Back in the early 70s and 80s the best way to get your protein was by mixing egg whites as most protein shakes on the market were like drinking wallpaper paste. The advancement of the protein shaker and protein powders has only really started to evolve around the mid-90s and it started with manufacturers trying to ensure the actual protein drinks would not make you heave on the first sip.
The process of protein powder and sport supplement manufacturing was unheard of back then and to find a protein shop selling supplements would require you asking someone in the gym who you considered as (hard-core). My first introduction to protein was in the late 90s when I told a gentleman in an underground shop that I wanted to pack on size, he proceeded to recommend the biggest tub of powder I had ever seen with a psychedelic label that even the most dedicated hippie would have been proud of.
After carrying this tub for what seemed like a decade I had been given the misconception by the protein salesman that the more of this stuff I drunk the more muscle I would pack on. Two weeks of forcing four protein shakes a day down my throat and hammering the gym I was beginning to take on the appearance of a darts champion rather than a bodybuilding champion.
One of the lads in the gym I trained with back then said to me what protein had he recommended so I decided to rip the label off and show them that I had in fact made an Arnold Schwarzenegger like decision and bought only the best. It turned out that the protein salesman sold me a shake that contained 2500 calories with a mini shovel inside that looked as though it should be used for digging shallow graves rather than scoop protein powder into the glass.
I was not rich enough to have a blender in my kitchen and mixing the drink was like a workout in itself. Looking back it was quite funny but over the years the advancement in protein powders is incredible. You have more flavours on offer than a McDonalds milk shake menu and the powders need little to no mixing, shaking or blending whatsoever.
Out with the vast flavour selection most protein powders now come with recovery supplements inside them such as BCAA and L-Glutamine and the manufacturing process has advanced to the level of applying agglomerated procedures which is the drying of the powder using multi stage processing. The result of this process means your protein powder will be lighter, finer and free of moisture resulting in your shake dissolving almost instantly upon contact with fluid.
Not all protein powders will have this expensive process applied to their range of protein supplements as not all manufacturers have the machines capable of carrying out the drying procedure. If your supplement company does not use the agglomeration process this does not mean there protein powder itself is any lesser of a quality, it just means that those powders that do not apply the process at manufacturing level might not mix as well inside your sports shaker.
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I’ve been using supplements continuously for a good 5-6 years now. It all started when I was 16 years old and walked into a local vitamin Store in my local gym to browse around. I had seen some of the older guys at my gym drinking supplements out of shaker cups during their workouts and had heard some tall tales about the wonders of creatine around my local Gym.
I was looking to get into power lifting back then and was looking to benefit my own athletic prowess by taking some supplements myself. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was looking for when a salesman approached me. He sold me on a tub of N.O.-Xplode. I was drawn in by its cool red tub with it’s “then shiny silver labels and yellow lettering”. One of my mistakes back then was to be drawn in by the labels and claims on the tub. I have to say that may have been one of the reasons I bought that tub of N.O.-Xplode from that salesman.
I took the product as directed. 2 scoops with 16 oz. of water before my workout. Within 5 minutes I was feeling a rush of energy like I never had before and had an intense workout that day. It seemed like I was lifting forever and I was shaking when I got home. My mother had pointed this out to me and was wondering what was wrong, however I was hooked. From that day on I was a believer in the supplement industry thatnks to BSN.
Fast forward to the present and I now have a beacon of knowledge about what supplements I like, dislike, and just can’t go without. In this article you will find the “cliff”-notes on my favorite supplements. I hope you Enjoy!
The Staples of Supplement Life
There are just somethings you cannot go without as an avid weight lifter and supplements aficionado. I’m of course talking about PROTEIN! What kind of protein I like taking depends on my goals. I may be bulking and like a protein with an ample amount of carbohydrates and calories. I also might be looking to take a slower digesting casein protein before bed as opposed to a quick digesting whey protein after my workout. If I am cutting out the fat I may be looking for a lower calorie carbohydrate-reduced protein.
My favorite year-round protein has to be the Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey. With a majority of the whey coming in the form of Whey Protein Isolate (W.P.I.) and around 70+ servings per container. I love taking this protein after my workouts. The W.P.I. is the fastest digesting protein and gives my body the nutrition I need to repair muscle during the “Anabolic Window” one has within 0-120 minutes after one’s workout. The importance of getting protein into your system quickly after a workout is crucial. This is because almost all of the protein you take in during this period goes to the muscle (which has been recently damaged due to weight bearing exercise) instead of other bodily organs like the stomach, liver, skin, etc.
All organs need protein but taking a good whey protein after your workout will assure that you get enough protein into your muscle to start the anabolic process. My favorite flavor of O.N. is the double rich chocolate. It mixes great with water in my Core 150 blender shaker bottle, another useful tool is th eblender ball shaker with a wisk in it to blend the protein completely. You’ll never find me after a workout without my shaker bottle containing my Gold Standard Whey.
Other useful proteins that I use at different times of the day.
When I wake up I like to have a shake before I go to work at Core 150 HQ or work out at my gym. If I am bulking (the process of putting on weight and muscle), I will take B.S.N. True Mass. This is my favorite mass gainer and I use it as a meal replacement also. True Mass comes with 18 servings per container and has a good amount of protein (46 grams) and 75 grams of carbs to fuel the bulking process. The reason carbohydrates are essential to a good bulk is because when the body lacks carbs it breaks down the muscle itself to make energy for the body. When carbs are around you’ll ensure you’re always in a muscle building state. And at 626 calories per shake, True Mass will make sure you hit your daily macronutrient requirements for a good bulk. My favorite flavor by far is the Cookies N’ Creme, it is like drinking an Oreo milkshake for breakfast.
When I am cutting I enjoy drinking Gaspari Myofusion for breakfast along with a banana. The Myofusion is not only delicious and possibly the best blending protein I’ve ever used, but it contains just six grams of carbs per serving. You also get 25 grams of protein per 157.5 calorie serving and when you’re cutting the calories out (the process of losing fat weight, while preserving muscle and bringing out definition) this is a very valuable supplement. Like True Mass, this is a blend of a few types of proteins, and is suitable as a meal replacement because of it’s moderate rate of digestion (it is digested over a period of hours because of the many kinds of protein it contains). My favorite flavor is the Double Chocolate.
When night time comes around I go for a casein protein. Casein protein can take up to 8 hours to digest completely and will give a continuous supply of protein to the body while sleeping. Taking a whey protein may only cover your body for 1-2 hours while sleeping. Many fear that if the body is not fed protein continuously overnight the body can fall into a catabolic (muscle depleting) state.
In long periods where the body is lacking protein, the catabolic state is a very real threat. So taking a casein before bed is simply a good precautionary measure for preserving your gains. My favorite casein is B.S.N. Lean Dessert. While it is not 100% casein it contains a high percentage of caseins and other different proteins which will ensure that you are covered while you sleep. The best part is it tastes amazing. Try out the Fresh Cinnamon Roll flavor! It is my favorite. At 20 g per scoop, I like to take one scoop with milk before bedtime.
Accessory Supplements – Complimentary supplements
There’s a variety of supplements I like to take on and off throughout the year. Protein is the only supplement I will constantly have stocked in my cupboard much to my beautiful wifes annoyance. There are; however, supplements I will use when I have the money to buy them. The following supplements are ranked (in order) of what I’d buy if I had the money to use them at any given time:
1. Puple Wrath (by Controlled Labs): I love this BCAA product for intra-workout supplementation I take two scoops and mix it fro the centre compartment of my Core 150 Shaker cup before my workout (pre-workout). Sometimes I will mix it the night before and let it chill in my refrigerator. The way you use Purple Wrath is by sipping on it throughout your workout also. The main function of the supplement is to give you better endurance throughout your workout. Protein is made up of BCAA’s so you can essentially count the 14 grams you get in 2 scoop servings as 14 grams of protein throughout your workout.
The beta alanine boosts carnosine levels and may make your skin tingle while you workout. The tingling sensation gives me kind of a wake up call and I have had some intense workouts as a result. This product is also great to sip on during cardio because it can really help you get every extra minute you can out of your cardio workout. Grape tastes alright, but I’d recommend going with the Electric Lemonade flavor. I carry this product in my gym bag for around 80-85% of the year. It’s rare for me to not be using Purple Wrath at any given workout!
2. Green Magnitude (by Controlled Labs): Green Magnitude is a blend of Magnesium Creatine Chelate and DiCreatine Malate. I like the effects of creatine as far as an energy booster and I also see some pain relieving properties from is when I use it after my workouts and have some pretty bad on-set muscle soreness. I am unsure of the creatine’s power as a muscle builder, but I am sure that I feel more full muscle bellies without the bloat under consumption of this creatine. I take 2 scoops which gives me 10 grams of creatine post-workout which leaves me full and feeling good for the rest of the night. I would also like to recommend the Electric Lemonade flavor. The Sour Green Apple flavor can get a little old after using half of the tub. I’d say I probably carry this product 50-60% of the year.
3. Gaspari Super Pump 250 is a very basic formula pre-workout supplement with a solid energy punch. I take 2-3 scoops before my workouts occasionally when I feel I need a little more energy to have a productive lift. At under £29.50 at most retailers it is a good buy at 45 servings a tub. The best part of this product is it contains zero fillers such as maltodextrin, magnesium, etc. Jack3d is a simple product that produces results! I like the Lemon Lime flavor too! It’s kind of tart and I like that.
To sum it all up I make sure I always have my proteins first. Remember, different kinds of proteins digest at different rates of time and that’s key when trying to figure out when you need them. I always have a protein to take in the morning, post-workout, and at bedtime. Besides that, I love having my NO XPLODE and Purple Wrath to push me through my workouts. I can see the benefits of using a creatine and will use the Green Magnitude whenever I have it and lastly I usually have a tub of pre-workout Gaspari Super Pump 250 lying around for a day where I feel sluggish (and don’t we all have those days!). Supplementation is just that, a supplement to your already (hopefully) solid diet. I’ll admit supplements help me accomplish both my dietary and fitness goals alike. I hope that by sharing with you a little of my knowledge that I’ve acquired over the years has helped you. If you have any further questions just email us at email@example.com
I could not do without my Core 150 shaker cup protein shaker and supplements which ensures I have my nutritional intake when I need it.