Supplements, Part 2 of Training According to Scientists and Bros

Nutrition:  Eat a good amount of protein, but eating more than a g/lb of bodyweight is probably worthless and there is some evidence it may even be toxic.  I think the normal prescription for MOAR protein goes back to the ancient belief that eating an animal’s body part would endow you with some of its characterstics.  Similarly, protein is mostly associated with eating animal muscle, so protein=build muscle.  Except there is no evidence for that.

All other nutrition advice is on shaky ground and I would be sceptical of any new study on a supposed super food.

Post Workout:  Whole milk and whey protein after a workout have both been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis.  20g of protein appears to be a threshhold for this effect, but it seems to increase all the way up to 40g.

Supplements proven to work:
Creatine-The billion dollar exercise supplement market basically has no value added compared to a simple creatine powder. Helps recovery, strength and muscle gains.  Most seem to recommend a few g/day, though some evidence that this merely supplants some of your body’s own creatine manufacturing.

Baking Soda-Yes, baking soda.  The same stuff you keep in your fridge or put down the sink.  Shown to have significant effects on endurance, so either cardio and or many set/rep schemes.  It also reduces acidosis which is implicated in reducing fat loss and muscle gain.  Most people are a bit more acidic than alkaline because of out modern diet, so a bit of baking soda can balance your pH  Dosages are recommended at somewhere around a tsp a day.

Melatonin – Helps you sleep, with all the benefits that entails and seems to help with fat loss as a bonus.  Really, sleep is so important that you should do everything you can to get more and better sleep.

Supplements of conflicting value:
Fish Oil-Kind of hyped up.  Some evidence that EPA helps retain muscle and that DHA is the important one.  Others show that you need an actual fish to get the health benefits.  I would err on the side of caution and take much smaller doses than most people recommend.

Beta Alanine – Research is mixed, but it has promise.

DHEA – Essentially a precursor to testoerone.  Results are mixed, but does seem to hinder fat gain.

Multi Vitamin – No indication that multis are beneficial, but all the individual components are needed for a healthy body.  Somewhat of a weird paradox.  I mostly take it to cover my bases and for the Zinc and Magnesium.


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