Getting Started with Basic Supplements

What supplements should I be taking?

We get this question all the time.

Spoiler Alert: Here’s a link to our supplement list.

The real answer to this question lies within the current state of your blood panel and to get the answers from your blood, you’ll need to get some blood work done.  Read more about that in Blood Work, Hormones & What’s Going on Inside Your Body

A blood panel will get you detailed information about what you might be deficient in, but it still wont help you with things like inflammation, recovery time, what’s garbage and what works.  On that note, there arent a ton of things we recommend at BullBell Fitness, but there are a few supplements that perhaps nobody should be without.
As usual, always consult with a physician before starting any new supplement or workout program and be sure to read our disclaimer at the bottom of the page. 

Lets get started with some basics:

An Additive Free Protein Powder Without a Ton of Ingredients.

A good protein powder shouldn’t have more than a few ingredients. Don’t forget, with this supplement you want to pay for and consume protein – you don’t need a ton of other things in the powder. It’s simply not necessary.

Take a close look at the labels below. One has 5 ingredients that you can clearly understand, the next has about 25 ingredients (most you cannot pronounce).

A great list of ingredients from one of our favorite protein powders:

Ingredients: Grass-Fed Whey Protein Concentrate, Cacao Powder, Non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin, Monk Fruit Extract, Stevia Leaf Extract.

A crazy list of ingredients from one of the industry’s leading protein powders: 

Ingredients: Whey Protein Concentrate (Milk), Calcium Sodium Caseinate (Milk), Milk Protein Isolate, Soluble Vegetable Fiber, Non Dairy Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Maltodextrin, Sodium Caseinate [A Milk Derivative], Mono- and Diglycerides, Tocopherols), Alkalized Cocoa Powder, Maltodextrin, Canola Oil, Medium Chain Triglycerides, Organic Oat Fiber, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Calcium Phosphate, Less than 1% of: Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Oxide, Acesulfame Potassium, Ascorbic Acid, Sucralose, Enzyme-modified Cocoa Butter, Lactoferrin (Milk), Cholecalciferol, Vitamin A Palmitate.

What’s all the extra stuff?
Mostly fillers and chemicals. Some might be good for you, some not so much. Why take the risk? Why pay for a bunch of stuff you don’t need? Just buy a protein powder that contains mostly protein and a little bit of natural flavor. There’s simply no need for chemical sweeteners or chemical preservatives.
What about the price?
Another thing that isn’t necessary is an expensive price tag. You easily find protein powders on Amazon and especially at your local “Health Food” store for upwards of $4 an oz. That’s a crazy price that we simply refuse to pay. Unless it’s your absolute favorite thing to eat, we suggest you don’t pay prices like that either.
We have an animal based protein and a plant based protein we recommend below.
(Incidentally, these happen to be the best deal with the highest quality available on Amazon)

100% Grass Fed Whey Protein $59.95
76 Servings
(About 75 cents a serving)
One a day will last you nearly 3 months. 

Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
$23
20 Servings
(About $1.25 a serving)
One a day will last you about 3 weeks. 

A Multi-Vitamin.

There are too many multi-vitamins to count, but there are a couple brands we trust. Thorne & Life Extension. We are not paid directly by either company to endorse their brand, we simply like their products.  Of the two listed below, Thorne is the most expensive, but they are known for being the best. That being said, Life Extension is a great brand with a price you cannot beat.

Life Extension Multi-Vitamin (Affordable)

$20
60 Servings
(About 33 cents a serving)
One bottle will last two months. 

Extra Nutrients – Multi-Vitamin (Best Quality)
$60
30 Servings
(About $2 cents a serving)
One bottle will last you 1 months. 

Fish Oil (DHA Omega 3).

Fish Oil doesn’t have to taste fishy or give you the dreaded “Fish burps” you may have heard of. If you’re currently taking a fish oil supplement that does this to you, try a different brand or type.
DHA Omega 3’s are what you’re getting from taking a fish oil supplement. Omega 3’s have been proven in multiple human trials to be effective in reducing heart disease, heart attacks, reduces inflammation, relieves pain in your joints and ligaments, helps improve memory and more. The list of benefits from taking a fish oil supplement goes on and on – almost too good to be true, but it is. Long story, short: EVERYONE should be taking DHA Omega 3’s in their diet. 
There are many dozen brands and types of Fish Oil supplement you can take. We recommend any krill or small fish based fish oil. Once again, Life Extension offers a hard bargain and a quality product.

Life Extension Super Omega-3

$22
60 Servings
(About 35 cents a serving)
One bottle will last you 2 months. 

DHEA (Not it’s NOT Fish Oil).

DHEA often gets confused with DHA Omega – which are two totally different things. DHEA is an acronym for Dehydroepiandrosterone and it’s a hormone thats naturally produced by your body’s adrenal glands. The problem is that most people older than 30 might be deficient in it (or anyone who’s had a baby or hormonal issues in the past). DHEA helps balance your hormones. In particular testosterone – and if you know anything about fitness and working out, testosterone is the magic bullet to looking muscular, lean and feeling amazing (yes, ever for females). DHEA has been touted as a miracle diet supplement, especially for women. And for a price point of less than 15 cents a serving, you shouldn’t leave this one off your list. DHEA has been studied in many human clinical trials and proven to double testosterone overnight. Lean muscle building and fat burning are the two biggest physical benefits of testosterone. Yes even women have testosterone and should have a certain amount of balance of it. Don’t worry DHEA will not make females look like males be hairy and you won’t get too muscular as a female. Think of it as a natural enhancement that might help get you ripped and shredded.  There are many brands of DHEA. Once again we recommend life extension in this case because it is cheap pure and high quality.

Life Extension DHEA
$12
100 Servings
(About 12 cents a serving)
One bottle will last you over 3 months. 

L-Glutamine.

L-Glutamine is often simply referred to as just glutamine. You will find it in protein powders and it is the active and key ingredient in most recovery drinks and supplements. We recommend skipping the over flavored artificially colored recovery drinks and simply just buy and use cheap and effective glutamine after your workouts. It’s available in loose powder form as well as capsules and either one work just fine. Some people say protein powder already has enough glutamine and it but we have found if you are training very hard you can benefit from extra glutamine in your diet after your workouts. Again this is another supplement that has many options and price ranges of the market. We recommend good cheap and pure life extension L-glutamine. BTW, this is one of those supplements you can load up on. If you just experienced a very intense workout, and you’re over 200lbs, taking 2500mg of L-Glutamine is not out of the question.

Life Extension L-Glutamine
$13
100 Servings
(About 12 cents a serving)
One bottle will last you almost 1-4 months. 

 Glucosamine.

If you have any sign of sore joints ligaments or inflammation all we can say is WOW, this stuff really works. If you’re working out very hard, you’re likely to experience some sort of joint pain at any age but especially of your little bit older. Glucosamine and Chondroitin in combination have been scientifically proven to reduce inflammation and pain in your joints. You typically need to ramp up the supplement meaning it takes a couple of weeks before it’s joint lubricating properties start working for you. So don’t be surprised if you don’t feel something right away. Some scientists and doctors suggest glucosamine might help you from getting arthritis in your later years. And some also suggest it can help with arthritis if you already have it. Regardless of your age we highly recommend taking a glucosamine supplement daily. Look for one that also Chondroitin as most of the scientific studies were conducted using a combination of these two ingredients.

Life Extension Glucosamine/Chondroitin

$28

100 Servings
(About 28 cents a serving)
One bottle will last you almost 3 months. 

 Creatine.

Creatine is probably the most optional supplement we have on this list. If you’re going to pick one supplement to leave off the list, you might consider skipping this one, but at 14 cents a serving, why would you? Creatine has been proven to work so well that we simply cannot leave it off our recommended supplement list. Creatine has been scientifically proven to help build muscle and for that reason we recommended. There are many types of Creatine, however the one that has been tested most with the best results in a laboratory setting in humans is monohydrate. Creatine is another supplement that typically has much too much marketing hype around a brand and label – and you typically have to pay for that marketing hype.  We’ve seen creatine for a few dollars a serving which is just a crazy price. Don’t pay more than 25 cents a serving. The creatine we recommend below is only 14 cents a serving.

Life Extension Creatine
$9
60 Servings
(About 14 cents a serving)
One bottle will last you 2 months. 

 Wrap Up.

 That’s it! Those are all the supplements we recommend for most people. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other things that are worth taking it just means these are the basics of what we recommend for optimal health. We tend to stay away from anything with artificial flavors and colors and we do not recommend high stimulant pre-workouts, weight gainers or other pump you up supplements that are available on the market. The reason being is these supplements are typically overloaded with too many chemicals and almost always surrounded by lots of marketing hype. We suggest not to get sucked into the sales process and simply focus on what your body needs. Again we highly recommend getting a blood panel done to see what exactly you might be deficient in. Once you have optics of what your bloods actually look like you can then tailor a supplement regimen that fits your body’s needs.

Here’s a link to all of the supplements listed above.

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