My LDNM Supplement stack, revisited….
Well over three years ago now I did a piece with the LDNM chaps in regards to my supplement stack. Three years is a long time in the fitness industry, things change, thought processes change, opinions change, understanding and views on science change too. And for me, that’s no different. I may not be knee deep involved in the fitness industry, but, I of course do take an active interest in any updates I see. Also, other things change in three years, such as how and when I train, jobs and other aspects of my life. And now, I have probably switched the way I think about supplements and the gym/supplement industry. So, I thought, why not give you lovely lot an update of what, how and why I take the supplements I do. Hopefully, helping you when it comes to making decisions on what you feel would work for you dependant on your goals…
(There are of course more important considerations to training BEFORE you even really need to consider optimising your supplement stack. The obvious keys are: hydration, nutrition/energy balance, micro and macro nutrients etc, THEN we can start to look properly into supplementation dependant on goals. There are a hell of a lot of people that over-rely on supplements, I think most newbies to the industry/training have been guilty of it, myself and I’m sure other members of Team LDNM included.)
Richie Brew’s Current Supplement List:
Whey Protein – is there anyone these days that doesn’t use whey within their supplement stack? Whey, still for me is a great “whey” to help you get more protein within your diet if you struggle to get the time or have the appetite to eat all of your protein requirements from whole food. Is whey necessary? Of course not – the key word for this article is “supplement” and that’s what they should be used for, supplementing your food intake as and when required.
How & when: post workout (after morning training) & in the evening mixed with zero fat Greek yoghurt (“flexbowl” style)
Creatine Monohydrate – Creatine monohydrate is probably the most study-backed supplement in the industry to help with energy, muscle building, strength & recovery. I’m of the school of not cycling it, and actually take it year round, whether cutting or bulking while following the LDNM Cutting Guide or Bulking Bible
How & when: post workout with my morning shake (5-10gs)
BCAAs – without a doubt, the most controversial supplement I’ll list here. There seems to be many schools of thought on this one, which I’ll let you all argue amongst yourself with. In a simplified way, BCAAs are meant to help with gaining AND maintaining muscle mass. However, this isn’t necessarily a must have supplement as you will be able to (usually) get enough BCAAs & EAAs within your daily diet. However, I see BCAAs as an insurance policy. If you’ve read my article “Diary of a City Boy” you’ll know I hit the gym at around 5:30am, I don’t eat before I go, I just make sure I hydrate and take a pre-workout drink. I do this, as there are some studies available that state they MAY help with catabolism of muscle & training on a (I know not technically) empty stomach, I hope BCAAs help give me some substance in the early a.m. so I don’t lose my GAINS! The ones I take also taste very nice & act as flavouring to my water.
How & when: 10g in my preworkout drink & 15g (ish) intra training – in about 1 ½ litres of water, total (pre & intra).
Pre-workout – So many on the market to choose from. So I usually mix this up to be honest. The pre-workout supplement can do many things – help with energy for your training session, give some added focus, pump & help with hydration before you hit the gym. I’ll keep this pretty simple to be honest and am not that fussed on what I take as long as it has a decent blend of caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine monohydrate & BCAAs, I think you’re good to go.
How & when: Pretty self-explanatory here – before the gym and as advised on the tub/packet! I take mine as soon as I get up with a little more water than usually recommended, so it just about kicks in when I get to the gym about 20 minutes later.
Protein Bars – Love them or hate them… & I LOVE them. For a few reasons. One, satiety – they help keep me full up and if you get ones that taste good, and have reasonable macro splits I think you’re on to a winner. And two, if you struggle to hit your calorie targets, and need something to dunk into your coffee, these really help. So many on the market to choose from too, ones if you’re cutting (lower cal), flapjacks, cookies, mass gainers/meal replacements…the lot! Have a shop around, see what you fancy and if they work well to include in your macro split.
How and when: usually as a snack during the day & if I don’t have time for a meal. I max out on two a day
I take vitamin D, a multi vit & fish oil daily, for various, not necessarily-actual gym/training related health benefits (there is more information on these within my older article). I also use milled oats as a convenient carbohydrate source.
That’s pretty much it! I think one of the things you can easily do is overcomplicate your supplement stack, it can get confusing at times and the market itself is there to sell you the dream of taking these things and instantly being as ripped and/or as huge as the guys (and girls) on the tubs. Let’s face it, those people are either genetic freaks or are doing something that IMHO doesn’t & shouldn’t be part of or promoted within the “health & fitness” industry (I’ll leave that there). But the last thing I will say is those supplements that do promise the earth, often never deliver and are just a way of getting to your hard earned cash. My advice, as always, have an achievable (although stretching) fitness goal in mind, and work your supplement stack based around that and your lifestyle & make sure you fully research the product before you take the plunge.
One of the many great things about being part of the LDNM movement is we’re here to help and advise you along your journey, so use us – and, another superb touch is that all of the LDNM Guides help you further with supplement research and provide great deals and discounts. To find out more, click here…