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Supplements for Exercise

When it comes to supplements, I try to limit its usage as much as possible. I believe that you don’t really need them if you eat a complete balanced diet. This is my opinion for my current lifestyle and I’m sure other people have different needs.

Since there are few people out there who do eat a complete balanced diet everyday, supplements are a useful tool to keep your health in order. Currently, I am taking 4 supplements: a multi-vitamin, an iron, fiber, and fish oil supplements. It is the minimum set that works for me though eventually, I want to wean off them all.

As for P90X supplements, recovery drinks, and protein bars…I haven’t tried any of them and I don’t plan to in the future. I don’t think that bars, shakes, and specialized vitamins will have a greater effect on my body than what I’m already taking in.

  • When it comes to vitamins, my current multi-vitamin is enough because whatever my body does not absorb, it flushes out. I know the P90X multi-vitamin packs way more than I need, so I’ll still be flushing out the excess and that’s a waste.

  • After a workout, Tony Horton always stresses the importance of a recovery drink to help speed up the muscle repair process. For me, I had 30+ days without a specialized recovery drink and I recovered quite well by drinking lots of water and adding some salt/lemon if I need something extra. Since my workouts are getting more intense, I’m taking in chocolate milk for an additional push and it works as well as any other recovery drink. However, I make my own chocolate milk from 2% milk + unsweetened cocoa powder.

  • Protein bars. If you look on any fitness website or blog, I’m sure you’ll find many different brands and types of protein bars out there. Supposedly, the main purpose of the P90X protein bars are to help you build muscle and lose fat. They’re useful if you need a snack and don’t have other options or you need additional energy while doing some high-endurance activity. It’s probably best to have these bars once in a while as a last resort instead of a daily snack.

I prefer eating natural food/snacks instead of protein bars/shakes. In high school when I was on a rowing team, we were only allowed to eat Clif bars during our race days to keep up our energy without making us sluggish. I consumed 4+ bars on those days because I was so hungry. When I look back on it now, I think it was more the sugar that kept us energized, not the other stuff in the bars.

Overall, I’m no fan of shakes and bars because it doesn’t fit into my lifestyle. First of all, they don’t taste that great. They have many different flavors, but I don’t like chocolate and I’m really sensitive to sugar. Second, I don’t like the texture of powdered drinks and dense, chewy bars. Third, I don’t believe that they have a significant effect on my performance. So, P90X supplements are not a worthwhile investment for me.

They are only supplements...they are supposed to provide whatever is lacking in your current food plan, but it should not be a permanent substitute for a balanced and healthy meal.

*All photos from Beachbody.com

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