Top 5 Ways You Are Supplementing Wrong
When it comes to taking your supplements, you may have a ritual in place. Perhaps you take them at a certain time of day, with meals, or whenever you happen to remember. You may also notice that your supplements don’t seem to be working as well as they should.
Believe it or not, there is a right way (and a wrong way) to take your supplements. Here are the top 5 offenders.
1. Supplements in General
If you are taking your supplement all at once, be it a nootropic or for your general health, you may want to reconsider. While some supplements are a once per day regimen, others work best spread out over multiple administrations.
This most often applies to water soluble supplements as your body absorbs those more quickly. Supplements such as Vitamin C and piracetam powder work best when taken in smaller doses three times per day rather than one large dose.
Nootropics are a class of supplements designed to improve your cognition and memory. Nootropics have been around for quite some time, but synthesized options have only been in existence since the 1960s. Because of their relative newness, not many people are familiar with how to take them. Often times, people will give up and write themselves off as non-responders, when in reality the issue may just be how they are taking their nootropics.
The key comes down to solubility. Some nootropics are water soluble, others are fat soluble. If you take a fat soluble nootropic such as pramiracetam with water on an empty stomach, you may not notice any affects. The same holds true if you take a water soluble nootropic with meals. This is because of how fat and water soluble supplements are absorbed by the body.
Fat soluble nootropics take longer to be absorbed and bond to fat cells. On the flip side water soluble nootropics are quickly absorbed; having food in your stomach while taking water soluble nootropics will negatively affect the benefits of that supplement. You can read more about solubility and nootropics here.
3. Pre Workout/Energy
There are so many common errors when it comes to pre workout supplements, that we dedicated an entire blog post to the subject. However, one of the most common mistakes encountered is not cycling. Many individuals will notice the effects of their pre workout blend are waning over time, so they start to up the dosage. Next thing they know, they are taking three times the amount they started with just to get the same effects.
So what happened? Odds are, that blend contains caffeine and other stimulants. People often build a tolerance to stimulants, caffeine in particular, and this usually happens quickly. Because they don’t want to lose the benefits, they start to take more and more to feel the effects. This can get out of hand quickly. Not only is it a waste of money, taking excessive doses can be downright dangerous. Instead, cycle your pre workout blends that contain caffeine, or make your own pre workout mix so you can adjust your dosages accurately.
4. Post Workout
If you are neglecting your post workout nutrition, you may want to reconsider. Exercise requires fuel, and that fuel will often come in the form of diet and supplements. When you work out you break down your muscles.
A great way to build them back up is with a protein shake about 30 minutes after you finish your workout. If you wait too long to get your post workout nutrition, you may not reap as much if any of the benefits.
Another popular supplement to take post workout is glutamine. Glutamine helps speed up muscle recovery via protein synthesis. BCAAs are also a great option to take post workout as they supply quick energy directly to your muscles.
5. Testosterone Boosters
Many body builders and weight lifters utilize testosterone boosters during period of muscle growth. However, the biggest mistake you can make is not cycling off the test boosters from time to time. This may seem like the same advice for preworkout and energy supplements; however, the reasoning is entirely different.
While the issue with caffeine is simply building up a tolerance, some testosterone boosters have side effects associated with excessive use. Others only have side effects with chronic, long-term use.
There are many different ways to cycle testosterone boosters. Some require 5 days on with two days off. Others can be taken for multiple months while tapering your dosage near the end followed by a few weeks of not taking any test booster. Be sure to research your testosterone supplement thoroughly to determine the proper cycling phase.