All About Supplements!

Many of you are interested in the products I use or supplements I take so here is another “A Day In The Life” post focused on just that! 🙂

Supplements are the subject of many debates. Should I take them? Should I not take them? Do they even work? What kinds of supplements do I need?

The amount of supplements available to the fitness-minded person can be overwhelming. I use select supplements for the very simple reason that they either a. make my life easier or b. have a proven and well-known use that helps me meet my goals.

BodyTech Pro 24 Whey ProteinWhen you are really focused on building muscle (which helps you lose overall body fat and give you that “toned” look that most women desire) there are a few products that really help.

Protein Powder.

Protein powders are a very common supplement but many women either a. don’t know how to use protein powder or b. fear protein powder.

Let’s address the fears first.

Fear: “Won’t protein powder make me bulky!?”

I’m not going to spend much time on this. It won’t. Will eating meat make you bulky? Will eating edamame make you bulky? Absolutely not. Protein powder is simply protein in a simple form. Women do not just bulk up by accident. You have to WANT to bulk up. Those physique competitors you see with rippling muscle? That took years and years of heavy lifting 7 days per week and a very regimented diet.

Fears aside, there are some really great reasons to incorporate a quality protein powder into your lifestyle.

  • Builds Muscle: When you live an active lifestyle and you lift heavy you need 1g/1lb protein daily to build muscle. This is above the RDA for a normal, sedentary person. Many women find themselves struggling to get the amount recommended so using a protein powder can help you meet that goal.
  • Whey ProteinCheap: Protein powder generally run $20-$40 dollars per tub. Compared to the price of meat or other protein sources, gram for gram its a great deal!
  • Convenient: When you are on the run or forgot a high-protein snack post workout, it’s exceptionally easy to throw a scoop of protein powder into a blender bottle with water or milk.

My current obsession is BodyTech Pro 24 Whey Protein in Cookies & Cream and Strawberries & Cream. The reason I opt for Pro 24 is because it has 24g of protein per serving as opposed to BodyTech original which is 17g per serving.

When purchasing, make a decision based on your protein needs and what makes sense for you.

Creatine.

Creatine increases the body’s ability to produce energy more rapidly. The idea is, with more energy, you can train harder and more often, which would produce faster results. Research shows that creatine is most effective in high-intensity training (HIIT) and explosive activities. Many women fear creatine because it is associated with weight gain.

Here’s the scoop: creatine works by pulling water into your muscle cells, which increases protein synthesis. If you take advantage of this process (i.e.; if you do said HIIT or explosive activities) after taking creatine, you will reap the benefits. If you don’t take advantage (skip your workout, don’t workout as hard as you planned) you will hold extra “water weight.”

I opt for different kinds of creatine to supplement my lifting. Cellucor C4 (Icy Blue Razz or Watermelon) and unflavored BodyTech 100% Pure Creatine Monohydrate. I get unflavored for two reasons…

  1. Sometimes I don’t feel like drinking flavored powder during my workouts (I really just want water) and/or…
  2. Unflavored creatine allows me to mix it into my flavored creatine-free pre-workout powders if I want a different flavor.

Aminos.

Amino acids are simply the building blocks of protein. Unlike whole food-based proteins (think meat and beans), aminos can be absorbed into muscle tissue within a matter of minutes. Drinking aminos forces you body into an instant catabolic (muscle breakdown) halt, increases proteins synthesis (remember: muscle growth), and forces your body to get energy from other sources (as opposed to breaking down muscle for fuel.)

You can drink aminos any time during the day! The flavored powders make tasty flavored water for people who struggle to drink enough plain water throughout the day. Aminos are best during and after a workout.

My favorites include Cellcor Alpha Amino’s in watermelon and NLA for Her, Her Aminos in pink lemonade.

That’s about it for supplements for me.

Other products I really love to use include…

Quest Bars.My Favorite Products

  • Easy protein source
  • Low carb
  • Short, simple ingredient list
  • They taste AMAZING

Buff Bake.

  • High Quality Peanut Butter
  • Enhanced with whey protein, chia, and flax-seed
  • 11g of protein per serving!

Ostrim Sticks.

  • Low fat, high protein meat stick (13g of protein, 1.5g of fat)
  • Made with lean beef and ostrich meat
  • Low sodium
  • Convenient and non-perishable

Where To Shop.

My favorite supplement store is The Vitamin Shoppe because they carry all the brands I love in one place. (No, I was not paid to say that. I truly love my Boulder Vitamin Shoppe.)

I find that, as a female, I tend to get “bombarded” when shopping for supplements. Know-it-all sales dudes like to come over and direct me towards supplements they feel are best. No thanks, bro!

This is exactly why I go to The Vitamin Shoppe. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable but not overbearing. They are available for questions but also leave me alone to ponder the wall of pre-workout on my own.

If you’re looking for all your favorite brands (and an exceptional amount of flavor options) all in one place, The Vitamin Shop.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe.

Many of you guys are interested in the products I use or supplements I take so here is another “A Day In The Life” post focused on just that! 🙂

Supplements are the subject of many debates. Should I take them? Should I not take them? Do they even work? What kinds of supplements do I need?

The amount of supplements available to the fitness-minded person can be overwhelming. I use select supplements for the very simple reason that they either a. make my life easier or b. have a proven and well-known use that helps me meet my goals.

When you are really focused on building muscle (which helps you lose overall body fat and give you that “toned” look that most women desire) there are a few products that really help.

Protein Powder.

Protein powders are a very common supplement but many women either a. don’t know how to use protein powder or b. fear protein powder. There are some really great reasons to incorporate a quality protein powder into your lifestyle.

  • Builds Muscle: When you live an active lifestyle and you lift heavy you need 1g/1lb protein daily to build muscle. This is above the RDA for a normal, sedentary person. Many women find themselves struggling to get the amount recommended so using a protein powder can help you meet that goal.
  • Cheap: Protein powder generally run $20-$40 dollars per tub. Compared to the price of meat or other protein sources, gram for gram it’s a great deal!
  • Convenient: When you are on the run or forgot a high-protein snack post workout, it’s exceptionally easy to throw a scoop of protein powder into a blender bottle with water or milk.

My current obsession is BodyTech Pro 24 Whey Protein in Cookies & Cream and Strawberries & Cream. The reason I opt for Pro 24 is because it has 24g of protein per serving as opposed to BodyTech original which is 17g per serving.

When purchasing, make a decision based on your protein needs and what makes sense for you.

Creatine.

Creatine increases the body’s ability to produce energy more rapidly. The idea is, with more energy, you can train harder and more often, which would produce faster results. Research shows that creatine is most effective in high-intensity training (HIIT) and explosive activities. Many women fear creatine because it is associated with weight gain.

Here’s the scoop: creatine works by pulling water into your muscle cells, which increases protein synthesis. If you take advantage of this process (i.e.; if you do said HIIT or explosive activities) after taking creatine, you will reap the benefits. If you don’t take advantage (skip your workout, don’t workout as hard as you planned) you will hold a little extra “water weight.”

I opt for different kinds of creatine to supplement my lifting. Cellucor C4 (Icy Blue Razz or Watermelon) and unflavored BodyTech 100% Pure Creatine Monohydrate. I get unflavored for two reasons…

  1. Sometimes I don’t feel like drinking flavored powder during my workouts. I really just want water.
  2. This allows me to mix it into my flavored creatine-free pre-workout powders if I want a different flavor.

Aminos.

Amino acids are simply the building blocks of protein. Unlink whole food-based proteins (think meat and beans), aminos can be absorbed into muscle tissue within a matter of minutes. Drinking aminos forces you body into an instant catabolic (muscle breakdown) halt, increases proteins synthesis (remember: muscle growth), and forces your body to get energy from other sources (as opposed to breaking down muscle for fuel.)

You can drink aminos any time during the day! The flavored powders make tasty flavored water for people who struggle to drink enough plain water throughout the day. Aminos are best during and after a workout.

My favorites include Cellcor Alpha Amino’s in watermelon and NLA for Her, Her Aminos in pink lemonade.

That’s about it for “supplements” for me.

Other products I really love to use include…

Quest Bars.

  • Easy protein source
  • Low carb
  • Short, simple ingredient list
  • They taste AMAZING

Buff Bake.

  • High Quality Peanut Butter
  • Enhanced with whey protein, chia, and flax seed
  • 11g of protein per serving!

Ostrim Sticks.

  • Low fat, high protein meat stick (13g of protein, 1.5g of fat)
  • Made with lean beef and ostrich meat
  • Low sodium
  • Convenient and non-perishable

Where To Shop.

I, Personally, shop at The Vitamin Shoppe because they carry all the brands I love in one place. (No, I was not paid to say that. I truly love my Boulder Vitamin Shoppe.)

I find that, as a female, I tend to get “bombarded” when shopping for supplements. Know-it-all sales dudes like to come over and direct me towards supplements they feel are best. No thanks, bro!

This is exactly why I go to The Vitamin Shoppe. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable but not overbearing. They are available for questions but also leave me alone to ponder the wall of pre-workout on my own.

If you’re looking for all your favorite brands (and an exceptional amount of flavor options) all in one place, The Vitamin Shoppe should be at the top of your list.

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Vitamin Shoppe.

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7 Comments on A Day In The Life: All About Supplements!

  1. Christina
    April 21, 2015 at 12:46 pm (2 years ago)

    this post came at the right time! trying to see if taking supplements is something i will benefit from but not exactly sure when or why to take them… Thanks for clearing a lot things up!

    Reply
  2. Anna
    April 23, 2015 at 11:55 am (2 years ago)

    I completely agree with everything you said! I have personally been having a hard time finding a protein powder for myself. I am allergic to milk, so I have to avoid whey, casein and soy so that I do not have a reaction. I was wondering what plant based protein that you recommend that you have seen work for other people. Thanks for your blog; it has helped me remember the physiological component of weight lifting being from a kinesiology background

    Reply
    • Balanced Brunette
      April 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm (2 years ago)

      Anna,

      Are you allergic to milk or do you just simply have a lactose/milk protein intolerance? Milk allergies tend to be severe and are usually found in infants and young children. Reactions are wheezing, hives, and vomiting. (Reference: mayoclinic.com)

      There are many high-quality whey-based proteins thats are lactose-free. I would start there. If you have a true milk allergy, soy should be just fine as soy is plant-based. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Christina
    April 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm (2 years ago)

    are aminos ok to take on the days you aren’t working out? i got a sample of PES aminos i really love the flavor!

    Reply
    • Balanced Brunette
      April 26, 2015 at 8:15 pm (2 years ago)

      Aminos are great to take any day/any time of day, regardless of if you are working out. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Johanna
    May 12, 2015 at 9:19 am (2 years ago)

    i have had the problem of protein shake powders making me break out, can you recommend any that don’t do that?

    Reply
    • Balanced Brunette
      May 20, 2015 at 4:40 pm (2 years ago)

      Johanna,

      I did a bit of research and I can not find one scientific shred of evidence that protein powders cause acne. (If you have a study, feel free to share!) 🙂 I would suggest simply trying another brand or type of powder (whey, casein, plant-based) or look at what you’re adding to your shakes. If you starting drinking protein shakes right when you started working out, it could very well just be the increased sweat/oil from exercise. I suggest talking to a dermatologist.

      Reply

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