What supplements are you currently taking? and why?
JK: Currently I am taking a multivitamin, fish oil, CLA, protein powder, as well as occasionally taking pre workout. I take the multi in order to fill the gaps in my nutrition and to make sure I get all my vitamins and macronutrients throughout the day. The fish oil provides me healthy fats (Omega 3s) as well as helps with fat loss, skin care, and just overall general health. The CLA is also to help fat loss. The protein powder I typically only take post workout for protein to begin the repair process of my muscles as well as help my total protein intake for the day. Finally I have pre workout for those days where I am low on energy or need an extra kick for a great workout!
RM: Currently taking a multivitamin supplement, fish oils, CLA, protein powder, creatine, BCAAs and pre workout. I take the multivitamin because eating to gain weight/muscle you don't always get every vitamin and mineral your body needs. Your body have two types, essential, and non-essential and with a supplement you can get them all, plus I love my gummies, they are a pre breakfast ritual. Fish oils have many properties that make them a candidate in any ones supplementation. From providing healthy fats, to regenerative benefits for injuries, to keeping skin healthy and clear, to keeping bones strong. CLA’s are great for staying lean, taken right in the morning or right before bed are optimal times. Protein powder helps supplement my high protein diet by giving me quick access to protein where it would otherwise have been limited. At work in between customers, right after a workout on my way home from the gym, or when out and about running errands. BCAA’s I take to aid with recovery and protein synthesis, mostly I have noticed a decrease in how sore I am after taking BCAA’s around a workout. Pre workout is something I take when I am running on low energy or, most of the time, if I am working out in the morning and have not ate an adequate number of meals yet. Creatine, by far the safest and most researched supplement on this list, is a staple in my training. It directly affects the creatine phosphate energy system of the body and supplies what's needed for an extra rep or two and therefore, more muscle gains.
Does your supplementation change depending on your personal goals? if so, how?
JK: Personally my supplements don't change depending on my goals. For the most part, my supplement stack has been the same since January. I have taken BCAA's in the past, but have since stopped taking them because I view them as more of a 'luxury'. The reason I don't cycle or change my supplements depending on my current goals is 1. I believe your diet plays a much bigger role than any supplement can. 2. It is easier for me to determine what does and does not work for me if I keep my supplements consistent, thus making the variables my diet and any supplements I decide to try.
RM: Yes they constantly change based on my goals. Like I said earlier, right now I am trying to put on size, if I was trying to lean out my supplement usage changes. I will usually take creatine out, because I feel as though I tend to hold water while I am using it. Furthermore I will switch out my protein powder for a different powder with less calories. Fish oils and multivitamins are staples of my supplement use and are never taken out. I do keep in CLA’s but also add in similar fat burning agents like green tea extract and L-Carnitine. Pre workout becomes even more important during a cut because a decrease in overall calories can lead to a more tired and lethargic feeling, making an extra boost of energy more necessary. BCAA’s are a good supplement for aiding in adding size as well as maintaining muscle mass during a weight loss phase because they aid with recovery and protein synthesis.
Do you think supplements are mandatory?
JK: Mandatory, no. Helpful, yes. As I have previously stated, your diet and workouts will have a lot larger impact on your body transformation than any supplement ever will. I also believe people are too dependent on supplements to do the work for them rather than their diet (I myself use to be one of those people). However I do believe they have their place. Things like multivitamins can simplify someone's diet by providing micro nutrients people miss from real food (even well rounded diets can be missing micros). I think protein powders are also very helpful when it comes to hitting your daily protein intake, and can also be used in making meal replacement shakes for those who have trouble eating in the mornings or struggle with time eating many meals throughout the day. So no supplements are not mandatory, but they are definitely helpful.
RM: Yes. Supplements are very important. There is the reason they were created in the first place, because it is very hard to do certain things without having that extra supplementation. I feel they have a bigger effect during a weight loss phase than a adding size or bulking phase. With that being said supplements should not replace a wholesome diet or effective training. Supplements are here to supplement a diet, don't diet on supplements.
What supplements would you recommend to a beginner?
JK: As I tell all of my clients, and as I said above; you do not need supplements, but depending your circumstances I would recommend them. I personally believe everyone should take a quality multivitamin (even if you don't have fitness goals and it is just for general health). Aside from that, the only thing I would recommend to beginners would be a protein supplement. A Lot of people I have talked to fall well short of the protein intake they need in a day, especially those who are working out multiple times a week, and a powder is a simple and convenient way to get more protein in. I would recommend everyone, and more importantly a beginner to focus more on their diet and getting nutrients from whole foods than supplements.
RM: I would recommend three supplements to every beginner. A multivitamin and fish oil being the most important. As funny as that sounds, those are the staples of good health and well being, and that is the foundation as well as the goal when it comes to anything related to fitness and the industry. Lastly, I would recommend a protein powder. Too many beginners think they eat enough protein, but the reality is most of them don't even own a food scale or track their meals. A Protein powder is an easy way to keep track of how much protein one eats and understand that it is a good idea to track one's diet and keep it in check with one's goals. Furthermore, although not a supplement, I would recommend flavor packets or drops for your water. I know many beginners do not drink enough water or are overwhelmed with a gallon. A water flavor packet or drops is a good way to help a beginner really get through that whole gallon of water and get used to drinking it every day.