CrossFit Discussion Board

CrossFit Discussion Board (
-   Nutrition (
-   -   Suppliments advice (

Jonathan Chasin 12-28-2007 08:21 PM

Suppliments advice
I am sure someone may have posted this before but i was just wondering what type of supplements people are taking. I don't have any real issues just the normal soreness from the workouts. I have not started zone dieting but i do plan to start in a couple of weeks i just got the books so I'm starting to learn the zone basics.

David Wood 12-28-2007 10:07 PM

Re: Suppliments advice
Hi Jonathan, you're right. It's been discussed lots of times before.

You may get some responses (it's a big board), but there are probably a dozen threads on this . . . just do a search on "supplement" in the "Nutrition" section. (Gotta limit it to that section or you'll get lots of posts about "supplementary" exercises.)

A very brief answer that covers about 50% of the "consensus" opinion:

a) Supplements are pretty much pointless if you don't have the basics of a good diet, exercise, and sleep nailed down.

b) many (most?) of us take a multivitamin of some sort

c) many (again, maybe most) of us supplement with fish oils or other sources of omega-3 (e.g. flax) (although the consensus is that animal sources (i.e., fish) are more effective than flax)

d) some folks like creatine, others find it it just bloats them up (I'm in the second group)

e) some folks use various protein powders. Lots of discussion on that, too.

After those basics, there's a lot more variety of opinion. I try a wide variety of herbal concoctions because I can afford it, and I'm interested in that stuff . . . wouldn't recommend it to everyone, though. Find some of the old discussions if you care that much.

Jonathan Chasin 12-29-2007 07:24 AM

Re: Suppliments advice
Thanks David,

I did get the supplementary exercise return when I searched, so i will try it again within the nutrition section. I was just sort of looking for a quick list from people on what they were using, I'm not trying to start any debates on the validity of supplements.

Jay Cohen 12-29-2007 07:35 AM

Re: Suppliments advice
[QUOTE=Jonathan Chasin;233809]Thanks David,

I did get the supplementary exercise return when I searched, so i will try it again within the nutrition section. I was just sort of looking for a quick list from people on what they were using, I'm not trying to start any debates on the validity of supplements.[/QUOTE]

Search for the Sup threads at PM. last time I looked, people were listing their favs or must eat sups. Fish Oil always ranks high, along with Probiotics, Enzymes, etc.

Larry Lindenman 12-29-2007 07:55 AM

Re: Suppliments advice
David is correct, his whole post is spot on. Because I feel like typing on a rest day here you go.

1. Don't touch supplements until you dial in your nutrition and workouts. On a brief note: How will you know what is working if you do everything at the same time? If you start the Zone, CF, and take creatine, how do you know what is causing gains?

2. Fish oil is not a supplement, it's food. I take 10 caps a day. I transitioned from Carlson's fish oil to Costco enteric coated fish oil caps about 2 months ago. I take 2 caps with every meal (5 meals a day 10 caps).

3. Protein powder (whey and casein mix) makes life easier. It also makes cottage cheese and plain yogurt taste better. Make sure your getting just protein, not a meal replacement drink. I mix it with a iced green tea base, mixed frozen berries, and almond butter (of course I have 2 fish oil caps with this). This is a fast and easy to make snack. You could also throw protein powder in a bottle and throw a few in the car. In an emergancy (cant find decent food), buy some mixed nuts and a piece of fruit, add water, and you have a decent Zone compliant meal.

4. Drink green and white tea. Again, a food with tons of benifits. At least 2 cups a day.

5. Low fat chocolate milk has the same Carb/protein profile as most "post workout" drinks. Its also cheaper. You don't need this but if you were thinking of wasting big bucks on post workout nutrition, I saved you some money. Google this and you will find studies.

6. Creatine. More and more studies find benefits to supplementing with creatine, with no negative side effects (prove me wrong). 5 grams a day, with no loading period of micronized creatine will give you all the benefits. A decent brand (there all the same) should cost you no more than $30 for 1000 grams. That's a pretty decent deal. Don't take this until your dialed in. If you have problems with creatine, stop taking it. It's worth experimenting with. Dump a teaspoon in you morning green tea, and your good to go.

7. BCAA. Now were getting into "do I really need to spend the money" territory. The simple answer is NO. BUT, I use it anyway. It started as an experiment for me. I use Extreme Formulation ICE as directed, during the WOD. I feel I recover better (heck, I'm 45 years old and need any edge I could get). I usually have ICE during the WOD and have breakfast about 30 minutes after the workout (1 omega 3 egg, 1 cup of egg whites, spanish, 1 piece of fruit (I vary this daily, going for variety), and a handful (12 to be exact) of raw almonds or walnuts.

I don't take a multi vitamin, all the stuff I eat and drink, pretty much takes care of that. I choose to spend my money on quality foods. I get organic produce and free range meats, whenever I can. Farmers markets when the season is right. The only expensive supplement I take is ICE. You don't need this, and I will probably drop it after I finish this bottle. Tea, and fish oil are pretty cheap (especially if you are a Costco member, I brought a whopping box of 100 Japanese Green Tea bags). I don't do the chocolate milk thing, but it's cheap. Protein powder is a little pricy, but the convenience is worth it for me. Creatine was 25 bucks for 1000g (AST brand, I believe).

IMO you don't need anything but the fish oil and green/white tea. People will argue protein powder, creatine, and BCAA, all day. Your also going to get your raw milk fans chiming in. All the extras, add up to about 1-2% of the fitness/health thing, don't sweat it. Start with the Zone. Drink tea and take fish oil, add the rest if you want.

Jonathan Chasin 12-29-2007 08:35 AM

Re: Suppliments advice
Thanks guys that was the type of advice i was looking for.

Aaron Shaffer 12-29-2007 08:40 AM

Re: Suppliments advice
I'm with coach Glassman in my supplement recommendations. The only thing I've heard him recommend is fish oil.

According to the NSCA caffeine and creative are the only safe and effective supplements, caffeine for boosting cardiovascular output 5% (think 6k row for example) and creatine for 5% boost in low-rep strength, yet caffeine can dehydrate you while creatine causes you to take on water weight.

According to coach Rippetoe whole milk is the best thing around if you're going for strength and muscle mass but that's arguably not a supplement.

Personally I use caffeine and fish occasionally, that's it. Like the other commenters suggest, dialing in your Zone diet and following the WODs make 90-99% the difference, supplements affect only the last few % your performance and aren't worth worrying about.

Bryant A Buchanan 12-29-2007 01:48 PM

Re: Suppliments advice
Beta Alanine and citrulline malate what are you guy's opinion on these supplements, I think these will be of great use to crossfitters.

Beta Alanine has a great deal of research on it and seems to work quite well.
What do you guy's think about this supplement?

This link is work friendly


How does citrulline malate benefit the athlete?

Citrulline malate improves aerobic performance and capacity by influencing lactic acid metabolism and reducing fatigue. Studies in Europe, where citrulline malate has been used for over 20 years, demonstrate reduction in mental and physical fatigue and exhaustion in geriatric and post-surgery patients. Laboratory studies with rats and microbes support the results seen in humans. Administration of citrulline malate to animals protected against acidosis and ammonia poisoning. In a microbial model, malate accelerated the clearance of ammonium and citrulline facilitated lactate metabolism. The results suggest a synergistic action of the complex.

Supplementation of citrulline malate to humans has shown promising results. French researchers reported in several human studies that blood lactate concentrations were reduced and ammonia elimination was increased after physical exertion. Rapid recovery from physical effort correlated to the disappearance of lactate from blood after performance at a high level of acidosis suggesting an essential role in acid-base balance.

Effects on metabolism in the finger flexor muscles after 15 days of citrulline malate supplementation were determined during exercise. Subject reports of significant reduction in fatigue were supported by an increase in the rate of oxidative ATP and energy production.

Two groups of basketball players were supplemented with citrulline malate for over 13 days with two different dosages. The group with the higher dosage had significant improvements in maximal workload during an exercise test on a cycle ergometer. Although fewer improved on the second maximal cycling test, the authors concluded that citrulline malate may improve aerobic performance.

Travis Hall 12-29-2007 08:33 PM

Re: Suppliments advice
Here is a list of some supplements and information from an article on Ross Enamaitís Site:


I find the ZMA sounds interesting. Anyone have experience with it?

Ken Roberts 12-29-2007 09:44 PM

Re: Suppliments advice
I teach health and nutrition, as well as sell nutrional supplements, and I can say honestly if you are looking for gains, the best thing is a sound diet (zone) and following the WOD. If you are concerned with health, know that eating healthy is not always going to meet all of your nutrional needs. Everyone handles nutrients differently, and some people need the extra boost of the correct vitamins and minerals for them. For example, some people might not need to take Iron with a multi-vitamin, and some people might gain from consuming a mineral boost as well. Everyone can benefit from anti-oxidants.

Just because you feel good when your young from consistantly eating healthy, doesn't mean that preventative medicine (supplements) won't help you down the road. You chain the oil in your car don't you? Good oil and good gas, with no regular maintenance doesn't make a classic car.
All I am saying is doing your research before you buy. The 16 year old kid at GNC selling you the same crap that last 20 customers bought doesn't make it a good product!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:37 PM.

CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit Inc.