanna see hanging on your sons wall. Nonetheless, the head-popping action, bawdy quips and pistol whips are definitely gonna go down a treat with comic book lovers and cinema goers alike. As we learn more about how everyone’s soon-to-be-favourite antihero develops the ability to regenerate health, we are thrown head first into a John Wick meets Kill Bill, semi-dystopian world -but really one bar- where seemingly just violence is paid in and death payed out.

Within a few months of getting more than comfortable with escort Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) , mercenary Wade Wilson is diagnosed with cancer and despite her not being anywhere near as annoying as the ginger guys wife in Homeland, he leaves his rather smokin’ fiancè at the thought of destroying the once spirited, passionate memories she has of him. In desperation, despite refusing a previous offer, Wade seeks an alternative experimental treatment for his cancer, promising him superhuman abilities that will ultimately be used for good. Francis Freeman (Ed Skrein) plots to exploit the use of such powers to our unsuspecting ‘hero’ by subjecting him to rigorous torture on behalf of Angel Dust (Gina Carano) Though he brushes off each effort to test his physiological threshold in true later-Deadpool fashion. In a more dramatic attempt to silence his spirits, Wade is trapped in an airtight chamber where the oxygen levels are manipulated to aggravate the effects of his cancer and spike a mutation that will ultimately save his life, but leave him seriously disfigured.

Now given a second chance, Deadpool seeks to fix his hideous appearance and fractured relationship, taking revenge upon the people who did this to him. Deadpool features a handful of remarks to the X-Men franchise, and while he shares similar characteristics to Wolvervine, it seems they are wholly satirical and good natured. We see the inclusion of Colossus (voiced by Stefan Kapicic) and Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Briana Hildebrand), two mutants that attempt to epitomise the importance of morality and justice to our less than principled master of masturbation, Deadpool. The involvement of such characters will undoubtedly establish a franchise that can link various Marvel characters together that may not be as well renowned or have have such an individual impact on audiences as the household name hero. All in all, I’d definitely recommend Deadpool, despite an initial sourness toward the action/comedy genre. It plays tastefully on the monotonies of typical clean-cut superheroes, embodies the crude attitudes of adolescent males and satisfies the uncouth nature of the antihero whilst still saving the day.

The Hateful Eight


So, The Hateful Eight. We are introduced to ‘The Hangman’ -JOHN RUTH (Kurt Russell) a bounty hunter, in possession of a dangerous female fugitive, DAISY DOMERGOO (Jennifer Jason Leigh) along with his wagon driver OB (James Parks) they proceed to Redrock, the neighbouring town of which Ruth plans to hang Domergoo. In light of an imminent blizzard, despite having additional ‘baggage’, another bounty hunter MAJOR MARQUIS WARREN (Samuel L. Jackson) and later proclaimed Sheriff CHRIS MANIX (Walton Goggins) climb aboard to a droll interrogation by the illusive ‘Hangman’ A theme of deception and false identity arises by this point, just as Major Warren earns himself a somewhat reassuring credibility, producing a letter from President Abraham Lincoln.  As each chapter unfolds, the sense of deception becomes paramount, the remaining four of the ‘Hateful Eight’ meet at Minnie’s Haberdachery, a stagecoach lodge. Senõr BOB (Demián Bichir), claims to be looking after the place while its owner Minnie (Dana Gourrier) is out of town, to a suspicious Major Warren and Sheriff Manix. While a looming paranoia regarding the hefty bounty sum resides with the unsettled ‘Hangman’ Lodgers OSWALDO MOBRAY (Tim Roth), JOE GAGE (Michael Madsen) and GENERAL SANFORD SMITHERS (Bruce Dern) each find themselves subject to rigorous scrutiny on behalf of the only two characters who’s stories SEEM to add up. The remaining characters including CHANNING TATUM are intertwined in typical Tarantino fashion by means that play on the linearity of the storyline, to awesome theatrical effect.

Now I did go into this as sceptical as one would be when Samuel L. Jackson gets cast with a modern Monsieur Candy, but even with Channing Tatum did this take my love for Tarantino a way way, yonder. If you happened to have seen Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained it’s no surprise that there’s gonna be a hell of a lotta blood, guts and a dash of casual racism but it’s of no contextual difference to that of post Civil War America -1861-1865- Ennio Morricone composed the score for Tarantino’s 2016 blockbuster despite saying he would ‘never’ work for him again, only to go on and devise a greatly ominous yet satirical arrangement similar to that in Kill Bill. Despite my own personal appreciation of The Hateful Eight I can see why it isn’t going to be for everyone, with heavy emphasis on longer takes, predominantly conversational scenes and even some slo-motion, I get the place for some critique. For me though, it was the western mystery’s progression into a somewhat cowboy’s Cluedo, that had me fixated for all three hours worth. Now the length of this film would probably deter cinema goers, unless that is, your local screening comes with leather recliners and on hand masseuse. Although I would definitely urge anyone to go and see it rather than snag a substandard version online. It’s something about sharing painful laughter with complete strangers that I find deeply satisfying, and the boisterously blunt, schoolyard trash-talk tone present in The Hateful Eight is one to have you spitting out your popcorn, or McDonald’s if you manage to sneak it in.

If you’re not familiar with the works of Tarantino and you’re looking for something that is going to entertain you on paper, I’d probably put The Hateful Eight on the back-burner and reconsider it once you know what to expect. To get onto overall recommendations of this film I would like to point out that it’s probably not an ideal first date movie and is certainly not going to rekindle the love between you and your partner, but its profoundly entertaining all the same. It’s safe to say Samuel L Jackson is one of the best and worst actors of all time, as Major Warren we are treated to his ferocious capacity to captivate, similar to his earlier works as ‘Jules Winnfield’ in black comedy crime cult, Pulp Fiction (1994) I would watch this again in a heartbeat, although I do believe its successes will reside entirely subjective, as the same for Marmite.



Spectre. The fourth and possibly the last time we will see Daniel Craig don the famous Walter PPK, although I am confident that Spectre WILL supersede Sam Mendes’ previous contribution to the bond franchise. Following on from the enormous success of Skyfall that grossed just over a billion dollars worldwide shortly after it was released in 2012, it was clear that the stage was to be set on a much grander scale for the ultimate unveiling of Spectre. From an array of exotic locations from Morocco to Rome, Austria, Mexico City to Bond’s hard-hitting political roots of London, it seems every effort had been implemented to slingshot the modern depiction of 007 to even greater heights. The intertextuality within Spectre was greatly nostalgic with references to some of the earliest Bond productions including You Only Live Twice (1967) & Goldfinger (1964) although I do feel this diluted the depth of the sinister past between Bond and the man behind the terrorist organisation, Spectre. We see Christopher Waltz(Inglourious Basterds [2009] Django Unchained [2012]) as Ernst Stavro Blofeld, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ambiguity surrounding his identity and his connection to 007 whilst still maintaining the traditional omniscient presence of the archenemy. For years we have seen various interpretations of Ian Fleming’s Blofeld; the epitome of a supervillian; his blue eyed white chinchilla, the evil lair, only such a satire Mike Myers could manage to get away with. Dave Bautista’s character doesn’t seem to be much more than a mute psychotic bodybuilder although most of the Spectre henchman from as far back as the 70’s never seem to have much more than a physical role and I believe giving him a spoken part would only humanise him and defy the tradition of Spectre’s robot-like killers. Ralph Fiennes character of ‘M’ did seem to progress in exactly the same way as Skyfall, which I did find annoyingly typical of the whole modern VS traditional argument surrounding MI6. For anyone watching Spectre in the hope of seeing Monica Belucci caught up in a girl-girl fistfight wearing a bikini made of fishing wire, you’ll be sadly disappointed by her extremely brief role within Spectre, but this really didn’t annoy me at all. I can respect that the success of any Bond film shouldn’t purely hang on the shoulders of its leading female but I can’t be convinced that it would be Léa Seydoux to be yet another woman to steal 007’s heart, this should have stopped with Eva Green, but that’s another story. For me I feel it was all a bit too cliché and for anyone priding themselves on being somewhat of a Bond enthusiast, the disjointed storyline progressing with suspense and disappearing after every ‘narrow’ escape annoyed me too much to be able to put Spectre on the same spectrum as Casino Royale (2006) . In Daniel Craig’s first role as James Bond we are shocked to see a usually untainted gentleman talking his way out of any situation repeatedly hanging by a thread; battered and bruised, poisoned and mutilated beyond any such imagination of us men that quiver like a leaf during a routine ball-check by the GP, but this is Bond and he is invincible. We know that he’s going to eventually erupt from his restraints and shag your wife on the way out, but don’t by any means make it too easy for him. This was my main annoyance with Spectre but I do understand that it’s purpose was to delve deeper into Bond’s past rather than be overwhelmed by an unnecessarily violent display of action. Overall I did enjoy Spectre, purely because it features the end of a nine year storyline marking Daniel Craig’s contribution to the bond franchise as well as the traditional themes and typical bad-ass-ery featured in the more recent, modern depiction of the classic 007. Hopefully in the next five or so years Il be seeing Christopher Waltz out of jail, terrorising the world once again, and it’s not Idris Elba chasing him.