Supplements 101

On a daily basis we get asked multiple questions pertaining to supplements.  The majority of our members use supplements of some sort or are interested in learning more about supplements.  With a growing gym and more of a demand for supplements we will be expanding our current options for our members while providing competitive pricing on the products that we order.

We will carry a variety of fish oils, protein powders, BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids), pre-workout mixes, bars (Perfect, RX, Quest), and fitaids.  If there is a product that we do not carry and you would like we will do our best to get it in for you.

A Quick Disclaimer:

I am not a registered dietician or nutrition specialist.  The advice given here is generic basic supplemental advice.  We at CFP and RISE do not believe that you can “outrun” a bad diet with the use of supplements.  Supplements are meant to be “supplemental” to an otherwise healthy and complete diet in order to enhance health and performance.

Why use fish oil?

Fish oil, which includes Cod-liver oil, is a significant source of the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.  These fatty acids have numerous, documented health benefits: improved cholesterol balancereduced inflammationincreased blood flowreduced rates of heart disease and atherosclerosisbetter immune system function, improved brain function, improvement in psychiatric disorders, and prevention of cancers (particularly breastcolon, and prostate).  Improved blood flow and reduced inflammation are of particular interest to athletes.  This enables an athlete to train harder and recover faster.

Why use a protein powder?

Most of us have lives that keep us on the run.  This means that we often are in positions where there aren’t abundant “healthy” nutritional options.  Often times this is when we succumb to what is convenient.  This is a major factor that keeps us from reaching our health and fitness goals.  Protein powders are convenient as they are easy to keep up with and don’t take up much of our time.  The post workout period is an imperative time to get good quality protein and carbohydrates into our bodies.  This 15-60 minute window is very important in helping our bodies recover for our next training session.

What are Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)?  And should I use one?   

There are 22 standard amino acids and these amino acids are necessary for nearly every biological process in your body. Among those, 9 are considered to be essential amino acids. Essential amino acids can’t be manufactured by the human body so they must be obtained from food sources. Among the essential amino acids, only 3 are considered to be BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs play numerous key roles in your body. Unlike the other essential amino acids, BCAAs are utilized in muscle tissue and not the liver.

There is always robust debate on whether or not you should use a BCAA.  My opinion is that if you are mostly interested in health and wellness and otherwise eating a clean diet then BCAA supplementation is not completely necessary.  On the other hand if you are more competitive in your training and looking to improve your performance BCAAs can be an effective tool.

Should I eat Protein Bars/Meal Replacement Bars/ Other Protein Foods?

Before I begin I will re-iterate that a good diet starts with whole foods that must be prepared and bars should not be the crux of your diet.  With that said I do believe that eating a good quality bar beats eating a Big Mac any day of the week.  We carry Perfect Bars, RX Bars (Whole 30 Compliant), Quest Bars, and Quest Chips.  We believe these bars are some of the better bars on the market and are safe choices if you enjoy bars.

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