Tag Archives for " creatine "

September 19, 2016

5 Supplements You Should Consider Taking

Supplements are supplements

The first thing I want you to remember about supplements is that they are just that, supplements.  You should focus on getting your nutrients from real food and only use supplements to fill the gaps.  In this episode, I will link to some products (affiliate).  I take all of these supplements at some time or another throughout the year.

Fish Oil

I covered fish oil in detail in Episode 39, so I will just briefly discuss it here. The only place to get fish oil from real food is to consume fish. Many people struggle eating fish.  I recommend you try multiple species and preparations of fish before you completely give up on them.

The main caution with fish oil is that it can go bad. You should never take bad fish oil.  I recommend only buying good quality fish oil.  You should store fish oil in the refrigerator.  I also recommend checking a gel when you first purchase the oil and once every few weeks, if you keep it that long.

Creatine (EP 79)

I covered creating in episode 79, so here's a brief description and caution on creatine. Creatine has been show in many studies to not only improve muscular performance, but to have protective qualities for the brain.  Creatine causes muscles to hold more water, therefore you could retain as much as 5 – 7 lbs of water.  If you're a scale junkie, this might cause you some distress.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential. Fortunately, our bodies make vitamin D through sun exposure. Time indoors and sunscreens have severely cut the amount of sun we are exposed to on a daily basis. If you're not exposed to the sun on a regular basis or you live in places where there are lower exposure (far north), you may want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement. You can get a blood test to determine your status.


In episode 143, I explained how I am not using ketosis as a way to reduce fat and retain muscle mass.  As a result of my eating less than 50 total grams of carbohydrates, I'm limited in the volume and variety of fruits and vegetables I can eat in any given day.   To make sure I'm getting what I need, I'll add a multivitamin to my regimen.

Magnesium (sleep)

Magnesium has been shown to improve people fall asleep, stay asleep and have lucid dreams.  I find that taking a magnesium before bed helps me wake up more refreshed and I am more productive and creative.

As I noted at the beginning, you should look for ways to get the nutrients you need from real food.  When you can't, supplements can be valuable for maintaining health and maximizing your health.

How to shop for good food

March 28, 2016

Creatine 101

A question about creatine came in from the Facebook group. Creatine is one of most studied supplements. But what is creatine and what does it do?

Creatine is actually a molecule that provides the phosphorous atom to our bodies, which is needed to create ATP. ATP is a power source for the body’s cells. When you supplement with creatine, it will give you more muscular energy, which can be especially beneficial for weight lifting. It has also shown to be protective for the brain and liver.

Many wonder if creatine is a steroid. Though it has qualities of a performance enhancing supplement, it is not a steroid. Creatine has no effect on the body’s hormones. It simply provides phosphorous and ATP. Through diet, you can get creatine by eating animal products. Some plant-based diets will have phosphorous, but not in the same density as organ meats and muscle.

So how much creatine should you be consuming? The standard dose is five grams per day. Eventually, the body will saturate and hit a peak with how much it can store. At first, you can try creatine “loading,” where you would take 20 to 25 grams to get to that saturation point faster.

Creatine does have one notable negative side effect in the sense that it makes muscles retain water. Though it will make your muscle mass appear greater, it will likely show as weight gain on the scale. The good news is that you cannot overdose on creatine. While consuming creatine, you should increase your water intake to help avoid stomach cramping. If cramping persists, there are other types of creatine that are water soluble and should help with this. The primary type of creatine is called creatine monohydrate. This is the most inexpensive and widely used.

Whatever type you choose, be sure to avoid creatine ethyl ester, as this type degrades in your digestion and never really gets into your system to make an impact. With all other types, you will be sure to see the real benefits of this widely studied and used supplement called creatine.






Should I take protein supplements post-workout?