This took me years to realize so don’t make the same mistake I did.
All to often people will ask me what protein I use, or pre workout or mass gainer. It is usually someone that doesn’t have much experience yet or just starting their fitness journey. I can understand this, for years I was in the supplement trap. I would take everything known to man that promised fast gainzzzzzz. I tried everything. Creatine, pre workouts, test boosters etc. The supplement industry is a billion dollar industry and their advertising is great! Its convincing. As soon as you jump online and start researching fitness, weight lifting etc. you will be hit with supplement adds. They are pretty tempting too. Seeing those super lean women and mega jacked dudes holding that supplement they are endorsing is enough for some people to jump right in! “test booster turns geek to freak in just 30 days” mean while your all..
I hear you. I was there. I spent so much on supplements. But I am hear to tell you the first thing you should be focused on is diet. To often people are looking for the quick fix to their dream body without ever putting down the foundation first. Supplements are called “supplements” for a reason. They must be added to an already good diet. I learned this the hard way buying supplement after supplement and seeing no improvement at all. I would be eating out, not watching my nutrition, but I was taking my creatine. why wasn’t I jacked?? But I eventually found the solution. Real food. Find a diet that works for your goals whether its paleo, metabolic, vegan, “clean eating” whatever and purchase good whole foods and feed your body the proper nutrition it needs to recover and grow from the crazy ass workouts you are going to be putting your self through since you found this site and garage calisthenics. This is what everyone should be doing. This will allow you to build a foundation to add and supplement your regime too.
At the end of the day the models depicted to help sell supplements are usually on steroids if they are male probably don’t even use the stuff they are endorsing and the females are usually incredibly fit bikini competitors or models who make a living off looking good doing hard work training countless hours a day with trainers and nutritionists.
When you have a nutrition plan that you have put a at least 6 months into then you can start to see what few supplements you can add to help your goals. But beware of anything that promises to much. If it sounds to good to be true, it almost always is. The best supplements are those that supplement real nutrients. Not chemicals that promise quick gains in muscle and that ripped body in 30 days.
Some examples of supplements I use now to meet my nutrition goals are
Extra protein or meal replacement shakes. If you were like me, I wasn’t into eating meat and didn’t get much protein for how hard I trained so an extra protein supplement can help. My activity schedule is crazy with calisthenics, yoga, hiking, running, weight training and sports so I find I benefit from these types of supplements. I personally love Vega and Lean greens protein.
Nutrients you may be lacking due to diet or lifestyle choices. I am personally vegan, so I supplement B12. some women may supplement with iron etc. If you train really hard extra is always good. If you think a multi vitamin would help it couldn’t hurt. At least it is something your body uses as opposed to some other chemicals.
There are a few others like branch chain amino acids that can also help. But keep it to nutrient based supplements only.
If you are providing your body with the proper nutrition it needs from good food, on a consistent diet you stick to day in and day out you, you will see results long before taking a bunch of un proven supplements will. Your body gets its fuel from real food and builds itself from that not chemicals. Don’t waste money on snake oil claims.