5 Men’s Health Supplements That Actually Work

The supplement industry is full of crooks, liars, and thieves.

This is because it’s a largely unregulated market. Read this—taken from the United States FDA website:

Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded.  That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing.

Re-read the bold portion of the quote. The FDA does NOT actually evaluate these products. It’s up to the supplement companies themselves to do so. And that’s why you can walk into the local vitamin shop and find shelves upon shelves of products that claim to build muscle and burn fat WITHOUT actually containing anything that’s been proven to work.

Seriously, take a minute before you buy any new supplements, go to Google Scholar and search for peer-reviewed studies on that compound. You’ll often find that the latest bodybuilding supplement has been proven to be ineffective when studied in the lab.

Sure, you can reliably build muscle quickly using the anabolic steroid types of supplements. But that’s illegal, hard to find quality sources of, and messes with your hormone levels. It’s not worth it unless you’re a bodybuilder or competitive athlete.

However there are several legal supplements that actually do work. Here are my top five:

1. Creatine


Creatine is an organic acid, naturally synthesized by our bodies from several amino acids, that helps to supply energy to the cells of the body, especially in skeletal muscle.

It’s also the only legal performance enhancing drug that’s been researched extensively and proven to increase strength and lean muscle mass. New studies even suggest that it may have antidepressant effects and various cognitive benefits like enhanced memory and reaction speed.

For maximum effect take five grams per day. Ignore the product’s labeling that tells you to “load” and take more than that at first—studies have shown this ineffective.

My recommended product on Amazon.

2. Multivitamin

The main reason to take a multivitamin is as an “insurance policy” against any nutritional deficiencies in your diet.

NOTE: There are some recent studies that question the efficacy of multivitamins. They call into question how efficiently our bodies are actually able to absorb nutrients from vitamin pills. For this reason I fully advise and recommend eating nutrient rich vegetables and fruits every single day.

The most common deficiencies you’re likely to have are zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D – vitamin D being the biggest culprit. This is because it is a hormone that’s made in the skin when exposed to sunlight. However, many of us tend not to get too much exposure to the sun, and are deficient as a result.

Aside from reducing the risk of disease and other general health benefits, these deficiencies are also linked to lower testosterone levels.

My recommended product on Amazon.

3. Fish oil


Fish oil is, shockingly, oil derived from the tissue of fatty fish.

This oil contains omega-3 fatty acids (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and has been proven to reduce tissue inflammation, reducing the risk of various diseases and cancers—in addition to assisting in maintaining superior body composition with weight loss.

My recommended product on Amazon.

4. Whey protein powder

Whey protein powder is simply a convenient form of protein. It usually consists of a blend of whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. It’s derived from milk that has been left over and coagulated.

The only reason to use this powder is if your diet is low in protein. Taking a scoop of protein after a workout won’t magically build muscle.

My recommended product on Amazon.

5. Pre-workout powder


Pre-workout powders are mixture of substances meant to be taken before a workout in order to boost energy and focus.

You should only take a pre-workout powder if you struggle to get to the gym BECAUSE of poor energy. I used to be addicted to these, and I couldn’t work out without one.

Also, they usually contain a large amount of questionable, odd ingredients. Caffeine is almost always the active ingredient, and for that reason, a coffee works as a great (and usually cheaper) option for a pre-workout boost.

For this reason I suggest making your own pre-workout using only the ingredients proven to work.

Don’t waste your money on BS supplements that don’t do shit

The above list is by no means 100% exhaustive, but it does cover the VAST majority of supplements you should even consider taking. If there’s something else you’re curious about then I suggest searching for peer-reviewed studies on Google Scholar and seeing what is proven and what is not.

This was a partial excerpt from my brand new training program Body of a Beast.

Read More: 8 Tips For Accelerated Fat Loss

123 thoughts on “5 Men’s Health Supplements That Actually Work”

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that because the supplement industry isn’t regulated by the FDA that they are crooks. Could there be a better system in place than self-regulation? Absolutely. But if you look at the FDA as a regulatory agency they are probably much more corrupt and inept than the supplement companies themselves. They are essentially owned by big pharma and approve drugs that ruin lives very consistently.

  2. If you are not happy as natural and want real results from supplements, get some steroids (legally or illegally). The above supplements will make minimal difference to a natty if diet, training, and rest are on point. Even then it will be negligible. Much more economic to get protein and vitamins from food and use coffee as a pre-workout.
    Personally, I wouldn’t use steroids just to improve my physique to look good and attract women, which a lot of men do, especially in the UK. Only time I’d use them if I was competing in a sport. As a weightlifter, I may have to use them later on, but my total is too low at this point and using them would be pointless. Apparently anabolics make about a 15% – 20% difference in the Olympic lifts, which is nothing to smirk at!
    Another reason for using them would be low testosterone levels. From what I’ve heard TRT is a godsend for guys in their 40 and 50s with low test.

    1. I agree. Steroids have been so heavily bashed by the media that people are scared to even touch them. Abuse of steroids (not knowing what you’re doing, overdosing, not being sterile etc) leads to problems. Use, not abuse, is okay. But you must damn well know what you’re doing and I wouldn’t recommend anyone take them under the age of 23 the earliest. As for anyone younger, if you have goals of the athletic variety, well, I’ve trained with hundreds of college and many pro athletes. I’m here to tell you that they’re all using, so it isn’t cheating.

      1. From what I read, you shouldnt take them before your early 30s, but the results are amazing if you do start em then. I assume its bc your test levels start to tank in your early 30s…

        1. It starts to drop at around 26, but it’s very, very small and gradual.
          Most of the guys on TRT either fucked over their own test production from using roids or they have low testosterone levels due to genetic/health reasons.
          As with everything in life, there is a trade-off. There’s always a chance you’ll have to stay on for the rest of your life. Not worth using them just to look better for some hoe.. But if you want real results from supplements, they work.

        2. Agreed – and there are some natural test-boosting supplements that do work,
          They won’t give steroid-like results, but they will boost your natural testosterone levels to high/normal range and boost the libido.
          These work for me:
          Tongkat ali – This one has noticeable effect on the libido, more erections and bigger balls.
          D-Aspartic Acid – Higher testosterone and supposedly higher sperm count
          ZMA – mostly for sleep, but some test-boosting properties

    2. I have to disagree – to a point.
      I think that when you start out strength training/weightlifting is when you make the most dramatic gains – in the 1st year one can gain from 10-25 lbs.
      I think that the diet is #1 – 3-5 meals/per day including protein/carbs/fat/vegetables.
      #2 is 2-3 protein drinks per day between meals and right after training. Whey Protein Isolate is the best type of protein powder.
      Then Creatine is next for added strength.
      Finally – multivitamin, fish oil, etc in the morning with breakfast.
      Now – if you’re over 25-30 years old, you’ve trained for over 5 years and feel you’ve maxed out your natural potential, THEN you can consider steroids.
      But here’s a tip – the harder you train and the better your diet and supplementation, then the better the steroids will work and you will need to take less to get better results.

  3. 3 more which have worked for me:
    arginine- good for heart/dong
    zinc- good for test boost; only found in fish/meat like beef,lamb,oysters (and I doubt anyone eats a half dozen oysters a day, good for a women too)
    magnesium- good for your heart; random muscle weakness/soreness could be due to a deficiency

      1. for what, your heart?
        you guys should check out dr mercola’s site, it is very imformative.

      2. Ray Kurtzweil (futurist, inventor of tons and tons of shit, and guy who is fascinated with living forever and becoming a cyborg) takes a lot of supplements every day. Keep in mind he is a millionaire, so if some of them are useless, he’s out nothing more than a few hundred dollars.
        While he takes a ridiculous amount of pills every day, there are some that are worthwhile in slowing the aging process, preserving brain dendrite connections, promoting heart health, etc. Among the few that I personally picked up after reading interviews with him and doing my own research are: Resveratrol / grape seed extract, alpha lipoic acid, carnotine and I think carsonine? going off memory here. He has a website ray and something dot com but I just went on there and looked at his products then bought my supplements cheaper from puritans pride.
        I also take a multivitamin but of course by far the best source of vitamins is fresh fruits and veggies. It’s just that I’m sure I’m missing at least one vitamin or mineral, even in a healthy diet, so I take the vitamin to supplement. Oh and sunlight makes me FEEL so incredible, it’s like I can feel the vitamin D pouring into my body! I think you need 15 min a day or so. Hard in the winter time. After reading the comments here I need to add some zinc/magnesium.

    1. I’ve read if you take arginine 1 hr before you go to bed on a empty stomach it helps to release growth hormones as you sleep.

    2. Being vegetarian lifter (don’t ask), I started taking zinc and magnesium. I find I get out enough to avoid Vitamin D deficiency. For anyone who’s interested in my anecdotal 2c worth:
      I noticed changes in my skin and nail health on zinc, as well as getting back high-frequency morning wood. I suspect raised testosterone.
      As for magnesium, it helped me with soreness IMMENSELY. I used to take 5 days to get rid of 90% of the DOMS I’d get. Now it goes away in 2 days, 3 maximum.

    1. If you read the titles of the two articles, they do seem to be contradictory messages, but if you read the articles themselves, the information presented is the same.
      (1) Both articles recommend fish oil and vitamin D. (2) Both articles say the same thing about whey protein, which is that it is no better or worse than normal protein, it’s just in a different form. (3) Both articles present the same general picture of creatine. (4) Both articles say to avoid commercial pre-workouts and to choose choose your own combination of pre-food, such as caffeine. (5) Both articles state that multi-vitamins are not needed by well-nourished adults, and advise eating a varied diet of fruits and vegetables. (6) The first article expresses uncertainty about the utility of multi-vitamins, and this one states that they are beneficial for those with vitamin deficiencies (perhaps after further research by the author).

      1. No offence to jefe, i love his books (domination in particular) and his work, but what your comment tells us is that basically this is a rehash of an old article, with just a different title, and point 6 being the only minimal change

    2. Lol, yeah I’m not sure what is going on with ROK, the article previous this one about Thirsty Guys messing everything up contradicts all the PUA articles they have had on here.

      1. It is a mix of PUA’s and MGTOW’s. Hence all of the contradictory articles on here. This website is having an identity crisis and it is ruining this website.

        1. I agree completely, i’m not sure where things are going.I hope the site doesn’t become a haven for whiny men. and I hope the site sticks to philosophy, men’s rights and is vigilant in the fight against feminism.

        2. Yep, not to mention the tons of articles that bitch about women, which in turn provides no solutions. You’re right, ROK is divided in two camps, the MGTOW’s(bitching about women constantly and having a defeatist attitude) and the PUA’s( also bitching about women but atleast providing methods for the average player to further improve his game.
          Its up to individuals to absorb the article that apply to them.

        3. I agree, but you have to realize that there is so little social support and reinforcement for men when we face horrible things that women do, which the west likes to label “women’s individuality” or “spunk” but is really psychotic or sociopathic behavior. It often takes a new reader exposure to a lot of articles talking about how absurd and insane women’s behavior is, in order to have a bell go off in a guys head and he realizes “Yeah! When my ex did that to me and I just stood there and took it, but I felt like she was being a complete insane bitch, I was right! Others agree with me.”
          I am a very individualist person, but without the support and reinforcement of ideas here, I do not think I would be as awake as I am today to what is going on. Basic, common sense articles like Roosh’s list of boner killing behaviors women do
          may be common sense, but it is refreshing and reinforcing to see them reiterated. I think the best advice is what a very wise man once told me: “take what resonates with you, and leave the rest behind.”

        4. Yep. I’ve said it before but all regular readers of RoK are well informed on the biological destructive nature of women so the articles do seem repetitive. However, if there are always new readers who are stepping into the manosphere, then these articles need to be recycled so that more people can swallow the red pill.
          As for the rest of us we either ignore them or read one every now and then to serve as a reminder.

      2. Hmm. Were they written by two different guys perhaps?
        In any case, I think the Thirsty Guy article is completely consistent with the PUA articles. For many PUAs thirst is the first stage they go through before becoming a PUA.

        1. Maybe that is the progression of things, being thirsty then becoming a PUA, but the Stop the thirsty guy Revolution article was telling guys to abstain from gaming girls online and then talked of sacrificing sex in the short run for the better of the long run. The PUA articles never talked of sacrificing sex they tried giving advice to get someone sex so they wouldn’t have to go without it.The Stop the thirsty Guy Revolution article is not in the same vein as the PUA articles on ROK.

        2. It seemed to me the article says to stop messaging girls online. Gaming them online is something else. Sacrificing sex is dumb though, you’re right.

    3. Not going to read that link, but the info in this article is accurate (creatine, fish iol, multi-vitamin, etc) are all very good supplements. You can trust them to work because they have been around forever. Bullshit supplements usually come and go, but these have stood the test of time. My rule of thumb is: stay away from anything new. If it’s worth a shit, it will have staying power.

    4. Nope, the dude exposed the contradictory article so I call bullshit on this article. Guys, stick to eating food and vegetables. Stop relying on this bogus marketing corporate gimmicks of supplements. You do not need supplements, PERIOD!

      1. Nobody needs supplements, it is true (which is why they are called supplements). However, in some cases you will want that extra edge to enhance your gains and performance.

      2. You’re mostly right – Food is #1
        Try to get 3-5 full meals per day – especially breakfast.
        All meals should contain protein/carbs/fat/vegetables.
        But I do agree with the writer list of supplements.
        Add in 2 whey protein drink between meals – after training and before bed.
        Take the pre-workout supplement 30 min before training
        And take the other supplements- creatine/multivitamin/fish oil – in the morning.
        If you get the diet, supplements and training right, the results can be excellent.

    5. Looks like an evolution in his thinking. There were a lot of comments on the earlier article that may have caused him to rethink his stance.

  4. As far as multi-vitamins go I always stick with the food based vitamins brands such as New Chapter. There are also less costly and cheaper food based vitamins as well sold at these stores. These can be purchased at the more Whole Foods or health food stores.

  5. Solid advice on the whey. Any time I’m on keto or the steak and eggs diet I drop the protein shake from my diet. Gotta tighten up my fish oil game though…

  6. As you get older you should add CoQ10. Your body makes a lot of it when you’re young and slowly diminishes as you age. Taking statin medication for cholesterol accelerates the depletion.
    Fish oil and vitamin D3 are the only additional ones I take. I get all others from fresh vegetables, meats, and nuts.

    1. can you get coQ10 from any food sources? I can only rake so many pills a day lol

      1. You’d probably have to eat an assload of whatever food it’s in. One more pill won’t kill you.

  7. I’m not down on these artificial, synthesized and seemingly natural chemical compounds. I prefer them to come from natural sources, but then, what is natural left in this world?

  8. A really easy ways to make almost certain that you are getting the real stuff is to insist on always buying Pharmaceutical Grade supplements. Why trust Pharmaceutical Grade?
    When a University spends six figures (or more) to conduct a major double blind, placebo controlled study with dozens of human participants they absolutely verify that the compounds, ingredients, drugs or supplements they are using are real. The potential negative repercussions of not doing so to them are huge;
    A study conducted with illegitimate ingredients would produce inaccurate results. Scientists know that once their study is published in a journal, their colleagues at other universities will recreate their experiments to verify their findings. Not to mention these scientists have to spend sometimes as much as $30,000 – $40,000 just on the publishing of their studies.
    Many a feud between scientists and universities has it’s origins in one researcher challenging the conclusions another reached after a study.
    Making a mistake in process or methodology during a study, referred to as having ‘dirty test tubes’, can result in a researcher being fired, a Universities reputation being damaged, or an organization losing their funding from the government.
    These guys are seriously motivated to make certain they are using the real stuff and in their laboratories they have the means to do so. So they spend extra to buy Pharmaceutical Grade and so should you!
    Pharmaceutical Grade manufacturers and distributors aren’t intrinsically more ethical, it’s just that they know their products are going to be tested for legitimacy and purity by their most important customers. Business they stand to lose if they put out anything less than the real thing.

    1. I agree – and thanks to the internet, we now have access to the manufacturers and distributors of the ingredients in supplements.
      Beyond A Century is an excellent distributor of wholesale supplement bases.
      I’m not sure if the are pharma grade or not – I didn’t check.

  9. Best source of vitamin D are sardines. Those with the lowest level of mercury are the skinless and boneless sardines. Optimizing your vitamin D levels can literally cut your risk of several cancers by 50 percent! Blacks and Afro-Americans tend to have even lower levels of vitamin D than others.

    1. I’d take that “do this one thing and your chances of getting certain kinds of cancer is cut in half” stat with a grain of salt. Shit ain’t that simple and Vitamin D ain’t magical, though it is helpful.

  10. How am I not surprised there would be affiliate amazon links to buy these recommended supplements?

  11. Some good information, comments and products here.
    One thing I wanted to add was for new guys starting out a program. You shouldn’t stay on some of these supplements past 90 days. The whole ideas is to use them to get started and cycle on/off.
    The whole idea is to have a routine, set it for 90 days, use some of the supplements and then cycle off. You can cycle back on, later, just don’t stay on it, indefinitely.
    Like everything else, use in moderation (my experience past 15 years). I’m sure other guys will vary…my two cents.

    1. Not one of these supplements needs to be cycled. They’re safe. When you stop taking them, you stop getting the benefits. If you stay on them, you keep getting the benefits. Nothing more.

      1. That’s where we’ll have to disagree. Fish oil, vitamins, whey protein, etc.. is fine. The pre-workout powders I would cycle off and back on or use caution.
        Guys new to this stuff should be cautious. Some of this stuff hasn’t been out long enough and many of the long term effects are unknown. Always read as much as you can on any product being used. It’s being smart (using your head) to avoid any long term issues.

        1. Mate, pre-workouts are a whole nother beast. You should try not to blanket statement the mentioned supplements as needing to be cycled, lest you give the wrong impression.
          I agree with your point on preworkouts though. The shit can be helpful, but it’s filled with a lot of stimulants and whatnot.
          I’ve never taken one (for a number of reasons) and I seem to do just fine, but I’ve heard a lot of stories of people who get dependent on them for a decent workout. I never considered cycling preworkouts, so thanks for sharing that. They definitely have to be used with caution over the long term.

  12. 1.Don’t go crazy on the vitamins.You’ll piss them away, literally. The human body is used to sucking in a small amount of it, so just take it easy.
    2.Never stray from a balanced diet that includes protein and green veg. They are the dog’s bollox and you certainly don’t want to lack energy. Your muscles work according to how much fuel they have and you will never feel the burn when lifting.
    3. This is not food, don’t use it as a replacement for your lunch.
    4. Stay classy San Diego

  13. My personal experience is that Zinc/Magnesium/Calcium/D supplements are like turbo boosters for your brain and body. Increased energy, better sleep (though lay off the D in the evening, it’ll keep you awake), and better weights/sex/cardio stamina. You have to experiment with a few different brands to find the type that works best, but once you find the right combo the effects are incredible.

  14. I started taking fish oil a few years ago because of the reported good benefits. I didn’t notice anything right away, but after a few months of it my dad, who is a dermatologist, asked me what I was doing to keep my skin so clear. I had to think about it for a minute, but the only thing that it could be was fish oil, since I hadn’t changed any other aspect of my life or diet. So it’s worth taking just for that effect alone.

      1. I don’t need to give you a link just Google it.Its been BS for awhile now.I took it for a year zero benefit.ostebioflex does more than fish oil.

    1. There are other forms of omega 3s that are better absorbed but there is no doubt that having a good balance of 3s over 6s is crucial.

  15. Fish oil is tough, because the majority of fish oil contains very little actual omega 3, and is usually filled with fish fat, a different, useless oil. The best way to know if your fish oil is legitimate is to crack it open, dump the oil into a shot glass and put it in the freezer. If the oil freezes, it’s useless. If it remains liquid under sub freezing temperatures, it’s good. Major difference.
    Even further, that test does not show whether the oil is putrid or not. Gotta love the supplement industry.
    If you wanna skip the headache, Nordic Naturals is the best brand I’ve come across as far as quality and noticeable benefits from supplementation. My joints generally clear of all issues within two weeks of use.

  16. Protein powder gives me the shits and everything else is placebo and useless (yes, I´m also talking about creatine). Putting chemicals into your system will never be healthy.

    1. Are you taking them with milk or just water? When I took protein powder with milk, I had the same problem. But after I switched it just mixing it with cold water, I haven’t ran into that trouble again.

    2. Protein powder makes me bloated and you don’t even need that much protein or even these supplements to gain muscle. It’s called eating healthy, whole foods and working out. You won’t get buff instantly until you are in the roids.

    3. Creatine is a natural substance that we normally get in red meat. You’re a dumb ass. You piss out Creatine every day of your life. In fact that’s the main marker that labs use during a piss test to see if you’re trying to dilute the test.

      1. Creatine in meat is a natural substance…creatine in capsules and plastic containers definitely isn´t.
        And you´re right, our body produces creatine all by itself…so why would I poison myself with that chemical shit then?
        You, eh, dumb butthole!?!? (why are we doing this again? I´m 34 so I´m not really used to name calling anymore.)

        1. I don’t know if the human body produces creatine, but I do know that we absorb it in food (red meat) and that, when exercising, the body breaks it down to creatinine and excretes is. Scientists/Doctors can test for creatinine excretion to determine how much exertion and muscle damage was produced by training/competing.

    4. Cheap soy-based or milk protein powder will give people diarrhea, but a high quality whey protein shouldn’t – it’s usually partially broken down anyway.
      Look for a Hydrolyzed Whey protein isolate – don’t buy name-brands at a store, look for wholesalers or on Ebay and save a lot of money.
      Whey protein is just food, if you can afford to eat tons of meat per day then do it that way instead/
      Creatine is a substance found in red-meat – it shuttles glucose into the muscles, that’s why people report getting stronger when training on it.
      It adds about 5-10% to your strength and help your stamina – but, it’s not a do or die supplement, just one that is proven to work in scientific studies.

  17. There are tons of product types that actually work and aren’t covered by this article. Considering the article is entitled, “5 supplements that actually work” and the closing heading is “Dont waste your money on supplements that don’t work” the author leads the viewer to believe that those are the only 5 types that work. It’s just opinionated bullshit that was written so they can make more money on their amazon affiliate account. see the way their links are set up after each product type in the list?
    There are four of those links total, excluding a link for the preworkout section because they link to another page with 4 addition amazon affiliate links….
    Here are a few things I noticed through the first read.
    1. Although each product is not approved by the FDA, (Would take millions/billions plus 5-10 years.) manufacturing companies must follow STRICT guidelines during the formulation and production process. Just because the products are not FDA approved doesn’t mean there isn’t any oversight.
    2. Multivitamins (such as ZMA products) only work if you have a deficiency. He mentions there are doubts whether our bodies can absorb multivitamins. He is clearly unable to distinguish the difference between absorbing vitamin pills the same way as our bodies absorb vitamins from natural sources and not being able to absorb them at all. Big fucking difference.
    3. There are more benefits to protein powder than muscle. Drinking protein shakes throughout the day boosts metabolism and accelerates fat loss. There are also several types of proteins. For example, casein protein is really good for athletes who are bulking and find themselves often waking up in the middle of the night starving.
    4. Once again there are more benefits to preworkout products than energy. This is basic information. This clown doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’ll just point out the obvious example… A cup of coffee isn’t going to give you any “pump” whatsoever. What about endurance and strength? Caffeine has multiple uses but it’s not a miracle drug.
    Caffeine is not a miracle drug and neither are any of the supplements or prescriptions found in the marketplace today. A complete diet, strict lifting plan and genetics are each invaluable. Supplements just provide that extra push to make fitness goals more realistic. Steroids are one of the few exceptions but even with steroids you still have to “feed your workout” with a proper diet (eating above maintenance, ), exercise, and the motivation to achieve a set goal.

    1. Your first point is a little too naive when you consider this industry’s reputation. 2 I agree with. 4 I can see your point. But your third point is nonsense.
      Protein shakes (by which I’m assuming you mean decent powder and not that packaged pre-made garbage) don’t accelerate your metabolism or make your body burn any more fat by comparison. If anything, whey protein is one of the most insulinogenic substances out there. And by the way, there isn’t necessarily even benefits of protein shakes in terms of “muscle” unless you’re doing everything else right.
      (I’m sure you know that, I’m just making a point for people who don’t know better and need clarification on your point.)

  18. Krill oil is better than fish oil. 30x the phospholipids which protect DNA from damage. Or something. Feel great the day after I start taking them, and I use one with extra glucosamine.

  19. Regarding fish oil reducing tissue inflammation – can someone please explain why I would want to do that?
    Is it because the body is “overreacting” with inflammation when I work out? Because my understanding of the mechanics of building muscle is, you want the body to “overreact”

  20. I would say that if you need a pre-workout just to show up at the gym then something is seriously wrong with you. Chances are you are eating something you are intolerant to (in my case this was grains) which is destroying your energy levels. A pre-workout should improve your focus and supplement your energy levels rather be the only way you can crawl out of bed.
    Whey protein powder is a complete con job no matter the quality, IMO. They are overpriced and completely unnecessary.

    1. On pre-workout supplements – my opinion is you can take it or leave it.
      If you find it gives you more focus and energy while training, then go for it.
      But, if you find it just makes you edgy and nervous and keeps you up at night, then leave it alone – you may not need it.
      I’ve got to disagree with you on the Whey protein issue.
      If you can afford to consume 1gram of protein/per 1lb of bodyweight – then there’s no need for whey supplementation.
      But most people can’t afford that much animal flesh and/or don’t have the appetite for it.
      A whey protein drink between meals, twice per day will help one maximize their protein intake. A protein drink consumed right after heavy strength training is particularly effective in speeding recovery.
      Also, if you want high quality Hydrolyzed Whey protein isolate (the best type of whey) and don’t want to break the bank – look for bulk wholesalers like Trueprotein or Protein Factory – or what I do is look on Ebay for bulk 50-80lb sacks directly the manufacturer. The best deal I got was 60lb of Glanbia Thermax hydrolyzed whey protein isolate for $220. This is the base protein ingredient used by all the big name brands and it lasted me for 8 months taking it 3 times/per day.
      Of course, if one doesn’t train at all, the protein won’t do anything.

      1. Interesting the point you make about the affordability of meat given half decent protein supplements are really expensive! I also don’t think you need that much protein. More important, in my opinion is the quality and timing of that protein intake rather than the quantity. Furthermore, you are not going to get good quality protein by buying powder. Humans involved eating meat not drinking protein shakes. If you don’t want to eat meat I really can’t help you.
        Protein isolate is in my opinion, terrible for you. It is an unnatural, chemical laden substance that I would not recommend anyone put in their body. You are storing up problems down the road. Just eat good food.

        1. The supplements are only expensive because the big name companies mark the product up immensely to pay for advertising, packaging, promotions, etc.
          If you buy from a wholesaler or get the raw product for Ebay, the price is dramatically cheaper.
          I agree that diet is #1 – it’s the foundation for health and training gains in strength and stamina.
          And I agree that timing is essential for effectiveness – especially right before and after training when nutrients and calories are especially needed.
          The problem is that meat is inordinately expensive and most people don’t have the appetite to choke down over 1lb of meat per day.
          Granted Protein shakes are a substitution for solid protein sources – but that’s all that these shakes are as well, Food.
          Whey protein is just the separated protein from milk – I’ve tried other protein powder sources and found whey to be the most digestive friendly.
          Hydrolyzed whey Isolate – is just predigested whey that’s been separated from the lactose content.
          If one is worried about chemicals or additives – go with slow filtered cold processed whey, it’s the least chemically treated, but is a bit more expensive
          Or go with whey from the milk of free-range grass-fed cows – also more expensive.
          It’s just food that is a little more user friendly.

        2. Well you also need to independently confirm the protein content of the whey powder you buy. A recent report indicated that many well known powders don’t have close to 80% protein per serving. I know all about the types of processing etc. I have looked into this in detail.
          I would say this, if your body won’t allow you to eat a lb of meat a day (which I do daily no problem) you need to consider what your body is telling you. Either you don’t need that much meat or you have digestive issues. It is very important to be in tune with your body.
          I would also suggest that you are eating meat that is too lean. Fat aids digestion and enhances strength and muscle gains.
          Why do you think meat is “inordinately” expensive? Seems pretty reasonably priced to me and I buy the best straight from the farm.

        3. Forget big name, retail protein powder with all sorts of fancy supplements added in – you’re just paying for their advertising and packaging.
          And you’re right – most of them don’t meet their listed nutritional content.
          I think I wrote this earlier:
          If you can get wholesale bulk protein from a manufacturer, they actually have to test their protein content and list the specs for the purchaser.
          I like Glanbia Thermax 900 – it’s the main ingredient in many name brand protein powders, I got a 20kg sack of it off Ebay for $240 and it lasted me 8 months.
          I also get supplements from wholesalers like Hard Rhino and Smart Powders – it’s just the basic pharmaceutical grade powders in a pouch, no fancy containers. And it’s inexpensive!!
          I never purchase from nutrition stores anymore – it’s a rip-off.

        4. I agree. I still have a can of Whey and it tastes chemically. It’s almost unbearable to drink because it becomes repetitive. After this can is done for I’m not going to buy new whey. Better spend the money on quality eggs or something like that.

  21. The main test for most supplements is if they produce a noticeable difference. For me, Vitamin D3 and B Complex give me more energy, fish oil helps keep asthma symptoms away, Gaia Herbs Prostate Health formula increases my morning wood and my sex drive immensely, Vitamin C keeps me from catching colds and getting sick, and Selenium keeps me from getting cold sore outbreaks. I am 45 and in good health, working on building muscle. My 12 year old son has had his asthma problems disappear by taking fish oil and a sublingual B-12 daily. These have all passed the test as far as I’m concerned. And Dr. Mercola’s website is awesome for getting in-depth info on this type of stuff. Great article, Jefe!

  22. Boron is extremely important concentrates in the testes, the heart and bones and the US has one of the lowest average intakes at 1 mg per day(most developed countries are relatively low). Eliminated my long term shoulder joint pain that prevented me from benching in 3 days. Corrects many hormone and osteoporosis problems in women. Has been found to increase Test in animals and reduce weight drastically in some. They are pretty sure its an essential nutrient but won’t set an RDA because they don’t know the mechanism by which it works. But if you read anything about boron, it is just a very weird element in every which way(from how it was created to its bonding mechanisms).

  23. All of the supplements mentioned are good, effective, and relatively cheap. You can even buy them in larger sizes at Costco.
    Don’t be fooled by dick-hanging contests that want to hype up one brand over another. Sure, quality control may be NEGLIGIBLY better with other brands, but not worth paying a heavy premium for.

  24. My ex was working in a lab analyzing GNC type products & supplements. She told me they were finding that many (most) contained clinically insignificant amounts of the ‘active’ ingredients & that one of the pre-workout powders contained clinically significant amounts of…our old friend amphetamine.

    1. I believe it – GNC is a Rip-Off!!
      If you want the real thing – search online for wholesale supplement distributors or Bulk Supplement vendors.
      Beyond A Century, True Nutrition and Protein Factory are excellent online vendors.

  25. Can of sardines a day gives you protein, fish oils and vitamin D. Juice and/or cook vegetables every day. No need for any supplements.

  26. Excellent article – I agree with all the supplements listed.
    I would tell a someone who was interested in strength training and getting bigger and
    stronger that Food is #1, don’t skip breakfast and get 3-5 meals per day containing protein/carbs/fat/vegetables – then I would tell them to add in 2 whey protein drinks/per day, one whey protein drink right after training and one whey protein drink before bed.
    Then add the creatine, multivitamin, Fish oil in the morning and the pre-workout drink 30 minutes before training.
    If you want to add others like Beta-Alanine, Leucine, Glutamine and BCAA’s, you can but this list pretty much covers all the bases.

  27. If you’re going to utilize pre-workout (which I wouldn’t call essential) be sure you’re making your own as David says because..
    a) you’ll know what you’re getting
    b) you’ll learn what dosages and supplements your body responds best to
    c) you won’t be blowing your money on an over-priced ‘proprietary blend’ full of filler ingredients.
    I’d also throw vitamin D + zinc on the list of essential supplements!
    Good post.

  28. Thanks for sharing these great supplements. I have been taking Fish oil along with Multivitamin and they are showing some changes in my body. Actually, Workout is needed after the diet.

  29. Pro tip: keep your fish oil caps in the freezer. That will keep your burps from becoming vomits.
    I didn’t read the article, no time, so if it says that already, great.

  30. Watch out for Aspartame in protein powder. That shit causes brain damage (literally) and a host of other problems.

  31. Fish oil is also great to avoid hemorroids. I had one helluva an operation 15 years ago. Real bad internal ones, took a year to get over. If I had known about fish oil, would never have been necessary.
    Trick is to make it slide out. Fish oil + the cheap Wal-Mart supporitories, or even Prep-H if you want to pay more fore the same thing.
    Another good supplement is saw palmetto. I pee like a twenty year old when I take it. A little slower if I stop for while.
    I also recommend Q-10 and pure organic beet juice and walking for high blood presssure. I have heard olive leaf tablets with 20 percent oleuropin are good. I take that, and it seems to have helped.
    It also helped that I lost 20 pounds.

      1. You know, I don’t even look. I just have a bottle on my desk and randomly swallow 1-3 tablets a day when I feel like it. Which reminds me, I think I will take some now.

        1. I am surprised myself at results looking at bottles of Whole Foods tablets. Both tablets are about same size. But one tablet says 1162 grams per tablet, the other says 160.
          I have just been popping a couple of tablets per day in my mouth with a glass of water without making a distinction.
          I was surprised at result. The other bottle (Wal-Mart cheap stuff) is on my desk at work. Cannot give info today.
          I DO think it has helped my peeing.

      2. also, concenrning the saw palmetto, I have a big cheap bottle from Wal-Mart. And a high quality type from Whole Foods. I try to vary it, as the Wal-mart stuff could be ineffective, but I cannot resist the price. The Whole Foods stuff seems to be too high, but I want to be sure that AT LEAST SOMETHING is going to work.

  32. Fish oil is good for your heart. You don’t need any of that other shit. Eat clean and lift heavy, three times a week. Simplicity rules.

    1. loll… fish oil? you would have to eat a bowl full. .75 mg per tab and you need 35 grams. you would be burping fish after 40 of these. The rest of these your wearing “depends” diapers. Do your own research- would be my suggestion.

  33. You don’t need pre-workouts. Pre-workouts are overloaded with caffeine and other junk which can cause heart palpitations… Why would you use a stimulant before a workout? Just eat a banana/yogurt as a pre-workout and MAYBE a scoop of BCAA to improve vascularity.

  34. Best aminoacid i test in my pump training is arginine …is the more efficient for pump blood and vasocontrict…I make test in my clients and he see the real work .

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