My Secret Supplement
Oh, this is another substance I forgot to mention that also has been proven to be effective. I use a caffeine supplement as a pre and intra-workout supplement most of the days I train. Its inexpensive, you can easily find it at the supermarket and its called – Coffee! You add a teaspoon of it in water, stir and drink. I prefer ice coffee during the warm months of the year and hot coffee when its cold. I do this regardless if Im training fasted or not. Having a cup of coffee is more of a ritual than a pre-workout for me. I love sipping some hot or ice coffee while Im preparing my training music list and checking my notes in my training log from the previous workout.
Doesnt Coffee Dehydrate You?
Someone recently asked me if coffee is ok as a pre and intra-workout drink during intermittent fasting because it is said to dehydrate the body. This is just another myth, coffee just as any drink can contribute to your daily fluid requirement. Coffee as part of a normal lifestyle doesnt cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested. Yes it does have a mild diuretic effect but it doesnt appear to increase the risk of dehydration. Of course anything in excess is not good for you (not even plain water) so avoid extreme coffee consumption. Here is how I deal with my coffee addiction. Because I love the taste of coffee and enjoy drink it often during the day, I have small cups (1/2 of normal cup) and drink it light and plain (no sugar or milk). This way I drink about 5-6 cups a day but its more like 2-3 cups
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P.S. Sometimes in the afternoon I splurge and add some milk and sugar in my last cup!
Final thoughts on supplements
As you can see my experience with supplements is quite limited but I considered it important to mention them since this is an important topic that many people frequently ask questions about. The three supplements above are the only a few that are backed up by serious scientific research and are the only few proven to work. If you want to supplement your athletic diet its up to you. Make sure you choose a quality manufacturer and just to be on the safe side ask a nutritionist for some extra guidelines referring to dosage and any implications they might have with your other dietary habits and/or medications.
My advice is to find the weak links in your lifestyle and diet and if you cannot fix them naturally, ask a specialist for advice on how to address these needs. Dont forget however, supplements are not magical and wont give you any significant results, especially if you dont train hard enough. As a matter of fact, a poor diet with a good training program will give you greater results than an average training program combined with the perfect diet and the finest powder and pill supplements.
Dont obsess over supplements. I find that a lot of people spend too much time worrying over supplements which distracts them from what really delivers results – Hard work.