Yesterday, we brought you Part 1 of the Definitive Guide to Supplements and today we're pleased to follow up with Part 2. There's a lot to cover -- Post Workout Recovery, Fat Burners, Multi-Vitamins -- so let's get right into it.
Post Work Out/Recovery Products (BCAAs, Glutamine, Creatine etc)
Post-workout supplements are like field medics for your muscles. After you go to war with the weights, these bad boys will go to work replenishing and restoring a variety of crucial compounds needed for repair and growth. They can alleviate muscle soreness known as DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness—we personally love the burn), build muscle tissue, and extend future workouts (not to mention they taste delicious!). Just like pre-workout supplements, many of these products will blend multiple components that all work together like Seal Team 6 to defeat the supreme evil that is muscle atrophy.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids are among essential amino acids that are required for protein synthesis. Like Legos, amino acids are essentially the building blocks of protein. BCAA supplements specifically containing L-Leucine, L-IsoLeucine, and L-Valine play a large role in muscle development and recovery. BCAA specific supplements come in pill, powder, and chewable tablets, but you’ll also find extra BCAAs included in a good protein powder or post-workout supplement and that works perfectly fine too. You can take BCAA formulas pre, intra, and post-workout. We recommend tossing a scoop or two in your water to sip on during and after your workout to guarantee a quick recovery from your session at the Sanctuary (aka the gym).
Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that helps prevent catabolic activity (the breakdown of muscles). Think of catabolism as a terrorist trying to break down your muscles and glutamine as Jack Bauer ready to kick the shit out of that terrorist. Glutamine has been shown to help reduce soreness and to shorten recovery time which should help whenever you happen to take a roundhouse kick to the face from Chuck Norris. Glutamine is often included in protein blends and in combination with BCAA supplements. Recommended usage is 5-20 grams per day depending on how ridiculous your workouts are.
First of all, let’s get one thing straight: creatine is NOT in any way a steroid. We don’t know why there is any confusion on this because it would be like comparing getting a fuel injection system in your car vs. installing NOS. In a nutshell, creatine supplementation gives your muscles more available energy for explosive movements. This means more reps, more plates and of course more dates. Don’t be surprised if you gain 10% on some of your major lifts after 8-12 weeks of consistent use. Most experts recommend taking approximately 5-10 grams per day as part of your pre and post-workout shakes and cycling off creatine after 8-12 weeks of use. Some Meatheads also like to pair creatine with a fruit juice or another insulin spiking substance to help creatine enter the muscles more easily.
We will intentionally keep this section brief because we want to make it perfectly clear that we believe that bulk season is year round and shred season is overrated. Having said that, fat loss supplements can be helpful if you want to prevent the absorption of fats and/or to aid in the breakdown of fat by the body so you can be as shredded as a young Sly Stallone. They can be taken in conjunction with appetite suppressants or the Subway diet to encourage more drastic and comprehensive weight loss. Fat burners can contain a wide range of ingredients and many incorporate stimulant properties similar to pre-workout supplements so be careful not to take both of them at the same time or you may spontaneously combust. As with all supplements we recommend you review the individual ingredients to make sure they are right for you before you start popping these back like Skittles. Some components of fat burners include:
Thermogenics work by increasing your core temperature and elevating your metabolism. A faster running metabolism will burn more calories throughout the day and subsequently more fat. Common ingredients in thermogenic fat loss supplements include: Caffeine, Green Tea Extract, Yohimbine, and Guarana. Alternatively since these bad boys keep your core temperature raised, they could potentially be a useful supplement to make the Himalaya’s your bitch.
L-Carnitine transports fatty acids to the body’s mitochondria where it can be used for energy even faster than Jason Statham. It can be found in many foods (mainly meat) and the theory behind its inclusion is that by increasing fatty acid conversion, your body will utilize more fat for fuel.
Multi-Vitamins and Minerals
Just like a truck needs diesel to run, diesels like you need vitamins and minerals to run. Athletes, Clydesdales and bodybuilders alike place added stress on their bodies and need extra nutrients in order to maintain their body functions and get HUGE. Think of a multi-vitamin as an insurance policy that protects your body against anything that wants to mess with it (including a nasty hangover-pop a few back with dinner before boozing and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel the next day). A good multi-vitamin is appropriate for Bros living an active lifestyle or anybody that participates in athletics or bodybuilding. Each vitamin and mineral is responsible for countless types of reactions and functions in the body. We’ve listed a few below that any good multi for athletes and diesels should include.
A - Vision, skin, growth
B Complex - Nerve function, digestive tract, energy production
C - Immune system and energy
D(iesel) - Bone growth and maintenance
E - Antioxidant, helps form red blood cells
K - Bone, cartilage and liver health
Calcium - Bone growth, density and health
Chromium - Helps strengthen connective tissue
Iron - Aids in carrying oxygen from lungs throughout body
Magnesium - Muscle tone, bones and health
Potassium - Heart function and muscle contraction
Zinc - Growth and tissue repair
Legend has it that King Leonidas used to pop back BCAA tablets before crushing entire Persian armies. We can’t guarantee that any supplement will make you as diesel, badass, or have as sweet of a beard as that deputy, but we can tell you that supplements can be very effective at helping you achieve your physique and fitness goals when used properly. Just be sure you take a minute to ask yourself important questions like “Should I name my right arm Anaconda or Monty Python?“ or “Do I want to be able to fit through a standard doorway?” Once you figure that out, come up with a supplement plan that will help you reach those goals.
Just remember, none of this means a damn thing without a solid diet and training regimen. You can’t go from average Bro to The Rock just by putting back the occasional protein shake. Get your ass to the gym and know, “if the bar ain’t bending, you just pretending!” Then down some post-workouts and do it again the next day.
Thanks for reading and we wish you the best of luck in your quest to get HUGE!
That’s it for The Bro’s Guide to Supplements. For more information on supplements, workout plans and meathead humor, check out www.JackedPack.com. Enter BROTHER50 for 50% off your first month of JackedPack.