How does one take dietary supplements to maximize nutrition? I briefly touched on maximizing nutrition in one of my other posts. With so many genetically modified foods on the market I believe it is essential, now more than ever, to add dietary supplements to one’s lifestyle, in conjunction with weight training, in order to maximize nutrition. With the advancement of technology and other breakthroughs in the arena of science, genetically modified foods are very beneficial to an extent. There is, however, a lot of speculation that because a food is modified it is therefore devoid of many nutrients. The past 20 years I’ve taken many different supplements and knowing what works, apart from the scientific/clinical studies behind them, is an asset. Firstly, what is a dietary supplement? Wikipedia defines it as a supplement intended to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. With over 50,000 of them on the market, and many people living on tight budgets, it can be a dilemma on which ones to purchase. To not make this post an extensive, confusing one I’ll list the supplements I recommend below. Although they’re countless beneficial supplements on the market, and impractical to consume thousands of them, I consider these recommendations to be ‘foundational’. They should be taken with meals and may be divided throughout the day if one is uncomfortable taking more than a couple of pills at a time. The reason I don’t normally recommend a multivitamin is because, for most brands, their potencies of nutrients tend to be very low. It’s better to purchase vitamins individually in order to get the sufficient amounts that our bodies need, especially when training.
Now for the recommended supplements to take before training. As I mentioned in ‘The Importance of Amino Acid Supplementation(Maximizing Nutrition)‘ amino acids are a better option than the whey protein powders. Protein is broken down into various amino acids therefore taking an amino acid supplement will elicit faster assimilation into the bloodstream as well as a stronger therapeutic effect. In my early years of training I religiously consumed tubs of whey protein. When I began using amino acids my recovery from training was shortened, my immune system became stronger, and there was a noticeable difference in the density of my muscles. BCAA’s and L-Carnitine is what I recommend be taken about 1/2 hour before training, on an empty stomach. Do not consume amino acids with protein as their therapeutic effect will be negated.
The recommended supplements listed are from reputable companies with good track records. Their potencies of nutrients are also sufficient. Couldn’t end this post without mentioning the late Leroy Colbert, one of the most knowledgeable men on weight training and supplementation. Here’s a very short video on him expounding a little more about amino acids: