VITL Kit: All-in-one resistance band trainer

optimen multivitaminsFirst things first. Take a multi-vitamin daily. Any one will do. There are one-a-day and three-a-day types. Trader Joe’s has some good inexpensive ones but I use Opti-Men Multivitamins because they have a bunch of stuff that’s beneficial for bodybuilders. Women can use Opti-Women Multivitamins. BTW, even though you’re not necessarily planning on posing in little underwear in weird positions in front of an audience, you’re still called a bodybuilder because you’re building muscle and transforming your body.

opti-women multivitaminsAlways follow your workouts with a protein shake. Your muscles just got their ass kicked (hopefully, if you worked out hard enough) and are starving for protein. A protein powder mixed with 2% milk will give you the fast-absorbing protein your muscles are craving. You also need carbs right after a workout. Simple carbs are best right now, so apple juice, grape juice, or any other juice will provide them through the sugars they contain. Grape juice seems to be the most recommended because of the sugar content and the vitamin c, but apple has about the same.

This is also the only time it is ok to eat white carbs like tortillas, white bread, or pitas. The idea is that the insulin boost you’ll get from eating these refined carbs will actually benefit your muscles by allowing them to absorb protein faster.

Which protein powder should you buy? After trying many brands and calculating the price per gram of protein, I’ve concluded that 100% Whey Protein – Gold Standard by Optimum Nutrition is a great value with a really high quality protein, especially because it contains 5.5 grams of BCAA’s! {more on BCAA’s later}

I had tried the Body Fortress Whey Protein Powder that I purchased at Walmart for only around 12 bucks, but after doing the math on the amount of protein per cost, you simply don’t get as much protein for your buck as you do with Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Protein. Despite the seemingly low cost at the register, the Body Fortress actually ends up being twice as expensive as Gold Standard! Seriously, it’s $.02 per gram of protein versus $.01 for Gold Standard. And although Body Fortress’s protein shake mix contains creatine—a definite plus—it doesn’t tell you exactly how much you’re getting. And, it even has less BCAA’s; around 4 grams versus G.S.’s 5.5 grams.

Balconette Bras

BCAA’s are Branched Chain Amino Acids. Taking BCAA’s after a workout (and before) will help prevent your body from breaking down muscles for energy.  Instead, it will help maintain the amount of muscle you have. It’s even recommended to take around 5 grams of BCAA’s before bedtime since your body will be in a catabolic (muscle depleting) state for eight hours while you sleep.

Drink green tea. Or take green tea extract supplements. Green tea burns fat and raises your metabolism. I take a high-potency green tea extract supplement daily, and drink green tea as well. You can find many kinds of green tea supplement pills in vitamin shops.

Water is essential for hydration and to energize you throughout the day. Drink 64 ounces a day. Divide that between eight hours, and you only have to drink a glass an hour. No problem!

Supplements Nutshell:
Multi-vitamin. Every day.
Fish Oil.
Pills.
Green Tea.
Either pills or the drink for fat burning.
Protein Shakes.
Good in-between meal replacement shakes throughout the day and always after a workout.
Water. 64 ounces a day. (in know it’s not a supplement)
Grape Juice. One cup (8 oz) after a workout or other source of simple carbs.

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