I strongly believe that the foundation to achieving health and fitness goes is through nutrition. In my opinion results come from 80% diet and 20% intense workout. That being said, I get a ton of questions regarding supplements. Supplements are the icing on the cake. They should only be used after you have gotten a firm grip on your caloric intake and ratios. I got great P90X results because I followed the P90X diet and also took the right supplements
My philosophy on supplements is that I only take what I can find naturally in food. Here is some info on the supplements I take and some that can help.
1. Whey Protein/Protein Blends: These are a great way to help get your daily intake of protein. Whey is a protein supplement derived from milk. It enhances the production of gluthathoine, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. It also has the highest level of BCAAs and has been shown to boost immune stytem fuction. Protein supplements contain all the amino acids that help your muscle use the protein for recovery and strength. It is recommended to take it 1-3 times a day, depending of your fitness goals.
2. P90X Recovery Drink: is a great post workout recovery drink. Studies show that with proper nutrition during the first hour following a workout you can increase your body’s ability to recover more than 100%. The key component to maximizing this “window of opportunity” is a formulation of approximately 4 parts carbohydrates to 1 part protein. P90X Results and Recovery Formula combines the proper nutrients into this state-of-the-art, great tasting, body-shaping cocktail that’s guaranteed to take your workouts to the next level. This is why post workout is one of the only times you should eat simple carbs like glucose(dextrose). The recovery drink has enough simple and complex carbs to get your body back to where it should to help you recover quicker and more efficiently.
3. Shakeology: By far my absolute favorite supplement that I take. Shakeology is chalk full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, pre-botics, whey protein isolate, amino acids, digestive enzymes, Phytonutrients and other great foods for your body. It can be used a couple different ways. As a meal replacement for weight loss. As a snack for added healthy calories, or as a multivitamin type of supplement. I take it every day as a snack. It keeps me full and energized, and it gives me piece of mind to know that I am putting clean, healthy, calories into my body. Check out this video that shows why doctors endorse Shakeology. http://bit.ly/geT6hL
4. Kre-Alkalyn or (Creatine): is a PH balanced form of creatine. It is designed to absorb better into your cells and doesn’t cause any of the minor side effects that creatine monohydrate causes (bloating, cramping, upset stomach). Because it absorbs better you don’t need to take as much. Only about 1.5-3 grams per day. You should take 1 serving 30-45 mins pre-workout and 1 serving post workout. Creatine helps with muscle strength and endurance. It is found in steak and cheeses but you usually have to supplement in order to get the full benefit.
5. Multi-Vitamins: are a must for good all around health and performance. We don’t eat well enough to get all of our daily vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I currently take the P90X vitamins, they are one of the best on the market.
6. Omega 3s. Do you eat salmon or tilapia 3 times a week? Neither do I, so that means we don’t get enough Omega 3s in our body. Omega 3 fatty acids are another must for a healthy lifestyle. They help with your heart and with building lean muscle. You want to make sure you get DHA and EPA with any Omega 3 supplement.
7. Glutamine: is an amino acid that is found in muscle. It is the largest free-amino acid in the msucles and important for muscle growth and homeostatis. Glutamine is also important to immune functioning. It helps with recovery, post workout and while you sleep. Better recovery = better growth. A serving (5g usually) is recommended in your post workout protein shake/recovery drink and before you go to bed.
8. E&E (Energy & Endurance) Pre-Workout: A lot of people take pre-workout supplements. I have been testing them out and have round a few that I do like for those days where I need an extra kick of energy but I always take them in moderation. Some of the most popular are E&E, NO-Xplode, Jack3d, 1MR, Xpand Xtreme Pump, Assault and Super Pump 250. They help with focus, strength and pump. Each company uses it’s own blend of arginine, creatine, caffeine, and others to achieve this. My absolute favorite right now is E&E (Energy & Endurance) by Beachbody. E&E Energy and Endurance features a proprietary blend of advanced nitric oxide boosters, essential B vitamins, electrolytes, and natural energizers to help you power through your workouts. I also like E&E because it is not filled with artificial sweetener, coloring, preservatives or DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine). I would also stay away from any pre-workout that contains DMAA (1,3-Dimethylamylamine). It is a supplement that has come under lots of speculations when it comes to safety. It is also now banned by most professional organizations.
Supplements can be intimidating so please feel free to ask any questions. I attribute my P90X results to the P90X diet and the supplements that I take.
Hey Sean, I'm beginning to use creatine again and the directions on the bottle say to take a dose upon waking and then another prior to workout. Would you suggest I go with this or what you recommend (1 dose prior and 1 after workout)? On a side note: Have you done PAP Lower yet? Easily the hardest workout I've done in 2 1/2 years.
@Tanner T: I would do pre/post workout. Which type of creatine are you taking? Yes, I have done PAP Lower and it is a beast. I was originally suppose to be in PAP lower but got switched to the ones that I ended up being in.
Hi Sean, If you don't mind, could you explain how you normally fit this in with your meals and workouts? I read this list but I'm not sure how I should personally fit supplements in to my day. Also, what would you recommend supplement-wise for a 16 year old? I'm pretty hesitant with many supplements just because of safety at my age. I've only taken Whey Protein because I don't see info for teenagers often. Thanks!
@Tony: Since you are only 16, I wouldn't worry about too many supplements. The ones that I would recommend for you would be a good Whey Based protein powder, the P90X recovery drink, and Shakeology. You don't need to worry about Creatine. The protein powder can be taken whenever you need extra protein (pre and post workout), the P90X recovery drink is for only post INTENSE workouts. And Shakeology is a whole food based meal replacement drink that you can use as a meal or a snack. It basically has everything that we SHOULD be eating. I use it as my multivitamin now as well.
Hey Sean, When should I be taking the protein powder, before the workout, or after the workout, or both?
@Jimmy: You should definitely be taking protein powder and P90X recovery drink post workout. It depends on your workout schedule and diet in regards to whether you should take any before. If your eating a meal 1-2 hours pre-workout then you don't need to, if not then you can take a whey protein pre-workout as well.
@Joe: I updated this list a little bit last night. To answer your question, Yes I do take them during the same course of time. The only thing I cycle is creatine. I cycle that on for 2 months and off for 1. Let me know if you have more questions.
right on our supermarket, i can buy some cheap protein bars which i always consume when doing workouts
Hello Sean, Ive just started the P90X program and im comming into my second week now. My supplements is currently Creatin, Gainer(Proteins) and ZMA, i take 2 dosages of each every day, and a additional protein bar at work. I was wondering if there is problem if i take too much proteins? is 2 shakes and a bar too much for everyday income? Eivind.
@Eivind: Congrats on starting P90X! That shouldn't be too much protein. You want to shoot for 1-1.5 grams per your desired body weight. 2 shakes should be fine. Feel free to sign up for me as your P90X coach for free as well https://teambeachbody.com/signup/-/signup/free/22975/
I completely agree Dave. There is no real evidence that shows that N.O. products help with muscle growth. That is the main reason why they have added so much creatine into these products. Creatine is one of the only supplements that has scientific research to back it up. There hasn't been any major supplement breakthroughs for quite some time so these companies try to market N.O. products as being the next best thing. Drinking a cup of coffee is as effective as any pre-workout supplement.
I don't know why people on Beachbody.com don't talk more about the negative side effects of the No-Xplode-style supplements. Just like with Hydroxycut and any number of other pre-workout supplements designed to give you energy and focus, they can be toxic for you, especially with prolonged use. It just seems to me that drinking a cup or two of coffee is much more sensible given how little these substances are regulated. Look at the reviews on Amazon.com for NoXplode, which contain numerous accounts of people nearly doing serious damage to their bodies just for an extra boost. If your goal with p90x is not merely to look good but to actually be healthy, I'd keep a close eye on the kinds of things you're putting in your body.