My Workout Supplements

I am getting ready to run the Tough Mudder this weekend. I always like to have an edge in whatever I do. I am pretty competitive, but in general, I just like to succeed if I do something. I also like to remain healthy, and treat my body right. This is why I combine my exercise with certain supplements for optimal performance and to reduce wear-and-tear on the body. I am not selling any of these supplements, nor do I get a commission. I do, however, recommend getting your supplements from Swanson Vitamins, Puritan’s Pride, or Vitacost. In terms of price and quality, these are the top three. I say this as someone who takes quite a few supplements.

Do not take any supplement without first consulting a doctor. This post is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice!

Vitamin C

It reduces inflammatory stress on the body during exercise, possibly via its role as an antioxidant. I take 250 mg before a workout. I have read of one study, which showed that taking 1000 mg or more actually reverses the positive protection effect, so it is a good idea to stay between 250-500 mg.

Green Tea

Studies have shown that Green Tea increases the effectiveness (calories burned) of a workout. Green Tea does contain caffeine, so if you experience side effects like rapid heartbeat, etc, stop exercising. Next time, cut your dose or cut it out.

Protein Digesting Enzymes

Most people know about enzymes, but don’t know that there are hundreds of studies that show that enzymes taken on an empty stomach act as potent anti-inflammation agents. Enzymes taken this way have shown promise against arthritis, injury and trauma, and exhibit a powerful anti-metastatic effect in rodents with cancer. They seem to work better if they are taken preventatively, i.e. before you start your exercise. You can buy supplements like Wobenzym that contain a mix of protein-digesting enzymes, but individual ones like Bromelain (from pineapple) and Papain (from papaya) will do the trick. Pancreatin, a mix of amylase (starch-digesting), lipase (protein-digesting), and protease (protein-digesting) works too. I take a combination of these various enzymes.

Acetyl L-Carnitine, DMAE, or Beta-Alanine

ALC is a form of the amino acid Carnitine, and is thought to enhance brain function. DMAE, found in Salmon, may have similar effects. Beta-Alanine is similar. I notice an enhancement of perception and mental stamina after taking each of these supplements, usually about 30-40 minutes later. I take about 150 mg of ALC or near 50 mg of DMAE before a workout, although to avoid potential side-effects, I don’t take them all at once. These nutrients are generally safe, but I play it safe with newer, unproven substances.

Glucosamine Sulfate and MSM

I take these with meals, but I have been supplementing with them since 2002. Some studies have shown these cheap chemicals can prevent and treat joint damage. Some studies have shown no benefit. Given their inexpensive price, I take them. While it is only my testimony, my knees feel better at age 34 than they did when I was 18, and I run roughly 18 miles more per week than back then.

Taking these supplements give me an edge mentally and physically. What supplements work for you? (Don’t post spammy crap or it will get deleted!)

About David Bennett

David Bennett is author of seven self-help books, and an in-demand speaker and consultant. Over a million readers per year read his online content, and his writings have been referenced in many publications and news outlets, including Girls Life, Fox News, the New York Times, Huffington Post, and BBC. He also writes for The Popular Teen, and other sites. Follow him on Twitter.

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