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Do I NEED Supplements To Gain Muscle & Lose Weight?

Do I NEED SupplementsThe answer to the question, “Do I NEED supplements to gain muscle and lose weight?” is both yes AND no…But let me explain what I mean there so you don’t think I’m just a fence walker and am trying to avoid a definitive answer.

The answer really depends upon what resources you have available to you in the way of nutrition and budget. Some people can afford to buy the pre-workout, the recovery drink, the Shakeology, the whey protein, the casein protein, the amino acids…

You could go on and on…But the question still remains, “Do I NEED supplements?”

Lets take a look at my current supplement stack and I will explain why I personally use each of them.

 

Do I NEED Supplements? – My Current Supplement Stack

What I have learned over the past few years is that you really dont have to buy every single supplement off the shelf in order to get ripped…

In fact – My stack up might dissappoint you a bit because its pretty minimal!

…But I still got the results I wanted, so that should give you a good indicator of what I think when someone asks me Do I NEED supplements.

#1 Shakeology – This really shouldnt surprise most of you since you know that Shakeology has been the foundation of my nutrition for the past two years. If I could only spend money on one single supplement, this would be it!

It has it all (vitamins, nutrients, superfoods – from around the world, all concentrated into 1 phenomenal scoop).

A person can get by without Shakeology, but if you wanted the same benefits that Shakeology provides, it requires the incorporation of a vast array of vitamin rich, nutrient dense foods in your diet every day, and to match what you get in a $4 serving of Shakeology, you’d spend way more than that to get superfoods to replace it.

I prefer to simply use Shakeology, know I’m covered nutritionally, and then keep my diet simple with convenient and affordable fruits and veggies like bananas, apples, carrots, broccoli, and green beans.

#2 Whey Protein – This is a staple in any diet plan where you are trying to gain muscle and lose weight.

The nice thing about whey protein is that when you are on a Fat Shredder Plan where 50% of your daily intake of calories is coming from protein…

You can eat 3 less cans of tuna per day!

You could get by without using whey protein to supplement you intake, but you would need to be getting a LOT of other protein in your diet via lean meats, egg whites, etc.

…But that can be REALLY tough, and tough on your digestive system.

#3 Recovery Formula – One of the reasons people fall short of their goals when taking on a program like P90X, Insanity, or Body Beast…is that they are not focusing on recovery.

This is when you make your gains!!! Its the most important part!

If you want to keep your body strong, and get even stronger then you need to fuel your muscles and give them what they need at the proper time needed.

For a recovery drink that means you need some fast absorbing carbs and proteins that fall into that 4:1 carb to protein ratio.

You dont need the P90X recovery formula – I use it because it tastes amazing and its exactly what my muscles need after blasting them with an X2 workout. Plus there is no question as to whether I am getting the right nutrients right after a workout like that.

But…you dont NEED the P90X recovery formula in particular. I actually cover a great Recovery drink alternative that includes a banana and some protein whey that is somewhat comparable to the P90X R&R Formula.

#4 Creatine – This is not a must for gaining muscle, but its definitely going to speed up the process.

Plus, the faster you can build more lean muscle mass, the faster you are going to burn fat.

I prefer MusclePharm Creatine which I get from bodybuilding.com. It has a very high grade quality creatine in it and I have seen great results from using it.

Again though…its not completely necessary!

 

So Back To The Original Question – Do I NEED Supplements???

Do I need supplements to get great results…gain muscle…lose fat…?

The truth…NO!

But I will tell you that it is going to take longer and its going to be much more difficult to get “P90X before & after” type results if you are not using any supplements at all.

The reason being is that when doing programs like these, you are training like an athlete and an athlete cannot eat like a normal John/Jane Doe! Because of what you are requiring of your body during the workouts, you are going to have holes in your nutrition that are best filled by supplementing.

If you are taking longer to replenish the building blocks of your muscles ability to recovery and repair, you are slowing your results. If you aren’t giving your muscles the fuel they need to repair and grow at their full potential, they won’t grow and repair at their full potential.

It really is that simple…

Do you need a ton of supplements to achieve this? NO!!

You have seen my P90X2 results just using — whey protein, Shakeology, and Results and Recovery Formula and creatine (and the OCCASIONAL pre-workout which I am not very fond of anymore). Thats nothing compared to what some fitness “experts” take each day, LOL.

But what if you cant afford these supplements??? – Do I NEED Supplements?

Determine which supplements fit within your budget and will most positively affect your body’s ability to run at its full physical potential, and then consider adding them to your stackup.

Steve Edwards, who is a fitness and nutrition consultant with Beachbody sums up supplements and supplementation strategies pretty well below:

“Using proper supplementation strategy can help us live healthier and perform better, especially when we train hard and even more importantly when we’re dieting and exercising.

I break my supplements into basics and situational. Basic supplements are things I take pretty much all the time. Situational are those I use depending on what I’m doing. Let’s look at these first. In the same way that your diet should reflect what you are doing, so should the supplements you take.

For example, two of the most proven supplements in history are creatine monohydrate and 4 parts carb to one part protein recovery formulations. Neither are daily tonics. They are for given situations. Creatine is useful when you’re training hard and trying to build muscle or anaerobic strength. If those are not your goals it’s not only a waste but can interfere with your diet by encouraging your body to retain water to increase cell volume. Recovery formulations are only for when your glycogen stores are extinguished which takes hard exercise or starvation. No one eating well and exercising 30 minutes a day or less would ever need a recovery formulation. In fact, it would be terrible for you. However, when your training hard, eating lean, and using up your body’s limited glycogen stores the stuff is more valuable than gold.

Basics are things you should take everyday, like food. Since it came out Shakeology is on the top of my list. It’s like a healthy insurance policy in a glass.”

I hope this helps answer your question, Do I NEED supplements? – so that you can make a wise decision based on your own goals and your own budget.  Let me know if you have any questions about how to maximize your supplementation strategy below in the comments!

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17 comments
w9982
w9982

Thank you so much!! Are there any supplements i should be taking? I am already taking vitamin c, fish oil capsules and bsn protein powder.....am i missing something?

IsaiahGarcia
IsaiahGarcia

I've been looking at the Optimum Nutrition After Max® for a Recovery. do you think that would be a good choice? and The Creatine I've been wondering should I be taking it in the morning before my workout with my Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein Isolate? 

philipmcintire
philipmcintire

I have been looking into a creatine to start cycling on. Definitely think i'm going to give the muscle pharm a try. Appreciate the advice @coachtodd 

Scott Stoelb
Scott Stoelb

Creatine and recovery drinks.  Two of the most proven supp's around. I agree with you @Todd Warren 

RyanPaxton
RyanPaxton

I usually mix shakeology and whey after a workout. should i drink the shakeO first and then wait a little while before i have the whey protein?

coachtodd
coachtodd

@w9982 at the minimum I would add creatine into your regimen and if you can swing it, go for shakeolgoy. It fills in all the nutritional gaps our normal diets could never fill! Have you looked into that?

coachtodd
coachtodd

 @IsaiahGarcia Hey Isaiah! I have not check it out, but as long as it gets you that 4:1 carb to protein ratio, you should be good. Just be sure its not full of artificial junk either. You can take creatine before or after. I take mine before with my shake. What workout program you doin bud?

coachtodd
coachtodd

 @RyanPaxton You really want to focus on getting that 4:1 ratio of SIMPLE carbs to protein. If you dont get enough carbs...your body cant deliver the protein to your muscles.

IsaiahGarcia
IsaiahGarcia

 @coachtodd LOL ....yeah it's defiantly gonna suck man. Hey one more question if you could help me out with this, should I take any supplemenst with the beast body cardio/abs workout?

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