Sunday, December 4, 2016

Gym Myth-Buster Protein Shakes and Pre-Workout Supplements Are a Must

One of the first things many of my clients and gym members want to know is which supplements to take. The most commonly asked questions are: “Which protein should I get?” “Do I need a pre-workout?” Many people feel like they have to have these things in order to be fit, as if these supplements are magic. As their personal trainer I always tell them to start with the basics. The word supplement is defined as something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. So first start with getting your nutrition on track, and exercising regularly. Understand that your goal in going to mostly require dedication and hard work. In the beginning especially I do not stress the need for these supplements because many people are still adjusting to the idea that they don't need sodas, or cake, or beer, etc. It makes little to no sense to go out and spend a good amount of money on protein shakes and pre-workout mixes if you're still eating Whataburger three times a week. Once you have developed a strong foundation of consistency, and  commitment to your goal, then maybe consider these things.

... Optimum Nutrition Gold ...Whey and Casein Proteins- Protein is critical for maintaining and building muscle, and well as growing hair and nails, and supporting normal bodily functions. Both whey and casein protein are derived from cow's milk.2 Whey protein is a fast digestive protein, as it is easily digested therefore allowing the protein to quickly enter the bloodstream. Whey protein is great if you are someone who for some reason has a difficult time consuming adequate amounts of protein, or if you are like me and have to get back to work, often without getting to sit down and have a meal. To the contrary Casein is a slow digestive protein so it takes hours for your body to put this protein to use. Many people drink this prior to bed or in situations where they know they will go a lengthy time without eating protein. While protein powders are a relatively safe and helpful tool, they can also be far more expensive than eating real food. A diet consisting of good protein sources such as eggs, meats, nuts, and some dairy products will allow you to hit your protein target, while saving you money.

... 365/301 Supplements and ...Pre Workout Drinks- In today's society many of us work long hours, get inadequate sleep and experience high levels of stress. Which are some of the reasons many people don't have the energy to workout and feel the need for a boost, so we often turn to pre-workout supplements.These are a popular choice for gym goers because the effects of these drinks can be felt in just a few minutes after consumption. The positive is that they will give you a boost of energy that last more than long enough to get your workout in. Adversely, these products often come with side effects, such as a “tingly” or shaky feeling, headaches, and nausea. They are also almost always made of a “proprietary blend” meaning who knows what is in it. Many athletes have been banned from their respective sports due to failed drug testing after taking these products. In 2013 The preworkout drink “Craze” was extensively studied after 3 different athletes had failed drug tests after using this product. Craze was found to contain 21-35mg of a chemical comparable to methamphetamine that has unknown effects on humans.1 Personally, I’ll take the safe inexpensive route and take a multivitamin, eat some fruit, drink some coffee, and watch a motivating video or put on my favorite music.

Unfortunately as of now the FDA does not thoroughly test many of the products that are found on the shelves. As long as the product does not make specific claims to be healthy, they don't have to prove that they are. So always research the products you are considering, and consult with your doctor, because until these products are further studied, real whole foods remain your best bet, and will save you your hard earned money so maybe you can hire that great personal trainer or nutritional coach. These professionals can be the most effective “supplement” you ever buy.

‘Craze’ Workout Supplement Contains Meth-Like Stimulant ‘Never Studied In Humans’. (2013, October 15). Retrieved November 17, 2016, from

Volek, J. S. (n.d.). Whey vs. Casein Protein. Retrieved November 17, 2016, from

Photo Credits:


  1. Great blog! It is very informative and presents both the positives and negatives of supplements and pre-workout drinks. More people need to be educated on the different types of products and how they work specifically. Especially since not every product is suitable for every person.

  2. especially if they have been trying to cut weight to make a certain weight class that is typically below their standard weight. Craig