THIS page is dedicated entirely to the essentials tools I use to support my weight training – and to stay healthy. I suggest WTITW readers stock up on these too because this stuff WORKS…and I would never recommend anything that I don’t use myself.
I have tried dozens and dozens of supplements over the past 17 years or so. Pre-workout energy boosters, post-workout shakes, protein bars, you name it…and the majority of them are garbage. Total waste of money.
I have stuck with the following products for years now because:
• They are all natural and safe.
• Have no dodgy ingredients.
• They are produced by well-respected companies.
• They are not too expensive.
• I have seen great results with them.
So here is a rundown of each supplement with a brief review.
The majority of athletes support muscle repair and growth by drinking protein shakes. Following a weight training workout your body is crying out for all the essential amino acids and right mix of macronutrients to fix up your damaged muscle fibres and grow stronger. So it is a good idea to buy a tub of protein powder to support your training.
But here’s an important warning before you do so…many (but not all) ‘whey protein isolate’ powders on the market today are useless. Some are also potentially damaging to your health.
The standard manufacturing of whey protein powders involves processing milk at a high heat when extracting the whey. This reportedly makes the powder harder for the body to digest and also less soluble. Chemicals are also often added to make the powder mix better in shakers. Added sugars and sweeteners are then thrown in the mix to improve the taste.
I personally experienced serious gastrointestinal issues in my late 20’s, which I attribute directly to downing dodgy protein shakes every day for years. Two of my friends had similar stomach problems. When we all switched to healthier, organic protein supplements the issues eventually disappeared.
Below are the top products WTITW recommends:
WARRIOR WHEY is hands down the most effective, tastiest, and healthiest protein supplement on the market today in my opinion. Produced by Defense Nutrition, Warrior Whey is a super healthy, organic shake and is in a different league to the rest. No chance of bellyaches, bloating, gas, or feeling sick after drinking a Warrior Whey shake – unlike many of the whey protein isolate powders available.
This is down to how Warrior Whey protein powder is manufactured. First, it is made from the raw milk of pasture raised, grass-fed cows. Even more importantly, this milk is processed at a low heat, ensuring that the whey is not damaged and can be fully utilised by the body. Thirdly, it is not treated with any acid chemicals when being produced.
Warrior Whey helps builds muscle more effectively and quickly because it:
• Is more easily absorbed by the body.
• Contains all essential and conditionally essential amino acids.
• Contains all naturally occurring immunefactors.
• Is pesticide free, chemical free, GMO free and rBGH free.
• Has no added sugars.
Quality – 10/10
You can actually smell the difference between Warrior Whey and other standard protein powders just when you open the tub. It has a natural creamy kinda smell which I guess must be down to it being made from raw milk and being heated at a low temperature. Whereas many other protein powders have a sweet, almost sickly smell, which is presumably down to the chemicals and sweeteners.
Taste – 10/10
The chocolate flavour tastes outrageously good. Strawberry is a close second. (I have not tried any of the others yet). It has a really creamy taste and is not too sweet. The chocolate powder is great blended with water, natural peanut butter, oats, and a banana! Chuck in some ice too and a dash of cinnamon powder for it to taste amazing.
Mixability – 10/10
No sludge or gooey mess at the bottom of your shaker with Warrior Whey. This stuff blends in beautifullyyyy with water.
Value – 7/10
Gotta admit, it is a bit on the expensive side at $24.95 for a 500g tub. Each has 10 servings – which works out at $2.50 per shake. But you are paying for quality, simple as that. I am far too picky about what I put in my body these days after previous health problems, and would much rather pay a bit more for the best stuff.
Also, after you click on this Warrior Whey link you can choose the 5 tubs, get 1 free option. And here’s another tip to save money on Warrior Whey…sign up for the Defense Nutrition newsletter as it will give you a code to save another 10% off your first order. You’re welcome.
Sunwarrior’s Warrior Blend is a superfood protein that is packed with special ingredients to not only build muscle, but maintain good health. Sunwarrior is a non-dairy alternative as the company produces a variety of plant-based protein powders. These are organic – and more easily absorbed by the body.
Warrior Blend is definitely their best product, which is a special formulation of brown rice protein, raw pea protein, raw hemp, and raw cranberry protein to provide all essential amino acids.
It also has added ingredients derived from plants such as fenugreek and konjac, which have multiple health benefits such as: lowering cholesterol, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving digestion. Warrior Blend is an amazing choice – and not just for vegans or vegetarians – because it:
• Contains all essential amino acids in a balanced profile.
• Is free of solvents, GMOs, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, artificial colors.
• Contains no animal products, dairy, egg, gluten, soy, wheat, or yeast.
• Has no added sugars.
• Is easy to digest.
Quality – 10/10
Warrior Blend can easily be described as a superfood with all its amazing, nutritious ingredients that support muscle development – and overall health. The company has fused several plant protein sources together to ensure all amino acid bases are covered for muscle repair and growth.
Taste – 8/10
The chocolate flavour is best, really tasty. I’d give the vanilla 6/10. Always best mixing with water and tastes great mixed with other ingredients such as fruit, nuts, oats, coconut milk etc in a blender.
Mixability – 10/10
Sunwarrior claim their protein powders are easily absorbed by the body – you can tell simply by how easily the powder mixes with water. You also don’t end up with gas or feeling bloated afterwards – a problem many whey protein drinkers have.
Value – 8/10
As each serving is only 1 scoop instead of 2, Warrior Blend lasts longer. Choose the drop down menu and buy the 1kg tub at $48.95 for the best deal. It has 40 servings – which works out at around $1.25 per shake. You can’t argue with that.
Creatine is a powerhouse supplement for boosting your strength during workouts and adding muscle mass. It is now used widely by weightlifters and athletes to improve performance and body development.
It is a compound found naturally in foods including beef, fish and chicken and helps to provide energy to the body’s cells, particularly muscle. Problem is, you would have to eat ridiculous amounts of these foods to achieve the desired effect.
That’s where creatine supplements come in. Mix creatine powder with water or juice, or take a few capsules, and you can benefit from greater power, strength and muscle growth. There are several forms of this supplement, but creatine monohydrate powder has been shown to be the most effective.
Creatine was first introduced to the public as a supplement in 1993 following its use by Olympic gold medal winners Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell. Despite some scare stories about long term use potentially affecting the kidneys or liver, this has been disproved by numerous studies. For more details, check out this article.
How it works: creatine increases the body’s ability to produce energy rapidly, allowing you to train harder and longer. With the ability to manage more reps, your muscles can then grow bigger and stronger. Creatine also pulls more water into your muscles, making them look fuller.
Best option: Optimum Nutrition 2500mg. I’ve tried 3 or 4 brands of creatine and this is my favourite due to its effectiveness and because it comes in capsule form. Previously, I would mix creatine powder in water/juice – it tasted chalky and gave me the boak!
The capsules are easy to take and four of them provides 5g of creatine, which is the recommended daily amount.
Downsides: You will pee a lot. While creatine pulls water into your muscles, the body also naturally tries to get rid of the excess creatine and this can mean more trips to the loo.
Upsides: It works well for the majority of people. You will most likely notice a difference in strength in the gym within a week. After as little as two weeks of supplementation and gym training you should notice harder, fuller muscles.
The Optimum Nutrition 300 capsules bottle costs only around $27 and lasts for over two months. For best results, take 4 capsules an hour before your workout and on non-workout days take between 2 and 4.
QUALITY: 9/10. VALUE 9/10.
This is one supplement that EVERYONE should be taking each day – and Ancient Minerals is the best brand.
The mineral magnesium plays such an important role in the healthy functioning of the body – yet it is estimated that 75% of people living in the Western world are deficient.
This is because the stresses of 21st century living, poor diet, being overworked, lack of sleep etc deplete our levels of this miracle mineral. Supplementing with magnesium oil is hugely beneficial for people lifting weights and other athletes because it relaxes and soothes sore muscles, speeding up recovery times following tough workouts.
It is also an amazing aid for a deep, restful sleep as it calms the nervous system by inhibiiting cortisol and adrenaline (two major stress hormones). Proper sleep is so important to muscle development and overall health.
Our hormones can be thrown out of whack with the mental strains of our jobs, relationships, exercise regimes, financial situations etc. This also has a negative impact on your physical health. Magnesium is a top tool for naturally balancing your hormones – and it has an unbelievable calming effect when you are stressed. Lather on the oil and feel the difference within one hour!
Magnesium has a huge list of health benefits and is best used as a transdermal oil as the mineral is absorbed better through the skin. Here are just a few of its key benefits:
• Reduced muscle aches, pain, cramping and spasms. It has even been shown to be effective treating conditions such as fibromyalgia.
• Improved moods.
• Increased energy levels.
• Healthier skin and fewer outbreaks of psoriaris and eczema.
• Quicker recovery from injuries.
The Ancient Minerals 237ml bottle costs only around $20 and lasts for around two months. For best results, use around 10 sprays on each arm around an hour before bed. Give it around a week to feel the effects – as it is likely you have been chronically deficient in magnesium for a while.
Quality: 10/10. Value 10/10. Can’t recommend it enough!.
Another essential, tremendous, and inexpensive supplement mainly used by athletes and weightlifters. This combination of two minerals and one vitamin is a potent mix for recovery and growth because it assists in hormone production and achieving deep levels of sleep.
Training hard in the gym consistently can lower levels of testosterone, as can everyday life stresses. ZMA has been clinically proven to increase anabolic hormone levels and muscle strength in athletes. Studies have shown that it can increase the testosterone levels of men by around one third. (Lads – after a week of taking these you will definitely be pitching more tents in your boxers in the morning!)
ZMA, Night Time Recovery Support, 180 capsules is a great brand that I use and this tub provides a two month supply for only $22. This is pennies for an amazing, natural supplement that works really well ( just check out some of the reviews via the above link ). Take the capsules post-workout or around an hour before bed.
Quality – 9/10. Value – 10/10
. This only works out at around 35 cents per day, so don’t be the cheapest of cheapskates.
We all know how good vegetables are for us. But let’s be honest, many of us don’t eat anywhere near enough of them. Even those who do eat plenty are probably not getting enough goodness from them because over-cooking strips them of vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes.
Step in green powder supplements. The Greens Superfood, 60 servings product by Amazing Grass is my number one choice. A couple of servings of this probably equates to more veg than most people eat in a week! What makes it even more amazing is that you only have to mix one scoop of the powder in a cup of water, or in a shake, and then down it.
This stuff definitely gives me more energy and you actually feel healthier after drinking it. It is packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that are powerful for cleansing the entire body and protecting your cells.
Green Superfood is a mix of the healthiest organic plants including wheat grass, barley grass, spinach, brocolli, spirulina, chlorella and alfalfa. These are crammed with phytonutrients that help clean the blood and allow our body’s cells to function and communicate properly.
Aswell as antioxidants which protect your body’s cells, the Green Superfood powder also contains digestive enzymes and probiotics. So, the supplement’s health benefits include:
• Supporting overall health and wellness.
• Boosting the immune system.
• Supporting detoxification.
• Improving digestive health.
Quality – 10/10
It has an almost 5 star rating with tons of reviews on Amazon. Hundreds of people are raving about how Greens Superfood keeps their skin clear, helps digestion, boosts their energy etc.
Taste – 7/10
I have tried 7 or 8 green powder supplements and some are like a mix between soil, gravel…and a little bit of spew. Gag-tastic! But this stuff is the best I have tasted. It’s obviously hardly gonna be full of flavour as it’s a mix of green plants, but it can easily be downed in a couple of seconds. If you mix it in a protein shake or juice you can barely even notice it at all.
Mixability – 8/10
Mixes well. Just make sure you give the cup a good stir at the bottom.
Value – 9/10
The 480g tub costs $29 in the US and £39 in the UK and contains 60 servings, meaning it can easily last you two months. Also really inexpensive and a really good deal worth buying.