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Supplementation Basics & Essentials

Simple But Effective Is Sometimes The Best Policy!

Posted by MikeSheffer - February 27th, 2017

An influx of interest and involvement within the health and fitness community has sparked the innovation of many different supplementation products. With thousands of different claims and proprietary blends, how will you know which ones will truly help you to achieve your fitness goals, and which ones are just simply a marketing scheme?

Knowing what the ingredients in your supplements do is typically the most important deciding factor when I determine what supplements are right for me.  This article will give you a basic idea of what is essential to take for overall health and growth when training hard, and when I recommend taking it.

Vitamins Minerals & Supplements

Vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health and are often referred to as “micronutrients”. One of the most important things you can do for muscle growth is to give your body the resources to function efficiently and effectively. ‘Health’ and ‘fit’ are too often paired together, but the truth is that just because the appearance of someone is ‘fit’, does not guarantee that they are in fact healthy.

The word supplement is a very general term and can be used to describe anything you add to your diet on top of food. Supplementation should not be confused with meal replacement, and anyone intending to use supplementation to replace a real food meal should only do so in pinch.

Supplements are good to have at your disposal particularly during a caloric deficit (eating less calories per day then you are burning). When food intake is reduced, it may not be possible to get all of the things your body needs to keep energy levels optimal, maintain joint health, rebuild your muscles effectively, and maintain overall health.

What, How Much, & When?

As far as vitamins and minerals go, most of what you need can be obtained through a well-balanced diet. To be safe that you are covering all bases, I recommend the following:

Vitamin C – Take 1000mg first thing in the morning and 1000mg right before bed. Vitamin C lowers cortisol levels which cause stress and can hold fat. Vitamin C will help boost your immune system for overall health as well.

Multi-Vitamin – Take midday with food, but not with any other medications, as the multi-vitamins can absorb and reduce the effectiveness of some medications.

Other supplements that aren’t vitamins or minerals which I recommend are:

Fish Oils – Take 3-4 pills first thing in the morning. Fish oils contain Omega 3’s, EPA and DHA which have several benefits to the body. These benefits include decreased cardiovascular risk, blood pressure and inflammation. The decreased inflammation can help particularly in joints, in reducing cartilage degradation in high intensity training sessions.

EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids) – Take first thing in the morning and post-workout. Essential Amino Acids cannot be produced by the body so they must be ingested from either food or supplementation. Amino Acids are used in various processes throughout the body and are essential for muscle recovery, performance, and growth.

Creatine – 5g post workout. Creatine supports strength, power, and lean body mass. It can also help fuel your muscles during periods of high-intensity exercise.

L-Glutamine – 5g post workout. Glutamine plays an important role in protein synthesis and will help your muscles recover post workout.


As Supplements continue to progress with innovation, it is easy to get lost in a world where you are unsure of what is essential. Making sure that your body is equipped with the right tools to function properly is crucial for bodybuilding longevity and noticeable results. The above noted vitamins, minerals, and supplements are what I personally take on a daily basis to ensure that my body can perform, recover and grow.

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Great article Mike! Short and to the point! Love it!