The Viking Muscle approach to supplementation is simple, it is the same approach I have for all things diet or fitness related…
Supplement only the basic vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and aminos that you are not getting from your diet.
The fitness and supplements industry is a 39 Billion dollar market! Stop giving them your hard-earned money for useless products and information!
Every time I go to the gym I am bombarded with marketing material trying to convince me that if I take Supplement X before my workout I will hit a new personal record, lose 10% of my body fat and get the most amazing ‘pump’ of my entire life! It is no surprise that these companies are cash cows, their messaging is effective and cuts to the core of what every man wants to hear.
“If I take this pill or scoop of powder, I will look like a fitness model… I can bypass all the hard work, dieting, and heavy weights, and just let the supplement do the work…”
The problem is, it doesn’t work that way. As much as I wish I could take a pill and never have to worry about eating entire boxes of Honey Buns again, simple body mechanics won’t allow it. There is no pill or powder that will do the work and sacrifice for you, sorry.
The good news:
There are supplements available today that are well worth your money! Here is the list of Viking Approved Supplements:
A good high quality food based (easier to digest) multivitamin will help you easily get all the vitamins you may not be getting from your daily diet. This is usually true for dieters that eat a very specific set of meals every day and don’t get enough greens or fruits. In the long run, a multivitamin can be thought of as a safety net for covering any would be deficiencies in your daily routine. For my money, it’s worth the small investment.
Vitamin D is rapidly becoming a hot topic in the health community as it has been show time and time again that most people are not getting near enough on a daily basis. This deficiency has been linked to a whole series of health problems like obesity, bone weakness, chronic pain, and depression. Furthermore, many serious athletes are finding significant strength and performance gains when supplementing Vitamin D correctly. I recommend taking in 2,000 to 3,000 IU’s a day in a liquid gel cap pill. Some people recommend much higher doses especially during the winter when we are indoors more. You can also get tested to find you current natural levels to fine tune your intake, but in general 2,000 to 3,00 IU’s will cover most people for general supplementation.
Calcium is easily consumed in most regular diets, so supplementation is not always necessary. However, because it has an important role in fat loss and hormonal regulation, you should be sure you are getting consistent amounts of calcium on a daily basis. For most people, adding about 500mg daily will be enough to get to optimal levels.
Fish Oil is a definite must have for any serious athlete or dieter. For your money, there are few other supplements on the market that can offer the benefits that you get from Fish oil. Fish oil is a form of fatty acid that is derived from the cells of fish. It contains the omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are the two fatty acids that have been linked to so many recent breakthroughs in health discoveries. Again, with any supplement, if you are eating a large amount of fatty fish on a regular basis you may not need to supplement. Fish oil will help with muscle growth, mood stability, prevention of cancer, bone health, and optimizing cholesterol levels.
Only in the last year have I introduced probiotic’s into my supplement regime, but I wish I had done it sooner. When dieting for extended periods, the gut can get pretty sensitive, adding a probiotic with meals has really helped me feel good regardless of what I’m eating. A probiotic can be very helpful with people who are sensitive to gluten, have IBS, or Chrons disease. I take 5 Billion CFU (colony-forming units) with each meal. The microorganisms in probiotic supplements need to be alive when you take them. They may die on exposure to heat, moisture, or air. Some require refrigeration.
For years now, creatine has been proven to be an extremely effective supplement to boost athletic performance and recovery, and enhance muscle growth. Creatine is cheap, you can buy it in bulk and mix it with almost anything. You don’t need to do a ‘load’ phase like many would have you believe, you can start by taking 5g each day before or after a workout. I usually mix it in with a protein shake.
Again, protein can and should be consumed in your regular diet through various meats, eggs, fish, and other natural sources. However, for those dieting and having trouble reaching your protein macros, a quick whey protein shake can help make sure you are getting enough. A protein shake is also an easy way to get a low-calorie meal that can fight off fits of hunger. In a study done by the community at reddit, Optimum Nutrition’s Performance Whey beats all competitors for quality.
And that’s typically it… Don’t believe the marketing hype, hard work is the only thing that will get you the lean fine tuned body you desire.
I may add to this as new products or supplements pique my interest enough to claim that everyone should be taking them, but those cases are very rare. If you feel I have left anything out or question my list, leave a comment to discuss why.