Let's talk supplements! This is what I take, as an athlete not trying to lose weight, just looking to enhance performance and quality of life. :) Mo muscles, mo happy!
Back in the day when I thought 5 pound dumb bells were rad and I was running a lot, I didn't pay that much attention to supplementing. 1/2 banana before, 1/2 banana after and maybe a multi-vitamin. I was in weight loss mode, so I did a really good job of starving my body more than feeding it. So happy I'm over those days!
It's important to remember that supplements will not bulk you up and supplements are not the "miracle" pill. Supplements will do for you that extra 10% if you're putting 100% effort your training and eating a clean diet.
Let's start with my wakeup. I workout in the early morning. If I am doing cardio before my WOD, I will eat a small something. That's too long for me to go without food and I start getting light headed. A bite of a protein bar, a few bites of banana, etc. It also helps settle my stomach, as coffee tends to upset it. If I'm sleeping in and just wake up and WOD, then I won't eat anything before, I'll take my 2 BCAA caps, and I'll WOD in a "fasted" state.
After the WOD, I think nutrition gets pretty important. I like to get protein and BCAA's in my system within 30 minutes of finishing. I also make sure to not consume fats after a workout. Protein and carbs are a wonderful mix post-workout. They're easy to digest and get into my hungry muscles quickly. The beautiful thing about fats is that they're slow digesting, and slow recovery down. So, as much as I love my some fats, I wait an hour or so after my workout before consuming them.
I pack a shaker bottle (mine is from Stronger, Faster, Healthier). I love their products, they're just a little pricey. So, right now I'm using Pure Protein because it was on-sale at the Commissary ...
I needed something to get me through until I could put in an order, but I ended up really liking it. The flavor is out of control. It's like a Wendy's Chocolate Frosty!
(It also makes some really delicious protein ice cream!)
So, I use a scoop of protein powder and 2 caps of BCAA's. I open the caps and pour the powder into my shaker bottle. I learned about BCAA's here, and here, and here.
I also use this protein in my Green Monster smoothies. I think the vanilla makes for greener smoothies The chocolate makes things looks, um, brownish. Not appetizing.
(I love all ON products. This protein is even has BCAA's and Glutamine built-in.)
A lot of people are crazy about Progenex aka The Sauce in the Crossfit world. I was never one to buy the hype. Something about their claims just didn't add up to me. It's just really expensive hydrowhey with glutamine and BCAA's. Hydrowhey just breaks down faster in the body (but regular old whey breaks down pretty damn fast, too), with glutamine and BCAA's. I don't mind buying regular old protein powder and supplementing with my own BCAA's and Glutamine. To each his own.
The only other supplements I take are a B complex, it helps convert food into energy. You'll find B vitamins in Monster and Rockstar, it's what makes your pee that awesome bright yellow color! I can't take these in the evening because they give me a lot of energy. I take them in the morning with my breakfast, along with a fish oil caplet and a spoonful of flax oil. I also take another fish oil cap in the evening with dinner.
I love these from Nature Made. They're high in both EPA and DHA. Check out more information on why I love fish oil here, here and here. I used to take a much higher dosage, and you can read more about proper dosage here.
I take flax seed because I find it's the best way to optimize the nutrients in the food I am eating. Read more about that here.
No, I do not take a multi-vitamin, though I used to. I also used to take a multi-mineral. I feel that there's been to much controversy on the benefits of a multi vitamin, so instead I eat a balanced diet. (I like the Paleo-Zone methodology.)
During the winter, I will also take Vitamin D. Here's why. Otherwise, I just make sure I get my time in the sunshine.
I hope this helped answer a few reader questions! Again, this is what I do and what works for me. I always love your emails and comments. Reminds me I am not just blogging into a black hole ... ;)