I often hear the question, What supplements should I take to get faster results?
First, let me say that there is no pill, powder, capsule, goo, liquid or gel that will ensure that you not only reach your goals faster, but that you also retain all that progress. If someone is trying to get you to try (or buy) a proven supplement to reach your goals, be very suspicious.
There are a few things that I recommend to all of our clients, but before I get to it let's talk about what is going to account for 99% of your progress (or lack there of).
You need ENOUGH food to fuel your body's activities. You need a VARIETY of foods to take advantage of ALL those vitamins and minerals that will allow your body to make progress. You need enough protein to help your body rebuild muscle to reach your strength and aesthetics goals. We cover this is greater detail here.
I you find that you struggle with nutrition, you're not alone! That is why we have partnered with MacroStax to be able to offer custom nutrition plans - both for members and non-members!
As fast-paced as our lives have become, this is usually the first thing that we kick to the wayside when we have lists of things we need to accomplish in a day. But you NEED 8 hours of sleep each night (or as close to it as possible and working up to 8 hours of sleep total each night).
There is a whole system in your body devoted to flushing out toxins and impurities. If you're not drinking enough water, those things will build up in your system preventing you from seeing the results you're working so hard for.
If your workout is the only time you move your body, its going to take longer to see results. You don't have to constantly be in motion, but finding ways to add in more movement during the day will make a big difference. Take a daily walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when possible. Take your family outside after dinner and play with them.
If you're dealing with high stress, you will need to find something that will help you combat it. Your body will stop the processes of losing fat or gaining muscle if it thinks you're in a constant state of fight or flight. All of the above suggestions are a good place to start. But you can also do things like meditate, take a warm bath, read a book, or get back to a hobby you love (you can also pick up a new one).
This one is last for a reason. You did not get to where you are overnight. It is going to take your body time to adjust to the new changes you're throwing at it (more/better food, rest, hydration, activity, etc). You will also not see an immediate and/or constant change in your body. You will hit plateaus along the way where your progress stalls out. You may even see a point where your progress backslides for one or many reasons.
I have said it before, and I'm sure I will say it again, Your body is expertly and intelligently designed. You cant trick it or hack it into doing what you want it to do, without giving it what it needs to make that happen. Or its going to backfire on you.
Now let's talk about that last 1%
This is probably the first supplement that most people think of, and it is a great addition to a balanced nutrition approach as most people struggle to actually eat enough protein to satisfy their body's needs. The issue becomes, more often than not, a misguided gym-goer will simply add protein shakes to the typical American Diet thinking that it will fix everything. It won't and you'll only end up wasting your money there.
However, if you use protein supplements (powders, bars, etc...) to supplement a thoughtful and balanced nutrition plan, you will almost certainly speed up your progress.
I recommend the products that come from Driven Nutrition. They have Whey, Casein, Vegan, and if even Bone Broth powder (which I enjoy as I can not do most milk products). If you're going to do the Bone Broth, you'll need to add something for flavor as it has none.
Vitamin D3 plays an active role in multiple systems - Immune function, hormone production, etc... - within the body and as such the benefits of Vitamin D3 are widespread. The vast majority of us do not get the recommended amount of time in the sun, and as such Vitamin D3 should be an absolute essential.
With its circulatory system benefits and anti-inflammatory properties, it does not make sense to not take Fish Oil. Along with Vit D3, fish oil is a low cost addition to anyone's nutrition plan that pays huge dividends. When combined with a properly balanced nutrition plan Fish Oil can pay HUGE dividends toward your goals.