I was asked the other day at the gym what I thought about over the counter (OTC) testosterone boosters or igniters. Products that can be taken without a prescription that boosts your testosterone levels.
Although I have never tried any of these products, my experience over the past 40 years is that if it is too good to be true its because it is too good to be true. In other words, don’t waste your money.
There are two reasons for this. First, if these OTC’s really did work, they would be flying off the shelf. Prescription testosterone boosters do work, the results are astounding so any OTC that did the same thing would not be a secret for long in every gym across the country. And if these OTC’s did work, pharmaceuticals would be going to court to block its OTC status because it truly would be impeding on their turf.
Secondly, no one should be attempting to boost testosterone levels without the guidance of a medical professional. There are way too many complications that can occur to do this on your own.
What about other supplements?
So this conversation got me to thinking what other supplements should one take or not bother with. I have written quite a few articles on nutrition. In an ideal world if you eat several solid meals a day, there would be no need for supplementation.
But we know that in the real world, with our hectic schedules and processed foods where vital nutrients are stripped or dangerous ingredients are added, there is really no such thing as proper supplementation through regular daily meals.
I like to keep things simple so I break my nutrition plan into a few basic goals. They are as follows:
1. Protein-Carb-Fat balance. My calorie intake consists of 45% coming from protein, 45% from complex carbs and 10% from fat. I believe in the Keep It Simple rule. There is no need to fool the body to burn fat by cycling carbs and fats content.
2. Fiber. Your body needs a minimum of 30 grams of fiber a day. This is regardless if you are male or female or weigh 100 pounds or 300 pounds. Fiber is used to scrub and cleanse your digestive tract.
3. Vitamins. I like taking a high potency multi vitamin/mineral tablet. I used to take ‘Animal Packs’ that contained massive amounts of vitamins and minerals. It came in a small bag for each day and each bag had something like 12-15 tablets. I found this to be a waste of money.
All I use now is any brand where I can get my minimum requirements with ONE tablet! The only criteria when I pick the brand is to make sure it is high in the B vitamins since I feel they are very important.
The brand I am using right now is Solgar VM-75 and I am very pleased with it:
4. Minerals. Although I take a vitamin supplement that gives me minerals, I like to boost two minerals over and beyond what the vitamin supplement provides. This is calcium and magnesium. I use those that have citrate in them. The reason for citrate can be found on my blog post on this subject here.
I take an extra calcium in the morning and a calcium and magnesium at night. The reasons for this can be found on this blog post here.
And the two products I use are:
5. Whey Protein. If you train hard you need a minimum of .5 to .75 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. This is very hard to consume with normal meals. Although many protein powders contain high levels of sodium, I try to find the ones that contain low to zero fat, low to zero sugar and try to minimize the sodium.
The highest and most efficiently absorbed protein is whey. I keep this simple by taking the plain one with no added ingredients. I haven’t found all these fancy blended proteins to give you a good bang for the buck that you are spending. What I have been taking for some time now is:
6. Casein Protein. This type of protein is not as quick digesting as whey nor is it as high of quality on the protein scale and has a lower absorption rate. So why would this be any good for you?
Because since casein is slow digesting, it is the perfect protein to take at night. It is filling which keeps you from binging and because it forms into a gel like substance while going through your digestive tract, it helps cleanse it out every night.
The type I am currently taking and very pleased with is:
Now one may say, WOW that’s a lot of supplements. The answer is, not really. In the morning with breakfast I pop a multi-vitamin and calcium pill. That’s better than taking prescription drug medications.
During my lunch time workout I have my whey protein shake mixed with water right after my workout.
At night I have my casein drink mixed with water with a magnesium and calcium pill.
All the above is no big deal and took zero time out of my day to do. Again, I prefer to exercise and eat right than be addicted to prescription drugs.
You may want to do some or all the above in order to be….Fit Forlife!