Probably the second-most frequent question I receive, right behind the blanket question “How did you get results like that?” is “What supplements did you take?”
Supplements are a CRUCIAL part of your success during the P90X® or any other fitness program you’re participating in. Simply put, I could NOT have achieved my nutritional goals, and ultimately my results, without supplementation. Period.
During Phase 3 I was taking in approximately 300 grams of protein per day on 3,000 calories, which would have been unachievable without supplementation. I would estimate that probably 50% of my protein intake is from supplementation (i.e. – shakes, bars, etc.) and 50% is from “real foods” (i.e. – lean meats, oatmeals, eggs, yogurts, etc.).
I do not consume a pre-workout supplement. I did try Jack3D for about 10 days, didn’t notice much of a difference and discontinued it’s use. I used several different whey protein powders during Round 1, including Nectar, Gold Premium 100% Whey and Whey Isolate. I always, and still do, take a casein-based protein before bed (Elite-12). While you’re sleeping is when your body does it’s best work, BUT, it’s also the longest period of time where you probably don’t eat anything. Casein dissolves slowly over time, “feeding” your body/muscles gradually to avoid reaching a catabolic state. I alternated between (2) recovery drinks during Round 1, Dark Matter and Aftershock. Both are terrific, but I’d give the nod to Aftershock because of it’s additional protein content. The thermogenic (fat burner) I used was called Oxy Elite Pro – truly an outstanding product! I never experienced any of the traditional side-effects associated with fat burners while on OEP, and I think we can all agree that it worked for me! Lastly, I used an everyday multi-vitamin, Vitamin Shoppe brand, called Ultimate Male Gold, a joint supplement called Super Cissus and an Omega-3 supplement called Wholemega. The vitamins ensured my body received an adequate intake of vitamins and nutrients, the joint supplement helped me walk after workouts like Plyometrics (not kidding! haha) and the Omega-3 supplement, due to my very low fat intake, ensured I got adequate levels of the required fats my body needed to function properly.
When I became a Beachbody® Coach, I became eligible for a 25% discount on Beachbody® products. Therefore, it became cost-effective for me to experiment with Beachbody’s stuff as an alternative to what I had been using. Two Beachbody® supplements that I really like, and wish I had found during Round 1, are Shakeology® and the P90X® Results and Recovery Formula. I think regular use of each allowed me to really make gains in Round 2, when the gains were much harder to come by. My strength has continued to increase while my body fat has continued to decrease, and I attribute that specifically to each of the above products. I mix the P90X® R&R with (1) scoop of vanilla Whey Isolate (Cytosport), which makes it taste like an orange Creamsicle. Adding the Whey Isolate really makes it a powerful recovery drink, giving it (25) extra grams of protein. So, when all is said-and-done, I get 38 grams of protein, simple carbohydrates for glycose delivery and insulin replenishment and creatine, all in one recovery drink! Good stuff.
The other product is Shakeology®. Everyone should be on Shakeology® – it’s that good! With 70+ ingredients, including vitamins, nutrients, minerals and amino acids, taking Shakeology® has reduced the need for me to take a multi-vitamin (that saves me $30.00 per month right there!). Shakeology® has really helped regulate my digestive system and cleanse my digestive tract – probably the biggest benefit I’ve noticed so far. It also has 17 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbs and can be mixed with virtually anything (there are TONS of recipes available online). For example, today I mixed my chocolate Shakeology® with 6 oz. of water, 6 oz. of skim milk, a banana, (2) tbsp of peanut butter and (1) scoop of chocolate whey protein powder – I call it the “Gorilla” haha. That totaled 600 calories, 59 grams protein, 55 carbs and 21 grams of fat – a meal replacement indeed!
So, knowing what I know after completing (2) full rounds of P90X®, my supplemental advice would be this, in order of priority: 1) take the P90X® R&R, mixed with a scoop of Whey Isolate if possible, for a powerful recovery drink, 2) take Shakeology® for it’s numerous benefits, as a meal replacement once during the day, 3) if you’re interested in a thermogenic, IMO, it doesn’t get any better than Oxy Elite Pro, 4) take a joint supplement to assist your body in coping with the repeated pounding your knees, ankles and joints will take in extreme workouts like Plyometrics, and 5) take a casein-based supplement at night, to avoid “starvation mode” and prevent yourself from going “catabolic.”
Some people complain about the high costs of supplements – I understand that. To be honest though, I think you’ll find that if you’re serious enough about your health, your grocery bill will go down exponentially, and you’ll save a TON by not stopping at fast-food restaurants any longer. Despite my heavy supplementation, I determined that I was breaking even or even coming out slightly ahead as far as total monies I was spending on food/nutrition.
A final thing to consider: whatever the time-frame is of the program you’ve decided to tackle (i.e. – 90 days for the P90X®), it will probably be the most important time of your life as it relates to your health. You’re trying to build a “race car” in 90 days. In order to do that you need “race car” parts, not “economy car” parts.
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