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Dietary Supplements

When you start a workout plan, it's important to supplement your diet with the proper nutrition to make sure your body is getting what it's demanding so that it's working optimally.  This past weekend I was able to attend a conference sponsored by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and listen to the leading authorities on topics like this as well as hypertrophy (Dr. Brad Schoenfeld) and the science of gluteus maximus training by "The Glute Guy" Bret Contreras, PhD.  The biggest questions are: "which supplements should I take?" and "are these supplements legit or am I just wasting my money?"  To help answer these questions, Chris Lockwood, PhD, CSCS presented the do's and dont's of dietary supplements.

(Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist, I am merely passing on the knowledge and insight I learned from Dr. Chris Lockwood who has spent years being involved in the dietary supplement business and doing his own invasive research on what supplements work and which ones do not.)

MYTH: "Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA."

If wondering whether or not a supplement you're interested in taking is substantiated and supported by lab-based evidence and that it does what is SAYS it does, all you have to do is call the customer service number listed on the product and ask for the information on their "section 6" (if there isn't a customer service number listed on the product, it's obviously better to just avoid that product altogether).  This is the lab-based result that shows that their product has substantiated evidence that the product does what the company promises.  If they can't provide any information on this or if they don't know what you're talking about, it's best to not use that product.  Here's a link to the FDA guideline on Section 6.

When continuing on with your investigation into the product you're researching, a good thing to do is to visit the FDA's website and see whether said product has been reported as having an adverse effect.  The FDA provides this website as a way for people to freely report adverse effects they've had when using a medication/food/supplement.  It will allow you to see what has been reported so you can make a more educated decision when it comes to supplementation.

For those of you who have visited stores like GNC, Hi-Health, etc. and feel like you're lost and have succumbed to the "spiff" of the week, please understand that these businesses employ some really great people, but at the same time employ some really horrible business practices.  I have saved HUNDREDS of dollars by using All Star Health to get all of my supplements.  They have fantastic prices and a flat shipping rate.

Finally, according to Dr. Lockwood*, there are 5 basics to start with when supplementing:

1. Multivitamin

2. Vitamin D >1000 IUs/25kg

3. Omega-3 >1.5-3.0g/day

4. Polyphenol >1000mg/day

5. WHEY protein (preferably hydrolyzed)

*These will provide the foundations for a homeostatic environment within your body as well as a great basis for building muscle and proper vitamins and enzymes your body will need to do so.

I hope you enjoyed the read and were a little enlightened.  Please take what you've learned and pass it on to others.  Also, if you want to know what I personally use when it comes to the '5 basics', comment below and I will answer your questions.

Be hard to kill out there!

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