Friday, November 8, 2013

Fitness Friday: Supplements

Disclaimer:  I am not a certified personal trainer OR a fitness nutrition trainer (though I can see myself really enjoying either of those professions!)  I'm just an average Susie. Take my words as you wish, but whether or not you follow them is your choice.  I'm not recommending any regimen or diet to you, just sharing what I do.

I've "worked out" consistently for about four years now.  But I've really started to get more serious about it since June of this year.  I joined a gym in July, and have taken to lifting weights.  (Honest to goodness - I really look forward to working out these days!)
That being said, I'm also working on being better at providing my body with the nutrients it needs to sustain this extra energy.

I've started taking a pre-workout as soon as I wake up in the morning (I'm up at 4:30, and starting my workout at the gym at 4:50 every day), just to have a bit more energy to push through those last heavy reps.  These pre-workouts are basically lots of caffeine.  I've tried a few different kinds (Alarm, PES, Cellucor C4, and Pump-HD), and my favorites are Alarm and Cellucor.  Alarm is pictured below.

I like the burst of energy that Alarm gives me.  The one major drawback with this pre-workout supplement is that about 15 minutes after I take it, my face gets really hot for a period of about a half hour.  I feel sure that when I look in the mirror, I'm going to have a large tomato perched on top of my neck!!
The Cellucor C4 gives a very similar burst of energy, without the face-on-fire feeling.  However, it does make my skin tingle, particularly in my face and neck.  But not in an "alarming" way, if you will.  It gives me the energy I need to bust out the reps, and I don't have any jitters after my workout is over.  A serving seems like just enough to get me through the workout, and not too much where it sticks with me all morning and I can't concentrate at work.  I really like it, and ordered a canister of it for after my supplement samples run out.
As far a protein goes, I try to consume at least 100 grams of protein each day, with 121 being my ultimate goal, based on the iifym calculator.  I've found that I struggle to eat that much without adding in a protein supplement.  I purchased Body Fortress protein (pictured below) from Wal-Mart, just because it was my first protein supplement purchase and I didn't know what kind was the "best." 
But I actually really like it.  It tastes good, and it's easy for me to drink on the way home from the gym.  Before I even jump in the shower each morning, I've already got 30 grams of protein in my body, helping to re-build those muscle fibers.

I try to eat a lean protein for lunch (usually chicken, since I don't love fish), and a protein bar in the afternoon, if I'm not going to meet my goal once dinner is finished.
The protein bar pictured below is my favorite.  It tastes like a really dense brownie, and I look forward to eating it every time!

Quest Nutrition protein bars are probably "creme of the crop" as far as protein bars go.  At least I would hope so, seeing as they retail for $3 a piece.  They're good, and I've heard that you can roll them into balls and bake them like cookies, though I haven't tried it yet.  I purchased a few Quest bars from GNC, but if I order more of them, I plan to buy them through Amazon because you can get them for $2 a piece, saving $12 per box.
And that, folks, sums up what supplements I take.  Now bear with me for a moment while I step up on my soapbox.
It should be noted that neither of these supplements burn fat or build muscle. They simply facilitate and provide the energy and nutrients I need for the hard work that I put in.
I took a picture of this flyer/brochure that's up on the wall at my gym.
(Sorry for the glare, it's obviously a very glossy paper!)
The body you dream of having can't be purchased in a bottle.  There's no miracle drink, pill, diet, powder, or anything that's going to make you lose all the weight you want to lose, put on the muscle mass you want to gain, or give you those ripped abs.  The only thing that's going to do that is you getting off your butt and working for it.  It's not going to happen in a month.  It may not even happen in a year.  But if you stay focused and motivated, and exercise self-discipline and self-control, you'll have what you want, and you can feel darn proud of it because it's going to have involved a lot of sweat and hard work.
Ok, stepping off soap box now!!
Do you take any supplements?
What kind of a workout routine do you have?
What about food - do you follow a specific diet, or just count calories?



  1. My favorite protein powder right now is Optimum Nutrition Oats & Whey articifical sugars or colors is important to me, and the vanilla is super yummy on its own or blended into ice / water / frozen berry smoothie.

  2. Hi Stephanie,

    My name is Carol and I just started up my own blog...I mean literally just started. Any advice?? You think you could follow mine so we could keep in touch if I have any questions?

  3. I am a huge fan of RAW protein because it's all natural, vegan, and has all non-GMO products in it. Not the greatest tasting. But above all (taste wise), I love ISO-pure strawberries and cream mixed with almond milk. Have you ever tried the Evolve breakfast shakes? Those are amazing and have tonalin in them!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. There are lots of preworkout supplements. Which is the best one to use? I am thinking of taking this regularly for good stamina.

  6. Edward, I have only tried the ones that are mentioned in this post. So far I'm really liking the Cellucor c4. It gives me the energy I need to get through my workouts, but doesn't give me the jitters all morning long!

    1. Hi Stephanie, couldn't find your email and would love to have you join us on our radio morning show in toronto on newstalk1010 tomorrow at 8:30amEST, 7:30CST. My email is Hope to hear from you shortly!
      Carol Mott

  7. It gives me digestive support and is completely full of natural energy. Toss in some protein and my requirements are complete.

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