I’m not much for supplements. I used a fairly high dose of fish oil for about a year, ZMA off and on, Natural Calm, and vitamin D3. Other than not getting sick while on D3 (which is possibly coincidental anyway), I can’t say that I noticed a difference in any part of my workouts or daily well being using the other supplements.
However, there is one thing that I’ve been experimenting with recently that has made me a believer. BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids.) Just use some google-fu and you will find all sorts of info on BCAA use. Here is an article from Charles Poliquin that is very informative, though keep in mind that he sells BCAA’s so it’s in his best interest to say they are awesome.
But in my experience, they are awesome. I’m not the least bit sciencey, so my testimonial is purely anecdotal. I am currently using the powdered BCAA’s from GNC, and I mix up two scoops in 16 oz. of water. I drink half before my workout and half after. I don’t know how to describe the effects other than without them I feel like I have sugar in my gas tank, and with them I feel like I have race car fuel in my gas tank. While using them during workouts I’m able to work harder and longer, and I recover much quicker between sets.
I stopped using them this week just to see if I was imagining things or not, and I can definitively say I was not imagining it. I feel significantly better during my workouts while using them.
One other effect that I’ve noticed is a complete lack of sugar and carb cravings post BCAA use. I’ve heard that is a side-effect of glutamine (which I’ve never used), but for me BCAA’s knock those cravings right down.
That’s a win-win in my book.