Many new CrossFitters see other members drinking shakes before and after class and wonder what the heck is in the bottles? This post will summarize the most popular supplements and discuss why they should or should not be taken.
The most popular supplement. Protein powders taken after a workout help to reduce soreness and rebuild the muscle to make it stronger. Protein powder is also quickly absorbed to get into your system fast as opposed to consuming lean meat. The other reason to take protein powder is to help meet your daily protein requirements. Most people should aim for .75 to 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. So as a 200lb male, I need roughly 200g of protein per day. If some of my meals lack in protein, then a protein shake can be a great way to make up for that.
Most protein comes in a bag or jug with 30 servings. If you take 1 serving per day, it will last you a month. Prices vary but range from $40 to $70. Things to consider are the quality of protein, if anything is added to it (aminos, creatine, etc) and the source of protein (whey, casein, rice, etc).
Women will want to take 20g of protein in after a workout, and men should aim for 30g.
Protein we carry at CFS:
Great taste, $60/bag
Sugar free, grass fed beef protein. $50/bag (Pure) $65/bag (Recover)
Super clean, high quality protein $57/bag
Casein (slow digesting), $42/bag
The second most popular supplement category. Pre-workout is a product taken before working out.I like to say that pre-workout is like coffee for your muscles.It wakes you up and gets you going. Pre-workout products range from mild to insane – meaning that some will just slightly wake you up while others have a wild amount of caffeine and B-Vitamins and other ingredients that would send an elephant to the moon. If you have never taken a pre-workout I would guide you towards SFH Push, which is on the mild end of the spectrum. Assess your tolerance and adjust as needed. Some prefer to take half a serving, while others need two servings to feel the benefits.
Pre-workout we carry at CFS
SFH Push $55/bag
Progenex Force $60/box (comes in single serve packets)
The third most popular supplement, and the only supplement that CrossFit (the big company) recommends. If you eat fish 5 times a week or more, don’t worry about taking this. Don’t eat that much fish? You might want to consider taking fish oil. The benefits are wide ranging, from reducing inflammation to helping promote healthy heart, eyes, and brain function.
Fish oil products are everywhere, and quality is key. Good fish oil should not taste overly fishy. Second, good fish oil should be sourced from small fish to reduce mercury and heavy metal contamination. Third, pay attention to the total EPA and DHA per serving. You need 3,000mg EPA:DHA for optimal benefits. You’ll need to look at the EPA and DHA per serving and do the math to see how many servings you need to get to 3,000mg. For example Puori fish oil is a quality fish oil and you need to take 6 pills a day for optimal benefits. Some brands you would need over 30 pills a day to get 3,000mg! Cheaper bottles usually just mean its diluted fish oil, and if you’ve ever gotten fishy burps, that’s another sign of poor quality fish oil!
Fish oil we carry at CFS
Puori, $37/bottle (40 servings of 3 pills)
#4 supplement on the list, and the supplement with the best bang for your buck! Quality Puori Vitamin D is $17 for a bottle which should last you two months! Everybody that lives in New England is deficient in Vitamin D unless you supplement with it already. You naturally get Vitamin D from sunlight, and some foods have it added to it. The benefits of Vitamin D include: stronger immune system, stronger bones, better muscle function, better VO2 max (bodies ability to use oxygen), better power production, reduced inflammation, and finally, better moods!
Vitamin D we carry at CFS
Puori, $17 bottle
The final supplement on the list! Chances are you have heard of creatine, both positive and negative things. Back in the 90s a lot of it was negative. That has been proven incorrect however, as creatine is the most studied workout supplement and repeatedly is proven safe, effective, and meaningful. Creatine will help improve your muscular endurance as well as give an increase in power and strength.
Creatine we sell at CFS
SFH Strong, a mix of creatine and amino acids, $50/bag (30 servings)
It is very important to remember that supplements should be just that … a supplement. They are meant to be added on to an already healthy diet. Nobody needs 4 protein shakes a day. But 1 or 2 shakes a day can be convenient and helpful. Also, it is important to think about the cost benefit. If you take everything listed above it could be over $150/mo. Everybody has their own disposable income limit and decides what it goes to. Will $37 worth of fish oil make you feel like your 22 years old again? No … but it will help keep your brains, heart, and eyes healthy, as well as reduce systemic inflammation and protect your joints. To me, I’ll skip a dinner out to keep the fish oil if need be.
Lastly, if we do not have a supplement you need, please ask if we can get it or look to ANC in Avon. They are another local small business, and supporting small businesses means a lot.