Do you need supplements? And details on what I actually take!

First and foremost, you do not need any supplements to get results. Taking supplements doesn’t guarantee results. Changes in physique and strength and related to your effort, consistency and the work you put in. If you can’t afford to buy supplements that is totally okay, you can still make amazing progress without them! I get a lot of questions about supplements I use. To be honest, I don’t use a whole lot. I have used the below products for 1-10 years and don’t always use them. The only things I do recommend taking are a multivitamin and omega fish oils daily. Please do your own research on brands you can purchase in your area. If buying supplements is financially a struggle, I would absolutely not recommend it. Instead, focus on buying quality groceries!

Please remember at the end of the day it is extremely important to do your own research and make supplement choices that are right for you! I’ve had lots of supplement recommendations over the last two years and I always do my own research beyond what i’m told. I make sure to look at various sources and ensure i’m getting reliable information that works for me.

1. Protein

Whether you’re trying to shed fat or bulk up, your daily protein intake is important. Your body needs protein for everyday function. If you are weight training, a general recommendation for protein intake is 1 gram per pound of lean body weight. You can get protein from fish, chicken, turkey, beef, wild game meat, eggs, beans, peas, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and protein shakes.

I currently only use Women’s Best protein powders. I do not use these everyday. I only have protein shakes on days when I know I haven’t consumed enough protein via my regular meals. On average I have protein shakes 3-4 days a week.

I use to use Iso Whey most of the time. It mixes really well and I think they taste great. I only ordered chocolate and vanilla. When i have them on their own I drink them with water, not milk. That’s just based on personal preference though. You can use shop here. (I don’t make comission!)

Now a days I’m using the Women’s Best vegan protein. It has a slightly different texture to whey. Definitely grittier and thicker.

I also use the WB “All in one-whey-protein” on occasion. I got the cookies in cream flavor for when I want something sweet. It’s not an every day flavor for me as it is quite sweet in my opinion.

I also have the WB Slim Body shake protein mix however I DO NOT use it as a meal replacement. I personally never replace meals with shakes. I got the Late Macchiato flavor and drink it with water when I need some additional carbs to tie me oven when I don’t have time to have a meal right away.

I have also used Optimum Nutrition whey for years and really enjoy their chocolate flavors (they have a lot).

I don’t like my shakes overly sweet and I need them to taste good only mixed them with water. I used Optimum nutrition for almost 10 years (obviously off and on depending when I was “into” working out. Their chocolate flavors (chocolate, milk chocolate, double chocolate, etc.) all taste amazing and don’t leave you with a sickly sweet taste like a lot of shakes. This brand also includes 24 grams of protein per scoop, 5.5 grams of BCAAs and 4 grams of glutamine and glutamine acid which are all great for recovery. 1 scoop is 130 calories 24p/1f/5c

Optimum Nutrition -USA  (Amazon)

Optimum Nutrition – Canada (I always order from Vitasave because they are trustworthy, well priced and Canadian.)

2. Pre-workout & Amino Energy

I currently use Women’s Best Amino Energy or their Pre workout booster. I like their Tropical punch flavor the best for pre workout. When it comes to Amino Energy I like the peach flavour the best.

I take pre-workout 80% of the time. I don’t drink coffee or even much tea with caffeine. However, I find my workouts are often a lot better with a pick me up like pre-workout because it gives me a boost of energy. Pre-workout is NOT required but can be great to help push you through your training.

Prior to Women’s Best I used Amino Energy. As someone who doesn’t drink coffee and rarely consumes much caffeine I’m really particular about my pre-workout. I’m a huge fan of amino energy because it makes me feel good/wide awake without making me feel jittery, anxious or exhausted when it wears off. I’ve tried most of the flavors and love all of them except grape (it reminds me of cough medicine from when I was little..but my husband loves it!) I really like green apple, blueberry mojito and watermelon. I have been using this stuff for years!

I always like to do my own research before I take any new supplement. No matter who recommends it, it’s important to know what you’re consuming and why!

Optimum Nutrition -USA  (Amazon)

Optimum Nutrition – Canada (I always order from Vitasave because they are trustworthy, well priced and Canadian.)

3. BCAAs

BCAAs are the building blocks of protein. The 3 essential aminos are isoleucine, valine and leucine. They make up 1/3 of muscle protein. This supplement may help speed up recovery, fight fatigue and has the potential to help with muscle growth. You can find BCAAs in foods like chicken, fish, cottage cheese and veggies. So you can also just focus on consuming sufficient protein from whole foods!

Do you need BCAAs? No. Depending on your budget, I think your money is better spent on supplements like protein which can be difficult for a lot of us to consume enough of and pre-workout if you struggle with finding sufficient energy. But like I’ve said, even those aren’t necessary. There is nothing wrong with having a coffee for energy and simply getting protein from what you eat!

If I do choose to have BCAA’s, it’s simply because they taste delicious and make it easier for me to consume enough water which personally helps me feel good and minimize my headaches. In this case, my favourite flavor is Passion Mango! It tastes so so delicious, which like I said makes it easier for me to stay hydrated! I do find their BCAAs quite sweet I generally use 1/2 scoop to 1 scoop per litre of water.

4. Creatine

I haven’t used creatine in a while as I like to give my body a break from supplements from time to time. However, when I do use it I use Con Cret creatine hydrochloride (HCL).  Creatine is a natural substance that turns creatine phosphate into ATP. ATP is what our bodies make to provide us with energy for exercise and muscle contractions. Our bodies naturally produce creatine but we can also get it from some fish and meat. Create helps to improve lean muscle mass, recovery, strength, brain function and give athletes the boost to perform high intensity activities. Some people have mixed feelings about adding creatine to their supplements and I totally respect this. It is ALWAYS important to do your own research and see if something is a good fit for you.

5. L-Glutamine

L-Glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in your muscles. It helps to minimize muscle breakdown and improve protein metabolism (which is especially important during a cut/calorie deficit). I take this after a workout. You can buy capsules or powder (which can mixed into water or a protein shake). Following a workout your glutamine levels have been depleted. This means that taking it post workout can assist your body in muscle cell repair after exercise. It also helps to improve recovery and supports the immune system following periods of physical stress (exercise).

6. Collagen

For more on collagen check out my post here.

Comments 5

  1. I’m curious about the timing of these supplements. Do you drink multiple glasses so you keep everything separate or so you mix the bcaa’s, the aminos, and the creatine?

  2. Post

    Depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine, you should take your preworkout 10-30 minutes before your workout. I normally drink my creatine 30 minutes to an hour before training when I take it and I drink my BCAAs as an intra workout =).

  3. Pingback: 1900 Meal Diary for my Mini Cut | Just Get Fit

  4. Hey Nikki,

    Thanks for the breakdown. I was wondering if you have some advice on the following:
    I don’t feel like I have a lack of energy to work out. It’s after my workouts that I always have a major dip and not as much physically as mentally. Physically I can feel I’ll be sore the next day (yaay!) but that’s it. I’m not shaky or anything.

    Mentally, however, I struggle to regain focus for at least an hour after my workout, which is a bit of a pain since I train and home and do it as a work break.

    I take a whey protein shake with berries after each workout but that’s all I take in terms of supplements.


  5. Post

    Hi Sofie!

    That’s very interesting but I’m sure also very inconvenient! I’ve never heard about someone struggling with the mental aspect following a workout for such a long period of time. It might be worth it to see if is related to a certain type of training. If you were to switch up your workouts do you experience this? It might also be worthwhile to switch up your workout time and seeing if that makes a difference. Good luck!


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