After wasting a lot of time and money on stuff I’d see advertised in the magazines and on TV I want to speak my truth. I, like many other people in their youth, desperately wanted to believe in super pills and magic powders. In my quest to become like the fitness models and athletes I admire, I’ve swallowed many pills and mixed many different powders in the hope of waking up with an Adonis body. When nothing changed I swallowed some more pills and really started to push the envelope with the stuff. Until I got fed up with unsatisfactory results and a gaping hole in my pocket, only then did I start to educate myself on proper nutrition and everything else that gets you to the next level physically and mentally.
I want to give you, my reader, a run down of what's worked for me and for what purpose. I've been every kind of athlete and person seeking enhancement as you will see below. I hope to limit your fruitless experiments and save you some coins.
For general health
For endurance athletes
Caffeine is a stimulant that can be used to enhance endurance and improve your tolerance to pain. Remember the challenge of a run after some time spent in motion? When kaja ka voice starts trying to discourage you? Caffeine can help you persevere and reduce your own rating of perceived exertion. This allows you to push harder for longer. Best taken 30 minutes before an activity.
Carnosyn Beta Alanine buffers lactic acid thereby enhancing muscular endurance and performance. Lactic acid build up is that burning sensation you feel when you're running hard. Beta Alanine delays this process and allows you to run harder for longer. Advice: Buy Beta-Alanine as the patented Carnosyn form. That's what's been proven to be effective. Plain old Beta Alanine simply rides the science train of it's superior counterpart. There's a difference, always remember that. Carnosyn Beta Alanine can be taken at any time of the day.
Zinc & Magnesium are two minerals of real significance to endurance athletes because you lose a lot of both through sweat. If you're an endurance athlete you better wise up and replenish these in order to sustain your running performance, otherwise cramps and discomfort will be your portion when you go out on runs. I take my zinc & magnesium right before bed.
For bodybuilders and strength athletes
Whey Protein is taken purely for convenience and to help ensure that I'm consuming a good amount of protein per day. Good means at least 6 separate servings of protein a day. I can't always eat chicken or fish so I substitute with Whey. Benefits include: increase fat burning potential due to higher thermic effect and increased recovery from resistance training due to protein's ability to repair muscle tissue.
Pre-workout is one of the most commonly used supplements for gym goers and for good reason. A good pre-workout will help you get super focused on your session, provide you with a small boost in strength and endurance while also improving your nitric oxide levels for a better 'pump' in the gym. Good pre-workouts typically contain caffeine (alertness), L-tyrosine (focus), L-Citrulline (pump) and Beta Alanine (endurance) among a few other things. Always read the ingredients label of any pre-workout and see if it has what you require as not all pre-workouts are created equal. Don't just swallow pills and powders that contain ingredients you don't properly understand because the packaging is fancy.
For mortals just trying to lose weight
Green tea extract is a plant extract commonly consumed for fat burning properties, heart health boosting capacity and ability to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. It's most effective when taken with or just after meals.
Konjac fiber is fiber you take roughly 30 minutes before meal with at at least 500ml of water to help fill your stomach and prevent you from overeating at meal time. Once consumed it goes on to expand in your stomach. Nkani ya njala reduce.
For those looking for an energy boost
Multivitamins are of particular importance to individuals that tend to suffer with low energy because it might be that you're low on a particular vitamin or mineral and your body isn't able to operate optimally. For many that have experienced it, what does your pharmacist often suggest? Usually a B-complex vitamin. For women, probably an iron supplement. In my opinion it's best to cover all your bases and simply invest in a good multivitamin to prevent deficiencies across the board.
For think tanks
Alpha GPC is a compound proven to increase brain metabolism and directly improve focus and memory in individuals that supplement with it.
Panax Ginseng is a plant extract with exciting cognitive boosting properties on offer. You can expect more mental agility and better memory when supplemented.
Rhodiola Rosea is a herb and 'neurological anti-fatigue' supplement that combats stress and anxiety and boosts mood. All this directly impacts and improves cognitive function across the board from memory to mental sharpness.
My interest in nooptropics was sparked after watching the movie Limitless and I've dabbled in them ever since. While the ingredients above didn't provide me with the extreme mental advancement witnessed in the movie, I did however experience a lift in mental clarity and reduced brain fog. I was definitely sharper and could process information faster.
For men that want to feel like more of an Alpha Male
My final piece of advice on supplements - Don’t let the marketing get to you. Supplements are a small part of everything. By my estimation you should only expect a 5-10% in performance when you take them. For some, that may be all they need to get to the next level and realize their absolute potential. For most, optimized nutrition, proper training and adequate sleep will do more for you than any legal over-the-counter pill or powder ever will.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of the guidelines herein is at the sole choice and risk of the reader
3/7/2021 11:42:05 pm
And here I was thinking that I can pop a few and get all the results I ever dreamed of 🙈😩
3/10/2021 10:33:42 pm
LOL! You and many others want to believe that! I did too for a very long time. It only makes a 5% difference to your results. 10% in a best case scenario. So, supplements are useful but not an absolute necessity.
3/15/2021 03:34:11 am
Good day, this is an interesting read but a bit biased to be honest. You are right about some supplements not working but that’s all based on your body type. It’s not a blanket rule. Same as the measurements you’re stating. A 50kg male shouldn’t take the same amount of creatine as 100kg male. The amount of caffeine that one should take also varies from person to person. We all have different tolerance levels.
3/15/2021 04:14:25 am
Agreed on the point of it not being a blanket rule, but as a baseline it's a great place to start and you can later start to tinker based on your tolerance and how you feel on different products. It's not fixed, it's just somewhere for someone to start from. For example, when you start taking pre-workout you might feel like superman on 1 scoop the first week but then 2 weeks later you might need an additional scoop for the same feeling.
3/29/2021 05:33:24 am
Nice article, very informative
3/29/2021 06:17:19 am
Thank you Mr. Chisenga! I was fairly confident that this particular blog post would be of some value to you.
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ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer & Nutritionist