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Okay, lets talk about supplements. I don’t believe in becoming a supplement freak like some people I know, but if I had to choose 3 or 5 top supplements, here they are (in order) and I can provide URLs to reference my arguments:
1) ZMA before bedtime. It’s simply just zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin B6. It helps increase the natural testosterone levels, as well as provide a deeper sleep. When you sleep 6 hours a night being a new Dad like me, the quality of sleep is important!
2) Protein and L-Glutamine shake (and cut *some* of the carbs in your diet, especially processed foods or foods that come with a “label” like pastries or chocolate bars). You body will need extra protein to repair itself anyways, you might as well feed it with the right stuff. Any whey protein is good, but if you want to customize it, try proteinfactory.com and order different blends of whey/whey isolates, casein, and egg protein. If you are going to supplement it with L-Glutamine, add 5g to every 30-50g protein.
2b) Post-workout Recovery Drink. This is usually a combination of protein & Carbs (from 1:1 ratios, to 4:1 carb:prot ratios), plus some whey isolates (for immediate absorption), L-Glutamine, and sometimes creatine. SNAC’s Proglycosyn is great (in powder form, requires mixing) or Go! Sports Energy/Recovery shakes (requires no refrigeration… great to bring to the track or field!)
3) Omega-3 Fatty Acids. The proper balance of fats (especially the omega-3 and omega-6) is important, so if you find yourself eating in restaurants, and the saturated fats are high (O-6) then you will need to supplement with the O-3. There are only 2 food groups that have higher ratios naturally in O-3/O-6 and that’s flax & fish. i.e. Coconut oil is all O-6, for example. So it’s okay to eat some bad fats, just make sure you supplement with the good fats to be in balance. You can buy cheap flax seeds and crush them in your coffee grinder… just make sure you refrigerate it after you crush it, and add it to your oatmeal, cereal, etc.
4) Pre-competition “mental alertness/neurotransmitter” drinks. Tyrosine blocks the release of Tryptophan, which is the amino acid that gives you the sleep feeling, especially halfway in the 400m! Power Drive (Biotest) and Vitalyze (SNAC) are common ones. Both uses Tyrosine as the main formulation. Of course, the drink “Red Bull” contains caffeine and Taurine. “Monster” drink is also good at a fraction of the price of Red Bull.
5) Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) for long workouts over 1 hour in duration. Use with or without extra L-Glutamine. Universal Nutrition makes a half decent powder form which you mix it up with water just before intake (do not pre-mix them, as amino acids can become denatured)