Just a quick share on the supplements I personally use, why and where you can purchase them.
3. Vitamin D-3 (During the cold or rainy months)
During the warmer months I put a lot of skin in the game, meaning that I generally wear a tank top, shorts and flip flops, so my body gets a lot of sunshine, so I don’t supplement with Vitamin D. But during the rainy season and the colder months, I take 2,000 IU daily just to make sure I get enough. Here are more details if you are interested. Here is where I buy it.
5. Whey Protein
Oh yes, muscle-building protein! I do my best to get all of my daily protein from whole foods, but this is great to have when you are in a hurry or can’t be bothered with making anything.
If you want to know more about whey protein, here is a great source.
The cost performance on the first two brands below is excellent at approx. ¥100 ($1) per scoop, which gives you about 25g of protein.
I use this brand because it is as close to milk as possible and has only 2 ingredients.
If you are lactose intolerant and/or like a lighter tasting protein, whey isolate is the way to go. Here is the one I buy. Be aware that the link is the unflavored version.
If you are more gritty and like a more cheesy aftertaste, whey concentrate is the way to go. Here is the one I buy. Note that the link I have shared is the unflavored version.
If you want something more sexy, then this one is the gold-standard. There are plenty of flavors to choose from. Some are pretty darn sweet:-) There are artificial flavors and sucralose (artificial sugar) in some of the flavors, so please have a look and decide for yourself.
What about Caffeine!?
Up until today, I was pro-caffeine. I loved it. I used some sort of caffeine to boost every training session. I like to keep things natural, so I was taking about 2g of Matcha powder about 10 minutes before my training. Some days it was a nice shot of espresso. And when I was feeling quite tired, I would take a half tablet of this caffeine anhydrous, which is 100g of caffeine along with 100mg of L-Theanine. If you are interested in this combination of caffeine and L-Theanine, here is an informative article on the details.
Caffeine & Sleep
Today I have decided to wean myself off of caffeine for the next few weeks as an experiment. After digging through various sources from researchers I trust, I had an aha moment. That moment is connected to my goal of optimizing my sleep so that I can help others do the same. I have noticed when my sleep is on point, so is my mood, my focus, my strength and stamina. When it’s off, my emotional capacity to handle ‘not getting my way’ is somewhere between 3-4 years old. It’s embarrassing… and to make matters more challenging, it’s incredibly hard to focus at that age:-)
Through learning more about caffeine and its adverse effects on deep sleep, I have decided to see what my sleep, and life for that matter, is like without it. I plan to share my findings in the weeks and months ahead.
Caffeine & Strength Training
My original intention with adding caffeine to this article was to show you just how effective caffeine is when used for strength training. Here’s what I got. I found that it is ONLY truly effective when dosages of 3g/kg (1.38g/lbs) or more of bodyweight are used. I weigh 84kg (185lbs), so I would need at least 255mg of caffeine about 30-60 minutes before my training to boost performance in lifts that are close to my 1 Rep Max. This means lifting weights at an all out, near maximal intensity for 1-5 reps max.
I know that when I take 200mg of caffeine at once, I am as high as a kite and as happy as a clam. So I can see how 250+mg can increase my strength, cuz I’d just be so cranked up and happy to be alive.
More on Caffeine and Optimizing Sleep
That’s enough of my silliness for now. Coffee is as important as religion or politics for many people, so I am not even going to attempt to tell you to change. However, if you value your health and feel that you are using coffee or caffeine to power you through the day, you may want to look deeper into ways to decrease your dependency on it. I would first make sure that your sleep is optimal in quality and quantity. Sleep technology is getting good, but I think there is a more reliable, simple, and natural way to know if your sleep is optimized. It’s in the form of a question and here it is: Are you waking up every day without an alarm around the same time feeling refreshed and ready to seize the day?
If you answered ‘yes’, you are an Elite Jedi Sleeper and I want to interview you. If not, and you want to enjoy a higher QOL, start thinking of ways to implement improving your sleep and ask me for help if you need it.
Wrapping it up
My aim today was to quickly share 5 Supplements that enhance your health without emptying your wallet. There are supplements heavily-marketed for everything under the sun and many of them are an utter waste of money. I have found that the 5 I shared today are plenty and they are very cost-effective.
I went deep on caffeine & sleep optimization because I think you could benefit from it. I plan to share more on sleep optimization in near future.
Have a magnificent day!