See what I did there? Ok FINE maybe that was super lame but I like it so I’m keeping that as my title anyway.
I am often asked what supplements I take, and WHY. After wayyy too long, (so sorry) I am finally here to answer all your questions. Hello!
In short, the ONLY supplements I use are BCAAs, and occasionally Protein Powder. The only other supplement I have tried are various pre-workouts, and I honestly just feel like they’re not my thing. As silly as it sounds, I prefer to see what my body can do on its own and see how far I can push myself without an extra “boost.” (This is totally my personal opinion, I have many friends who use them and love them and that is awesome) Also, most of the pre-workout supplements I have tried make me feel nauseous or just weird, tingly, and anxious. I’m not sure if I’m just super sensitive to them or what, but again, just not my thing. I also do not use any “detox teas” of any kind. Again, no offense to those who do, and I’m not saying they are all bad, it’s just a personal decision.
But let’s back up. I want to say that when I began my switch to a healthier lifestyle, I was extremely wary of using ANY supplements whatsoever. I didn’t know anything about them, and I was so overwhelmed with just making basic life changes (hi like just getting a small workout in each day and learning how to live off of water instead of DP) that I didn’t worry about supplements.
Well sooner rather than later supplement companies started reaching out to me! They were some of the first to give me any attention when my instagram started growing, and they all wanted ME(!?) as an ambassador! I was flattered, but I politely declined because simply, I didn’t use supplements. I did however accept samples from most of them, thus my personal supplement education began.
The first thing I tried was protein powder. I don’t love meat, and I am allergic to peanuts and most nuts. So even though I knew nothing back them about macro-nutrients, I knew that I was probably not getting enough protein. I don’t like the taste of protein mixed with just milk or water, so I began using various protein powders in certain recipes and in smoothies and shakes! Over the last two years I have gone through phases with protein powder. There have been times where I am really diligent and take it every day. There have been stretches where I just get so sick of it and don’t take it at all for a month until I decide to try a new brand/type/flavor. Overall, while I definitely prefer to meet my protein needs in the forms of whole foods and lean meats, that’s just not always practical for me. Protein powder is so convenient, and I do use it regularly to help me supplement my healthy diet. As for WHICH type of protein you should use, there is A LOT of research and debate on that. Every brand of course claims that their type and formula is ideal, and in my opinion its not really a matter of which is better than another, but which is better for YOU depending on your needs, allergies, dietary restrictions, taste preferences, and goals. My girl Kayla recently wrote a great article about some of the benefits and differences between different types of protein powders, which you can read HERE. I definitely suggest giving it a look if you aren’t sure which type would be best for you. That said, here are MY personal favorite Protein Powder is She Supps Lean Protein from their “muscle range”. This is a protein blend of Whey Protein Concentrate, Milk Protein Concentrate, and Soy Protein Isolate, and is my fave protein I have tried probably because it is the only brand I can stand to drink plain. All of their flavors are good, however their strawberry (mixed with 6oz almond or coconut milk) is most definitley my fave protein powder of all time. Their Vanilla is great for baking and smoothies as well.
NOW LET”S TALK BCAAs!
Guys, I love these. This is the one supplement I take every day and recommend to everyone trying to build lean muscle, or trying to maintain the muscle you do have. I first started taking BCAA’s because I was told they would help with muscle recovery, and I wouldn’t be as sore after my workouts. While true, that is seriously only the tip of the iceberg. UNLIKE a pre-workout, you are NOT going to “feel” anything right after taking your BCAAs, and you wont see an immediate or overnight result. You WILL start to reap the benefits of your BCAAs after a couple weeks of consistently taking them, and let me tell you they are plenty.
The direct definition of Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) is “Essential amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, that can be used for energy directly in the muscle and do not have to go to the liver to be broken down during exercise.” -NASM
So basically what does that mean and how does taking a BCAAs + Glutamine supplement help you? It increases protein synthesis, AKA BUILDS YOUR MUSCLES. Taking the right BCAA will also reduce fatigue, help you recover faster, and improve immune function. If you want a more in-depth scientific explanation of how exactly they do these things, I think this, this, and this article explain it pretty well.
Like protein powders, I have tried MANY BCAAs. They are not all created equal however, and I only recently found one that I love enough to recommend– FitFam Supps Deluxe Muscle Recovery BCAA Capsules. I personally LOVE the capsule form, because I hate the taste of the powders and find it super convenient. Also, these “Deluxe” BCAAs have not only your BCAAs, but also Glutamine and B vitamins. Fit Fam Supps is a newer company and this being their first product I was super skeptical as there were no reviews to read, ect, BUT after seeing the formula and doing my research on it I was so excited because it seemed to be everything I wanted in a BCAA. Ryan and I have both been taking them for the last three months, and I am a fan FOR SURE. So much so that I agreed to be “sponsored” by them if you will, meaning I can offer you 15% off your BCAAs if you use the code “mysweatlife” at checkout on their website. Yes, they pay me a little when you use my code, and NO, that is absolutely not why I am recommending them. (If that were the case I would have recommended to you some of the 25 other supplement companies I have tried in the last year.) Just a friendly reminder that I will always keep it real, and I will never recommend something to you I don’t absolutely use and love, whether someone wants to pay me or not.
I personally take my BCAAs after every workout, and sometimes I will take them in the morning as well.
There you have it guys! I hope this helped answer your questions. If you have any others please feel free to comment!!