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Supplements for CrossFit & Life: My Favorites

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We get a lot of questions about supplements. For as many people that ask about supplements, I’m sure there’s even more that walk by our retail shelves of protein powder and wonder, “Do I need to be taking that?”

Before I get into the meat of this post, I have to lay out a few disclaimers about supplements. Since I’m not a doctor, I can’t prescribe any type of product for my members. All the information below is for informational purposes only. It’s simply to show what I currently use and have been finding success with. We recommend you do your own research and seek a doctor’s advice if necessary. We sell Ascent Protein at our gym, but besides that I don’t get any kickbacks for recommending these products.

And when it comes to supplements, you can’t out supplement a bad diet. They are to be used in addition to an already sound diet. I’ve been guilty of being lazy with my nutrition in the past and thinking shakes will save the day. Don’t make that mistake, eat real food first.

Why do I feel like we need supplements in our lives? For me, a protein supplement 2-3x a day and a greens supplement is vital for me to fuel my active lifestyle. It’s very hard to hit my goal of 170g of protein each day simply by gnawing on chicken breasts. I also love shakes around workouts because I feel like it’s the easiest on my stomach heading into a workout, and fastest to assist recovery after. The greens supplement ensures I get my micronutrients for the day and keeps my immune system strong.

Let’s begin with the protein shake I start every morning with. Even on the weekends when I want to stuff my face with waffles or head to Jupiter Donuts, I ALWAYS have this shake first, no matter what.

Ingredients:
Silk Chocolate Almond Milk
Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein Chocolate
AmazingGrass Green Superfood Chocolate Flavor
Maca Powder
MCT Oil

Why Maca Powder and MCT Oil?
I don’t drink coffee and I don’t do caffeine. I don’t mind caffeine, but I hate the way my body feels after it. I’ve dealt with anxiety and mood issues throughout my life, and the comedown from caffeine brings those feelings back like a tidal wave. I can’t tell you how much my nutrition has altered my mood and social anxiety over the years. You can research these two further for their benefits, but for me, it puts my mind in the right place to coach a CrossFit class at 445 or 5am in the morning.

Post Workout
After my workout, I always have a shake with Ascent protein. Yes, whey is technically a dairy product derived from milk, but I’ve personally noticed a difference in how I feel based on the brands I’ve taken. Ascent doesn’t give me stomach issues, it’s really easy to mix in a shake without a blender and it tastes great. It also doesn’t have an ingredient list that is paragraphs long.
Since I have chocolate in the morning, I like to have the lemon or vanilla flavor typically post-workout. These flavors also let me sneak in some more great micronutrients with “Golden Milk” powder by “Garden of Life”. It’s a turmeric and ginger blend that I believe helps strengthen immunity and fights off inflammation. We also blend it in our warm bone broth drinks at night.

I like sneaking collagen protein into my shakes throughout the day and drink a pure collagen shake about twice a week. Bulletproof’s vanilla and chocolate flavors are amazing.

If you have kids, try giving them Chocolate Collagen with Silk Chocolate almond milk. It is better than any milkshake and way way way healthier. A great after school treat before they go grabbing for something way worse.

Both bone broth and collagen proteins tend to solidify/bunch in cold liquids, so if serving to kids I strongly suggest using a magic bullet or blender. Adults you can handle a little texture.

Here are a few protein shake combinations I like to use Post workout.
Orange Creamiscle
½ cup vanilla almond milk unsweetened + about 1 cup orange juice + vanilla ascent + golden milk

Vanilla Gold
1- 1½ cup vanilla almond milk unsweetened + ½ to 1 whole banana + vanilla ascent + golden milk

Island Getaway
1-1 ½ cups of coconut water or flavored coconut water like pineapple + lemon sorbet ascent

Casein Protein
Casein protein is known in the fitness world as a slower release protein that is often taken at night to repair muscles while asleep. Many claim it helps reduce soreness so they can hit the next day’s WOD hard. I simply use it when I want a pudding-like treat at night. That’s a fat kid explanation right there.

How to make chocolate casein pudding.
-Put the recommended scoop of powder into a bowl.
– SLOWLY pour in unsweetened almond milk and mix until you get a pudding-like texture. Add it in small increments, and only add more as needed.

Here are a few more supplements I take and the reasons I take them. I’m not really consistent daily with any one of them, just kind of mix them in throughout my week. (If you think this is a lot, you should have seen my supplement stash in college and after.)
Fermented Cod Liver Oil – fights off inflammation, good fats when my meals may not have them.
Thyroid Support – this one has a good blend of a lot of vitamins known to help recovery and function
Immuni-T – immune support, which is always needed with a kid in Kindergarten and one in pre-K
Chlorella (or Spirulina) – good “greens” when somehow they slacked in your diet (traveling?)

Finally, I think an electrolyte drink is one of my favorite recommendations after protein powder for our active athletes at CFPB. So many of us suffer from dehydration effects that we don’t even realize. This could prevent that afternoon crash you always go through. It could also be a good pre-workout when food doesn’t seem like a good option. Coconut water works great here too, but when you want the positive effects without the sugar than electrolyte drinks are great. As always, check the ingredient list first. Pictured is Vega, which is a good brand and there are a few others on Amazon to pick from.

Let me know about your favorite supplements or if you have any questions.

-Tony