Tuesday, May 6, 2008

But Will...won't creatine make me grow man boobs? My Dad says creatine makes me angrier!


I get asked a lot about supplements and I'm going to tell you what I tell them.

Shhh....come in really close and I am going to tell you a secret...do you want to know the real secret behind supplements...I'm going to tell you whether you want to hear it or not...here it is....there is nothing that gets you to focus on your training and paying attention to what you eat like spending €100 on supplements...it doesn't matter what you spent the €100 on...you want to make sure you get your monies worth...so realise this first...focusing on your training and paying attention to your diet WORKS!

Aside from that...I think supplements can be really useful....are they absolutely neccessary...definitely not...do they help....absolutely.

So what do I recommend...well I wouldn't recommend anything I don't use myself.

Caffeine
I'm not going into all the literature...although there is plenty out there. I take 200mg 1 hour before training...simple as that. It is cheap and it's effective.


Creatine
I doubt that there has been a supplement that has been the subject of more research than creatine and unless you suffer kidney or liver disease the evidence is overwhelmingly positive. Now there are lots of different dosing protocols but like with everything else...I like to keep it simple. The best protocol I've found personally and from talking with A LOT of athletes is to take a teaspoon in my post workout shake and also another teaspoon in the shake I take before I go to bed. Now...when I say post workout shake I'm talking about mixing a teaspoon of creatine into either that litre of chocolate milk I drink or mixing it with a scoop of Muscle Milk and water. The teaspoon I take at night I mix with water and a scoop of muscle milk. Is that simple enough?

Shakes/Protein
This is easily the most common supplement...as in when people ask me what supplement they should take they are usually asking my what shake/protein they should use.
Now...I should have said this sooner....just about all the athletes I coach (yes, this means you guys)compete in sports that are drug tested so YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for anything you put in your body. So BEWARE as nothing is 100% guaranteed safe...so now I've got that out of the way...shakes/protein come in a few different forms...basically you have the 'mainly protein' or 'protein/carbohydrate' blend. I like and use both. I use Cytosport because that is my preference so I'll talk about what I basically do and it is as follows.

I vary my shake/protein consumption depending on how much strength training and how much conditioning I'm doing and what I am trying to achieve training wise. When I'm trying to reduce my body fat I have a scoop of Muscle Milk before strength training and a scoop after and depending on how much I've consumed that day...I could twist my own arm and have another scoop before bed.

I'm currently trying to increase my muscle mass and maintain my current body fat around the 12-15% mark and this is what I'm going to do...supplement wise....I'm going to take a scoop of Cytogainer during the day and another before strength training. I'm going to take a scoop of Muscle Milk(+teaspoon of creatine) after training before my cool down. Then another scoop before I leave the gym. To finish the day I'm going to take a scoop of Evo Pro(+teaspoon of creatine) before I go to bed.

I hope that's as clear as mud?

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