The Supplement Stacks I Use and Why I Use Them…Do they work?

Warning: This is a hotly debated topic among the fitness world. Some people really swear and live by them, and some people say they are not needed or only certain supplements are needed.

When I first started my fitness journey, supplements seemed to be popping out of the wood work. I could look at a fitness article without there being at least three adds for what would help me with energy, recovery, and muscle building. Or do I want the best performance for the time I put into working out? If so then use this product!

My head was spinning and I was so leery of being scammed that I tried to do as much research as possible. Because who does not want to get the best out of their workout, and not waste their time doing their workout? I decided to just change one thing at a time. I just wanted to get my body moving, and find a workout that I did not hate. That was my goal. I focused on working out then on my diet, trying to get all the nutrients in that I need. Because I thought and still do, that you can get most of the nutrients you need out of the food you eat. So even though I did research I still sat on all my information and just ruminated on it.

Now I do take supplements but use them just as what they are supplements. I take them to supplement my nutrition. I do not rely on them however have found them to be helpful.

If you are just starting out, and or just working out 2 times a week, at a very moderate to light level. Then I really don’t think you need to take these supplements. If you tighten up your nutrition and can get your protein, carbs, and fats in through food. Stick to that.

However, if you are training hard, doing HIIT workouts, training more than twice a day, and more than 30 minutes at a time… then I have found for my body, the supplements actually have helped me. Again, all I can speak to is what has and is working for me at the time. Experimentation is the key. Find what works for you and your body. Also of note, I am not a great meat eater. As a matter of fact I prefer plants to meats. Just as something my body processes better. So for that reason these supplements actually help me.

Ok So my “stack” of supplements I take are as follows:

(note: I am not sponsored by any of these companies and I am not paid by anyone to say this)

Pre-workout – BCAA’s + Caffeine – I take ON BCAA’s

Post workout – Recovery after strenuous workout, contains BCAA’s, B vitamins, electrolytes, replenishes glycogen, and carbohydrates –I take Vega Sport Recovery

Nuun – is an electrolyte replacement for hydration, low calorie, and low sugar. (15 calories, 1 g sugar, 300 mg sodium, 150 mg potassium, 25 mg magnesium, 13 mg calcium

Every day – Multivitamin, vitamin D, Glucosamine and Chondroitin ( This was prescribed to me by my doctor after my herniated disk. But is a great addition to your supplements as you get older for joint and cartilage repair.)

What is a BCAA? There are 20 amino acids your body uses to synthesize proteins. Nine of the 20 are considered essential, and your body cannot make these you must ingest them. Three of the 9 essential amino acids are the branch chain amino acids or (BCAA). They are Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine. As a primarily plant eater I have a hard time getting in quickly soluble proteins. When you take the right supplement, you get all the BCAA’s that your body needs to repair your muscles from a strenuous workout.

These are the 4 benefits of BCAA’s:

  1. Decrease muscle soreness- BCAA’s decrease muscle breakdown that can lead to soreness, so you have DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for a shorter period of time.
  2. Builds muscle – BCAA’s leucine activates protein synthesis, to help build muscle
  3. Prevents muscle wasting – When your body is low on BCAA’s it will break down your current muscle and re-synthesize its proteins for what it thinks you need. This breaking down and re-synthesizing is normal body process, and the BCAA’s help prevent that even if its just a little bit.
  4. Reduce exercise fatigue – BCAA’s are used up when you exercise, and as the levels of BCAA’s decrease in your blood, your body releases tryptophan to your brain, which makes you brain think you are tired and fatigued. The theory is taking them before workout keeps the levels high in your blood and therefore you can work harder for longer.

You don’t need the BCAA’s before every workout, and you don’t need to drink the Vega Recovery after every workout. You want really want to take them only if you did or are going to do a hugely strenuous workout. Also you want to take time off taking the preworkouts that have added caffeine in them.

Here are some BCAA’ rich foods:

  1. Greek Yogurt
  2. Eggs
  3. Chicken
  4. Turkey
  5. Tuna
  6. Beef
  7. Milk
  8. Soy Powder/Milk
  9. Whey powder

Why Are These Supplements Great For Me?

Here is why they are great for me. Over the holidays, I ran out of BCAA’s. I went for a month without them, and I was doing fine. However, I noticed that my muscle fatigue and soreness was sticking around a bit longer. I took it again last night and had a much better sleep this last night. I woke up not feeling like my muscles had been run over.

Also during Thai Camp, I became desalinated. I took my BCAA’s in the morning and made sure I was drinking plenty of water. This is great for a normal workout but after about 4 hours of working out that day, water and pre BCAA’s was not enough. I got a major cramp in my calf, and needed magnesium, potassium, and salt replaced. It also took a massage therapist to help me calm the muscle down. I was facing another 3 to 4 hours of training that day, and I made sure I replaced what I lost in sweat, and what my body was burning through.

Again do your research, find something that will work for you. If you are vegan or vegetarian a great product I like and its called Vega. As with everything, look at the ingredients and make sure they source their ingredients from reputable places, and with good nutrition.

As always thanks for reading. My respects to you, and have a great day!

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Weight lifting for the week of 9/09/2019…Leg day when my scoliosis is acting up.

30 Minute Leg Day Workout

My scoliosis pain is so bad this month. When one vertebrae goes out sometimes it causes a chain reaction of vertebrae and joints out of place. That is what has happened this month. I am trying to get ahead of it. I am still working out, but it hurts… the old me would not do anything when I hurt. If I stopped doing anything when my back hurt, I would have to stop everything I do and lay here like a lump on a log.

Workout:

  1. 15 minute elliptical trainer (instead of run, to minimize impact on my back)
  2. Bulgarian split squats reps – 15 R, 15 L, 13 R, 13 L, 13 R, 13 L
  3. 3 minute Banded Monster walks – this exercise burns glutes, hamstrings, gluteus medius
    1. with a resistance band around lower legs/above ankles, feet shoulder width apart, squat and walk forward keeping knees over toes not to go over toes, keep a straight back and staying in a squat for entire exercise. Walk backwards when you get to end of the gym.
  4. 3 minute Banded Sideways walk – this exercise burns the gluteus medius
    1. with a resistance band around lower legs/above ankles, feet shoulder width apart, squat and take small steps keeping squat all the time.
  5. 3 minute leg lifts/ kick backs – this works the glutes, and vastas lateralis
    1. with the resistance band around lower legs/above angles, 1 minute of right hand lateral leg lifts, 1 minute of left handed lateral leg lifts, 1 minute of rear kick backs
found this image on pinterest

So today I focused only on the legs and glutes. I avoided high impact workout, and worked around my neck.

I went to my chiropractor today and found I had my C1 and C2 were subluxated. Those vertebrae are also known as the atlas and axis respectively. They are at the top of the spine right under skull.

Keep working on what you can work on. Take the time you need, and sometimes pushing through is all you can do. Thank you for reading. My respects to you.

Weight lifting for the week of 8/19/2019…Birthday, Surgery, and deadlifts oh my

55 minute workout… This is the weight lifting workout that I am doing for this week. Today I had to work in the morning. I ate breakfast but did not get out of work till 1 pm. I went directly to the gym, and missed eating lunch. I could feel it. My body was tired and pulling at reserves. I don’t like feeling that way in my workout. It feels like I am running out of steam, my muscles are fighting to do what I ask. So I will endeavor not to do that again, after I got done at the gym, I went and got a snack for lunch (a small 1/2 cup salad from my grocery store), then had to go get my husband from the metro.

So here I am. We just ate dinner, and I am feeling better. I got my workout in and everything is good.

This week and last week have been a bit of a challenge. My birthday was last week, my baby girl had a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. This has made training a little crazy. But I got it in, and she is doing well. Healing every day and feeling much better. I am happy about all of this.

Here is my workout:

Run:

  1. I started with an 20 min run. I ended up getting a 12.20 minute mile today. Not my best but not the worst either.

Weightlifting: 35 minutes
This workout was done in as a superset. (A superset is when you do two exercises together without a break in between them. There is typically a short 10 to 20 second break between the sets of two exercises before you start a second, or third set.)

  1. Reverse lunge and press – 20 lbs dumbbells each hand, reps – 10,10,10
  2. Push ups reps – 3 sets of 20 each
  3. Pike crunch reps- 25, 25, 25
  4. Flutter kicks reps- 3 sets of 30 seconds as many as you can
  5. Bent over rows 30 lbs each hand reps- 10, 10, 10
  6. Good mornings 45 lbs Olympic bar reps- 10, 10, 10
  7. Dead Lifts 135 lbs reps- 10, 8, 6

Thank you for reading. Have a great day! Keep working to be the best you that you can be. Respect to you.

Weight lifting workout for the week of 8/5/2019…back into my normal-ish routine?

Ok so Muay Thai camp is over and I am no longer doing crazy conditioning to get ready for it. So I am going back to my normal-ish routine.

I say normal ish, because we are not adding in a Wednesday Thai Boxing class, and Friday one. I have change my schedule to reflect that.

So I plan on doing this weight lifting workout at least twice this week, instead of three times this week.

Here is the workout: 50 minutes with 30 second rests between sets.

  1. 16 minute warm up run
  2. Tripod Tricep Row 35 lbs reps – 12L 12R, 12L 12R, 12L 12R
  3. Hip Thrustors 35 lb reps – 15, 15, 15
  4. Bulgarian Split Squats reps – 15L 15R, 15L 15R, 15L 15R
  5. Squat and Press 25lbs racked on each shoulder 50lbs – reps – 8, 8, 8
  6. Kettle Bell Around the World 25 lbs reps – 1 minute, 1 minute, 1 minute
  7. Kettle Bell Swings 25 lbs reps – 12, 12, 12

Thanks for reading. Keep working on being the best you can be. Respect to you and your family.

Weight Lifting Workout for the Week of 06/24/2019

Got my workout in today. I was able to get 45 minutes squeezed in between getting my husband at the metro, feeding the family and now going to work. I got a 13 minute mile in. Yay! I say get a workout in where ever and when ever you can.

Anyway enough talking lets get to the workout.

45 Minute workout:

  1. 20 minute steady state run.
  2. Reverse lunge with bicep curls 10 lbs each hand reps – 10, 10, 10
  3. Bulgarian Split Squats reps – 15, 15, 15
  4. Reverse pike crunches reps – 20, 18, 16
  5. Bicycle crunches reps – 20, 20, 20
  6. Planks 1 minute x3 reps
  7. Olympic Barbell Dead lifts 115 lbs – 10, 9, 9

Anyway I hope you all are having a great week! Thank you for reading. Keep being awesome and keep working to be the best you, that you can be.

Even though its not the best time of the month for me, I am feeling pretty good. =)

Weight lifting workout for the week of 6/10/2019… Great Day

50 min weight lifting workout

I had plenty of time today. The only thing that was hindering me today, was how tired I was. Yesterday we went on a 3 mile hike. It was wonderful. We hiked through the forest to a small beach, then we hiked back. That hike was so relaxing and the beach was amazing. Just what I needed after a really crazy, and this next week is going to be nuts.

workout:

  • 20 min HIIT run
    • 3 min warm up, 5 min HIIT (Run sprint 1 minute, Run 1 minute), 1 min walk, 4 min HIIT, 5 min run steady state, 2 min cool down

      Do these next 4 exercises in a superset (superset, means do both exercises back to back with no rest, 30 minute rest between each two sets)
  • Tripod tricep row 35 lbs, reps-12 left, 12 right, 12 left, 12 right, 12 left 12 right
  • Reverse double leg pike crunch reps- 20, 20, 20
  • Bulgarian Split Squats reps- 15 left, 15 right, 15 left, 15 right, 15 left, 15 right,
  • Squat and press 20 lb each hand, reps- 8, 10, 10
  • Good mornings 65 lbs, reps- 10, 10, 10
  • Dead Lifts 115 lbs, reps- 8, 8,

This was a great workout, and I am happy I did it. I can already feel it, I am going to be sore tomorrow.

If you try this workout let me know what you think. Thank you for reading. Have a great day! I have to go to work now. =)

Weight Lifting workout for the week of 6/3/2019…When you run out of time, you run

I did not have time to do more than just my 15 minute run today. I was so busy, I worked on my recipes and scaling them up for an event that I am catering for a little over 200 people. So I got in what I could.

Here is the workout I plan on doing for this week. It was supposed to be for today, but will be for Wednesday and Friday.

Workout:

15 minute steady state run

  1. 2 minute warm up
  2. 11 minute run, steady state
  3. 2 minute cool down

Weight lifting:

  1. Tripod Tricep Row 3 rounds of 10 each side
  2. Burpees as many as you can for 1 minute, 3 rounds
  3. Dead bugs 1 minute for a total of 3 rounds
  4. Reverse lunge with bicep curls 10lbs each hand, total or 3 rounds of 10 each side.
  5. Goblet squat with 35lbs, 3 rounds of 10 -15
  6. Good mornings 45lb barbell, 3 rounds of 10

Even though I did not get a chance to do my weight lifting. I am happy I got a run in. I had a totall 20 minutes I could squeeze in a workout between my work, and going to pick up my husband at the metro.

I firmly believe, even if you can’t do the whole workout you want to do, getting something in is better than saying, “ahh well, I can’t do it today.”

I felt good today so I took pictures of my progress.

Anyway thank you for reading. Have a wonderful productive day, and keep working at making yourself the best you that you can be.