Top 5 Supplements

By: Brian St. Pierre, CSCS, CISSN

Writing a Top 5 article on supplements was one of the easiest articles I have written for the FitCast. I am not a big fan of loads of supplementation as I am of the mind that supplements should be used to enhance, not to replace, a strong balanced diet. Having said that, I still believe that supplements can be very helpful in rounding out a top-notch diet, when used properly. Without further ado, here are my top 5:

1. Protein Powder – I suggest a whey/casein blend. Research clearly shows a blend far surpasses either individually for muscle growth and fat loss. Can be taken anytime, including post training (where it is more effective than just whey). Examples – Black Star Labs Ultra Peptide, Biotest Metabolic Drive, At Large Nutrition Nitrean.

bslprotein

2. Fish Oil – I hardly even consider this a supplement, this should almost universally be in everyone’s diet. Fish oil has benefits too numerous to list here, though its cardiovascular benefits are worth the cost alone. The higher the grade the better. If you want to read more, click HERE. Examples – Biotest Flameout, Nordic Naturals ProOmega, Carlson’s Finest Fish Oil.

flameoutbottle

3. Greens Product – A great supplement to help us all consume more fruits and veggies. Fruits and veggies today contain fewer nutrients than in years past, so we actually have to consume more to achieve the same results, and products like this can help us overcome that. Examples – Greens+, Biotest Superfood, Green Vibrance.

greens

4. Vitamin D – This is the hot vitamin of the moment as everyone seems to be realizing that nearly all of us are greatly deficient in vitamin D. This is a very cheap supplement that helps provide us with improved bone strength/bone mass, increases in lean muscle gain, improved cardiovascular health, improved blood pressure, improved sense of well-being and improved immune function.

vitamin_d3

5. Creatine – This is clearly the most studied supplement in the history of supplements. Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, or anybody in between looking for muscular growth or fat loss, creatine can help you reach your goals cheaply, safely and effectively. Get a high quality micronized or Creapure® creatine monohydrate. You don’t need anything fancy.

creatine-bottle

In the end, use supplements judiciously and wisely. They are not going to make or break your progress, so buy only the ones you like, can afford, and have proven positive benefits.

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13 Responses

  1. Kev:

    Your link in Fish Oil doesn’t work. However, nice little piece you have here…short and straight to the point.

  2. Fred says:

    Taking a gander at Cressey’s Fish Oil article; it has a hell of a lot of references in comparison to normally articles you see pimping a product. I flatly disagree with the “greens” supplement genre. If you can spend $39 (Biotest Superfood, $1.48 per serving) on a greens powder why not just spend it on regular fresh fruit and veg? To those who would analogise it to the convenience of protein shake, vegetables and, more so fruit, are embarrassingly easy to carry around, in fact eating vegetables raw means you are getting more the nutrients than if you were to boil them, steaming notwithstanding.

    Anyway in other news I don’t have winging scapulars…

  3. Fred,

    It is all a convince thing, just like any supplement, we are “supplementing” where one’s nutrition is lacking. This is just the next best thing from getting vegetables at every meal.

  4. Fred,

    As for the greens supplement, like Kevin said it is for convenience, and it is especially helpful for clients who are on the road a lot. High level athletes and business clients who travel constantly don’t always find it easy to eat as many fruits and veggies as they would like. Superfood and products like it allow people like this the ability to do the best they can under the circumstances. Is it ideal? Of course not, but is it better than the alternative? Absolutely.

    It is also a great way for people who just flat out do not like to eat a lot of veggies (like my mom). You can push them all you want to just do it, but at least this gets them headed in the right direction.

  5. Fred says:

    Fair enough. I would consider a multi vit as a better replacement as it is not such, a comparatively, large outlay as a Greens supplement. Although some might define a multi vit as a staple. I just not comfortable with people who buy a Greens supplement and say “Hey, if I have five servings of this a day I am covered”. The humble apple, to quote Daniel John in From the Ground Up, “You
    can’t beat the apple for convenience and nutrition. You don’t have to open, peel, or prepare…shine and eat!”. Of course you can’t eat five apples a day and call it a balanced diet but off the top of my head broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber are all items which eaten raw taste quite nice and are sturdy in transit.

  6. steve says:

    “broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber are all items which eaten raw taste quite nice and are sturdy in transit.”

    And they keep you full… which greens+ cant claim

  7. Kujo says:

    I agree with all 5. ZMA would be my 6th, if this were a top six list. 🙂

    I eat a ton of veggies everyday, but I still take Greens+ (Genuine Health brand in Canada). I’ve honestly starting feeling even better after I started taking Greens+. I have a serving first thing in the morning before breakfast, and a half a serving with my bedtime snack.

  8. Chris - ZTF says:

    This is a great list for those trying to be healthy and do well in the gym. If I were to change anything it would only be to drop the creatine in favor of a multi-vitamin or ZMA this would be for overall health though as I feel Zinc is a very important mineral that we should all supplement with at least a few times a week…… Otherwise great article and superb list, Vitamin D is amazing for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live in a sunny climate!

  9. Tyson says:

    Great list. I am currently taking all 5 except for the Vitamin D. Guess I need to add that to my list.

    Just subscribed to you podcast and am enjoying your posts. Thanks!

  10. Mike says:

    got any idea of Canadian outlets/web sellers or other cheap sources for the above suggested suppliments?

  11. Mike says:

    alright no suggestions for Canadian outlets, how about suggestions for online sellers period?

  1. February 20, 2009

    […] As a final note for this week, my first article ever was published on thefitcast.com. It was nothing fancy, just a simple supplement discussion, but it’s up nonetheless! To check it out, click HERE. […]