As we discuss in Foundations, adding supplements can be extremely beneficial when coupled with proper nutrition. Please note that I am speaking from a fitness professional’s perspective, I am not a doctor and for every supplement there is a story of someone who had a negative experience with it. Much like nutrition you should monitor your response to anything you are ingesting. If it makes you feel good, keep it! If it makes you feel like crap for any reason, lose it! At FSC we advocate the use of a few supplements to our athletes including: Protein, Fish Oil, and a Multi-Vitamin. I tend to lean towards these because they are the ‘low hanging fruit’ so to speak. Everyone can experience the benefits of these 3 products with very low barrier for entry or negative side effects.
It is VERY important to note that adding supplementation to a bad diet is a waste of money. If you desire Gainz, spend the extra money on high quality whole foods (check out our Nutrition 101 E-Book for more information) because you can not overcompensate for a bad diet by using supplements. Now, if you have it together in the kitchen adding supplements can greatly improve your workouts, recovery, and overall quality of life. The 3 supplements listed above are only the tip of the iceberg. I could go down a very deep rabbit hole on this topic so to keep it simple ask your coach about any supplements that you may want to try.
One other important thing to understand is that the supplement industry is unregulated. Supplement companies do not answer to the FDA, this means that they can put almost anything on their labels without providing substantial evidence that it is true. Some companies make wild claims and even go so far as to fudge their list of ingredients or nutritional facts. Only the consumer can hold these companies accountable and unfortunately most of us are not well enough informed to know if we are paying $40 for high-quality protein or low-quality protein (60% filler-carbs/fat). One piece of culture that we have tried to instill at FSC is a no b.s. approach to fitness. Training is hard, keeping your nutrition in check requires dedication, and there will always be an easier or cheaper or faster option. The problem with cheap is that it’s usually low quality. This is not to say that you need to find the most expensive supplements and purchase them. Many of us have learned our lesson on that with Progenex. Progenex is a quality product, but at $70 for 30 servings you are paying as much for the brand as you are for anything else.
The duty falls on us as consumers to do our due diligence by researching and finding a company that we believe in. Now most of us aren’t going to spend time scouring the internet or local supplement store for a brand that we trust. Lucky for you, our coaches have been using various supplements and brands over the last few years and have some pretty good experience to back up their recommendations. We recommend trying any supplement for at least 2 months, assuming you don’t have any immediate adverse reaction to it.
Aside from the 3 supplements listed above some of our coaches have a few that we like to add to our daily regimens.
Advocare Spark- I have taken a lot of pre-workout stuff and energy supplements and is the best. There’s no nervous or jittery feeling and it’s packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients that work synergistically to provide a healthy, balanced source of mental focus and energy.
I take this twice a day and I love it.
doTERRA- The only post workout products I use on a regular basis is the Deep Blue lotion when I get sore. I also use the Deep Blue Complex capsules daily as an anti-inflammatory/analgesic. I would totally recommend these products because they are natural, they work, they are cost effective and preventatives.
Ignition- I pair my Phormula 1 with Ignition post workout. Ignition is a quick digesting carbohydrate supplement. Ingesting carbs post workout is key to quickly restoring muscle glycogen. Glycogen is the fuel that your body’s muscles use to function. If I keep the fuel up I have the energy to come back and wod again the next day.
AlphaCRE HD (Creatine/Beta-Alanine)- Creatine is one of the most well researched and time proven sports supplements known. Increased creatine levels in the body allow for ATP regeneration and act as a supply of immediately available energy for you during training. Helping to reduce muscle fatigue while increasing maximum force production creatine is a win.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid derivative aimed to enhance your training performance, workout volume, power and overall gains. Beta-alanine has also been shown to increase the body’s ability to resist muscle fatigue. The combination of these 2 awesome ingredients allows me to workout harder and longer increasing my ability to make the Gainz!
Phormula-1- I have tried many different proteins form the typical CrossFit go-to of Progenex, to the internet recommended (cheaper version) BSN Syntha-6, but nothing compare to Phormula-1. There was a cost savings when I went to the Snytha-6, but it just doesn’t compare to Phormula-1.
In the beginning, the cost of a high quality protein scared me off, but I have to say that it is well worth the extra few dollars when it comes to my recovery. I am not a spring chicken in age, I cannot keep up with the 24 year olds, and my recovery needs to be taken care of. Therefore, I want only the best to go into my body. From taste, to mix-ability, to the quality of ingredients, Phormula-1 protein is the best out there.
Level-1 Meal Replacement Protein/Intra-Formance- With the hours I work using Level-1 for breakfast allows me to make a healthier choice and give my body what it needs. I also use Intra-Formance during workouts and my work day because it tastes great and the carbs give my body what it needs to perform while fighting off fatigue. Let’s face it, at my age I need all the help I can get!
With a solid base of nutrition proper supplementation can give you a huge boost in performance and recovery. For more information on the 1st Phorm brand of products check out 1stphorm.com and let us know if you want us to stock anything we don’t already have. If you are thinking of trying any supplement head over to examine.com first. I found this site after a recent Barbell Shrugged podcast and it is awesome! Here you can find a summary on any supplement from peer reviewed research with 0 bias.
Finally, there are a lot of snake oils out there and some of these products may not work well for certain individuals. Just like scaling a WOD properly, you have to find out what works best for you and the staff at FSC is here to help with any questions along the way.