Top 3 "must have supps"

as a student athlete my budget is tighter than my IT band right now. i currently use powerdrive (occasionally), vit c & e, and whey. supplies are running low and i am looking for 3 supplements that will give the most bang for the buck. i was thinking 1. go recovery drink, 2. ZMA, 3. multi. what do you guys think?



good picks, which supps are top three for anyone depends on what there whole food diet is like, but personally i love all three of those.

check out the liquid multi clemson posted about a few days ago, i cant remember the thread, but it looks like good stuff and ill be test driving it in a few weeks.

also, i really love power drive!!! its hard not to use it everyday, thats how well it works.

Mulit vit/min and protein powder. If you’re really cash strapped, get your protein powder from

Maybe instead on constantly talking about our favorite/must-have supplements, we should start talking more about the best foods to include in our diets.

the liquid vitamins can be found at :

good point flash!

even though i am in the industry, i always stress that they are supplements, not substitutes. as i said above, what supps are best for you depends greatly on the content of your whole food intake.

I’d probably go:
1: multi vit
2: ZMA
3: Protein supp/glutamine

i would not use supplements if my diet wasnt straight. here is what i find works best for me:
proteins: chicken breast, tuna, egg whites (yolk here and there), whey.
carbs: oatmeal, sweet potatoes, low GI fruit, steamed vegetables (i eat huge quantities)
fats: flax, fish oils, natty peanut butter, almonds.
thats it in a nutshell. i would say my ratio of P/C/F is 55/30/15.

Cytomax is GREAT!

I take Cytomax about 20 min before during and 10 min after each session.

It’s great w/ recovery and replenishing the major electrolytes

Followed by Proglycosyn 45 min after working out.

Kenny Mac~~


that looks good and you can tell by your pic that you have your whole food dialed in. myself i dont consider whey protein or EFAs (i use proscore 100 from champion adn udo’s) supplements, i look at them as i would cottage cheese and eggs, part of the grocery bill.

as you are pretty young (under 24 i think?) the effect of the ZMA may not be as dramaitc as it is in guys over 30. if you are using a good multi and getting enough zinc, mag and b6, you may not even need it. but with that said, ive seen the prices for ZMA on and less than $15 a month, cant go wrong and it will help you get deeper sleeps.

1.recovery drinks
2. multi
3. pre workout drink (power drive+caff)

  1. Protein (with glutamine peptides and or glutamine)
  2. MultiVitamin (I have tried a liquid one from the USA…Amazing…sorry can’t remember the name of the company).
  3. ZMA (With SNAC as a registered trademark on the packaging).
  4. Essential Fatty Acids (Flax, Borage, Omega 3).
  5. Vitamin-C

I am assuming that your purpose for taking ZMA is that you want to maximize your body’s natural testosterone production. I have read that to maintain optimum serum testosterone levels you need to keep a protein/carb ratio of ¼. Anything that increases the ratio, that is increases protein or reduces carbs, will result in a drop in testosterone. I do not have the reference for this on hand but it was in the text book for my sports nutrition course in university. If this is in fact the case I think it is important not to go overboard with the amount of protein you consume and be more concerned with quality of the product you are buying and your timing of taking it.

If you can’t find a comprehensive liquid multi-vitamin (your best bet for absorption) then I think your best bet is the “Women’s Ultra Mega” vitamin that you can buy at GNC. Well at least the one you can get in Canada. Their men’s one is crap but the one designed for women is really good. I swear by it myself. I can post the break down if anyone is that interested.

My top three would be:

  1. Glutamine
  2. Multi
  3. Vitamin C, E, Essential fatty acids
    (Try to get your protein from real food.)


there are other reasons for taking zma, one of them being the positive effect it has on DOMS. CP did tests on athletes coming into his program and he found that 90%+ were low in zinc or mag. also, zma before bed helps with a deeper, more relaxing sleep and better recovery between workouts.

I have read that to maintain optimum serum testosterone levels you need to keep a protein/carb ratio of ¼. Anything that increases the ratio, that is increases protein or reduces carbs, will result in a drop in testosterone

im not saying you didnt read this, but i will have to see the study backing this up. when was this study done? was it during the high carb fad of the 70s and 80s?

I think your best bet is the “Women’s Ultra Mega” vitamin

i would like to see the info on this product and explain why a male athlete would want to take a womens formula?

Try to get your protein from real food


Most womens formulations have Iron, which is necessary for men, but deadly if there is too much. Men should never supplement with Iron unless specifically told to by a Doctor.

  1. multivitamin + vitamin c tabs
  2. creatine
  3. zma
  4. glutamine


my multi has iron it aswell, 18mg, and as long as its taken in a formula that is synergistic(sp) meaning that it is designed to have all the vits and mins working together, you should be find.

i also dont recomend just taking an iron supplement by itself, meaning not part of a multi vitamin/mineral or a multi mineral, without a health care professional’s supervison.

i was thinking on taking the iron/calcium/D supplements along with my multi vitamins.


You are right about the sleeping aspect of ZMA. I have used the Cytodyne Z-Masspm and I really notice a difference when I sleep but I have always atributed that more to the blend of mucuna that is a source of Alpha-Dopa.

As for the study, I left the text book at work and I will post the referance up on on sunday. I took the course last year and the text was fairly recent (pub 1999 at the oldest).

The women multi is available with and without iron. The main thing that makes it a “women’s” formula is that it has more calcium. I actual use bot iron and iron free versions and take one of each a day. The vitamine is very simaler to the USANA one. It is a two a day formula. AL the minerals are HVP chelate. And it has a good B-coplex in it. As well the mens verion is trash. So is GNC top of the line multi “Ultra Mega Gold.” If you want a one a day on of the better one is their regular “Ultra Mega.” It is odd that they would bother to make one decent and not the other, but if you knew how the company is run you would figure it out quick.

When it comes to this type of product 90% of what makes it a women’s formulation is the pink bottle. This is just the best multi GNC sells and the rest is all marketing.

When I have the time I will post the exact brakedown.

Why do I think you should get protien from real food. Well it is not that this is a bad source of protien but it is all the other crap they have to throw into them to make them tast good and make them last on the shelf. I work at a health food store and am somewhat familure with almost every sport suplement you can by legaly in Canada. Vertualy all of protien suplements use some type of artificial sweetner.
Now this is just my opinion but I don’t honestly believe that taking protien powder over eating a chicken breast is going to yeld you better results. Plus I am very very sick of drinking them.

Beginner Athlete

  1. Whey protein concentrate - no carbohydrates
  2. Vitamins C,E,A taken at specific times
  3. Flaxseed oil

Intermediate Athlete (the above plus)

  1. Creatine Monohydrate
  2. Glutamine
  3. Branch Chain Amino Acids
    All taken at specific times

AdamP - interesting 1:4 ratio quote. Remember that ratios mean nothing if the intake is not isocaloric. How many people are isocaloric? few … I am keen also to see the reference. Many published articles looking at;

  1. total calories and
  2. % fat intake with redards to endogenous test. production but I have not seen a protein:carb ratio quoted.

AdamP wrote:
ït is all the other crap they have to throw into them to make them tast good …
True … but this is the same for whole foods grown in inadequate soils, hormones and antibiotics to accelerate growth, picked early and gas ripened to meet market lows etc … I am not pro supplements over food … but your logic is flawed

Why are many of the members considering taking calcium and iron in a supplement form? Have you all calculated your actual intakes using a nutritional programme? Both are generally poorly absorbed and iron is NOT deadly to men. Just that we have lower needs to women (no menstruation) and yet culturally we consume more i.e. meat consumption. haemochromotosis is the condition of too much free iron in the blood stream. Its real danger is mainly in presentation. All the initial symptoms of low blood iron are the same as too much. So its mainly a correct diagnosis so that you dont assume the patient is low and is actually high and prescribe iron supplementation.

I have to admit that my reasons for preferring real food over protein supplements may not have too much scientific backing but it just seems like the better way to go about it to me. I’ll take my chicken and tuna over a shake as often as I can.

Ok, about the protein to carb ratio thing. I got the textbook. It is “Nutrition for Sport and Exercise Second Edition” by Jacqueline R. Berning and Suzanne Nelson Steen, published in 1998. The statement reads:

In fact, resting levels of the hormone testosterone have been shown to be greatest when the ratio of protein to carbohydrate intake is 1:4, or, as recommended previously, 15%:60%, and anything that increases the ratio (that is, increases protein intake and/or decreases carbohydrate intake) reduces testosterone levels.

The reference for this is:

Volek J, Kraemer W, Bush J, Incledon T, Boetes M. Testosterone and cortisol in relationship to dietary nutrients and resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1997; 82:49-54.