Supplements for Men: Workout Supplements

Guys have asked me to write about supplements. Your calls have been answered. I’m going to break it down into three parts. This first part will discuss workout supplementation. The second part will discussion nootropics – or cognitive enhancement. The final part will discuss general health and life-extending supplements.

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Guys are always looking for an edge in the gym. As someone who has spent years in gyms across the country, I have a few things to say about supplements.

First, the difference between supplements and steroids is the difference between lighting and a lighting bug. Even an extremely low dose of testosterone will blow away any testosterone booster you can buy on the market. Nothing comes close to comparing to steroids, and any supplement advertisement claiming otherwise is a scam.

Some guys have asked me if I use steroids, and the answer is no. I am seeing how far I can take my shitty genetics. Nevertheless, steroids are extremely safe and there are excellent Internet resources and communities discussing them. But that’s not my thing.

Second, supplements won’t make you swole per se. Supplements will help you have more intense workouts and will speed recovery. Gains from supplements come indirectly. If you’re not training hard and frequently, you’re wasting your money.

Third, my rule about everything that appears on this blog applies to supplements. Namely, I only write about what I do or have done. Your experiences, needs, or wants may differ from mine. What works for me may not work for you.

For example, I lay on body fat easily. I thus avoid high carbohydrate beverages. If you’re a skinny guy, you may want to throw some waxy maize into your pre-workout drink.

Finally, I don’t care to debate supplements in the comments. Any nerd can go on PubMed and debate confounding factors. Go into a jacked guy’s house and you’ll see jugs of protein powders and dozens of pill bottles. Maybe all of those guys are wrong. Regardless, I don’t care what virgins have to say about game and I don’t care what geeks have to say about supplements.

With that said, what are some supplements that will actually improve your workouts?

For lifting: The best pre-workout supplement by far is VPX NO Shotgun. It’s has stimulants to give you a buzz. It has arginine to boost nitric oxide levels. Arginine stimulates blood flow to the muscles and was originally developed to treat erectile dysfunction.  So NO Shotgun gives you good boners in addition to good workouts.

NO Shotgun also has fatigue-fighting beta-alanine, creatine, and protein and BCAAs to aid in recovery.  If you’re trying to gain weight, mix in a little waxy maize. (How much? Who knows. Add it to taste; experiment; and after a few sessions you’ll be able to answer the question for the only person it will be true for – yourself.)

The taste isn’t great. It tastes artificial.

Also, if you’re sensitive to caffeine or other stimulates, get NO Synthesize. It has all the benefits of Shotgun without the buzz.

All of the muscle magazines say that you need a post-workout shake containing carbs and protein at a 3:1 ratio and no fat. It’s supposed to spike insulin.

I’ve had NO SyntheSize post-workout. I’ve taken waxy maize and other exotic supplements. I’ve also eaten solid meals.

In my experience, if you nail pre-workout nutrition, what you do post-workout doesn’t matter all that much. NO Shotgun and SyntheSize are loaded with easily digestible proteins (casein and whey casein hydrolysates) and brain chain amino acids. Amino acids are already circulating in your bloodstream, aiding in recovery.

I usually order a shake from the juice bar and then eat a solid meal. Muscle Milk is also a mainstay. A large hamburger and a beer works, as does a huge plate of nachos. Whatever I do, I don’t sweat it.

For cardio: If you’re doing cardio, you’ll probably want to take a thermogenic (commonly called “fat burner) 20-30 minutes before your session. There are dozens of thermogenics on the market. The best one in my experience is VPX Meltdown.

It raises core body temperature. It also releases catecholamines, which are mood elevating. (Thermogenics may present an issue for guys on MAOIs. Always check the warning label.)

Even though there are hundreds of supplements that are supposed to improve your workouts, in my experience, the ones listed above work the best. They are also the most economical.

  • Ras

    Hi! where I live NO shotgun and NO synthesize are very expensive. I usually go to the gym after work and the only supplement I take is whey protein after my workout. Do you know any replacement for NO shotgun and NO synthesize that work?

  • Rob

    I often take a triple or quad shot of espresso 5 minutes before I start my squat warm-ups. That gets me right where I need to be.

    What you said in the lead is exactly right. All non-steroids, even creatine, work at the margins. It’s been my experience that you’d be better off saving your money (buy some protein powder if you want) and simply working out hard and eating smart.

  • A Axe

    Science on supplements: http://examine.com (via Reddit)

    Caffeine is an amazing stimulant.

  • Nas

    Thanks for writing this. I look forward to other parts of the supplement series. Hope you do a post on your diet too.

    • A Axe

      Arginine is a vasodilator, which can help with ED.

  • Obstinance Works

    Taurine is good shit too.

  • Matt

    As someone who is new to exercising regularly, I discovered that a protein shake right after a workout makes a huge difference in the amount of soreness I have over the next few days. Of course, I’m an old man, so I don’t recover like you youngsters.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      Yes. Even better is a pre-workout shake. You want amino acids circulating during the trauma. It begins the recovery process before the workout ends.

      • Matt

        I’ve been drinking Wheytech shakes after working out. Folks recommended that I not drink one befoer working out. So, what kind of shake do you recommend?

        • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

          SyntheSize is a shake. It has BCAAs and whey and casein. Absorbs easily.

  • http://ExceedandLead.com Fearless

    Whats your take on multivitamins? I just picked up GNC’s Mega Men Sport Multivitamin and I have to say it works. The sport blend adds green tea extract, glutamine ( for recovery), taurine and beta alanine, and stuff for your joints among 40 other things. You soon find out 3000% of your daily Vitamin B1 value makes you feel like an animal.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      Due to a poisoned food supply and depleted soil, supplementing with vitamins and minerals is necessary.

  • raliv

    is magnesium oil (i remember you talking about it in an earlier post) really a game changer?

    • Gannicus

      I don’t know if you can describe it as a game changer, but I definitely feel a difference after using it daily for 5 weeks or so. More erections and more horniness, feel a little more confidence and decisiveness, a little more impatient. Its not like injecting yourself with testosterone or anything.

  • WestCoast

    Finally! This should have been written about from day 1!

    Not sure if you’re going to write about this but there should be a part about oscillation. I get impacted huge by caffiene, so i take stuff like NO2 then take am onth off of 0 caffiene and try to maintain weight, then restart again. Helped me add another 30lbs to the bench. Don’t think i can get above 150% of my own weight… but i’ll try for that 10″ drop.

  • ASF

    Please write something about faking testosterone deficiency and getting the real deal from your doctor. Is the patch good? The gel? Not talking about bodybuilder level supplementation.

    • http://dangerandplay.wordpress.com dangerandplay

      The shot is the best. In the U.S., I’m not sure guys need to fake the test…Just keeping high testosterone requires earnestness. Most guys have low T from lack of sleep and poor diet.

  • http://flyfreshandyoung.wordpress.com FFY

    I’ll have to add NO shotgun to the must try list. So far I’ve had the best pre workout results with C4, any chance you’ve tried it and can compare?

  • http://bronanthebarbarian.com Bronan the Barbarian!

    I’m going to have to try some of this stuff next time I need to grab new supplements.

    I bought some Muscle Milk for the first time in about a year last month. I think they changed the formula or something, it’s a lot more gritty/chalky than it used to be.

  • Whitehall

    Of the non-steroid precursors I’ve tried (androdiol when it was legal), the best supplement is ZMA – zinc magnesium asparate – before bedtime.

    Teh zinc in ZMA helps catalyze the steroid chain. Even in late middle age, I’m getting morning wood when I use it the night before.

  • MarcTheEngineer

    No-Xplode is fucking amazing before a workout (or before a sports game)
    Easily adds 10% to my lifts (and makes me go beast mode on the field)

    Just can’t take it too close to bed or I’m not sleeping that night

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