In a lot of ways, I am your typical middle-aged guy. I have a moderately stressful corporate job, three kids, a wife, a mortgage, and two car payments; but on the other hand, as a competitive bodybuilder and strength athlete, I am far from typical. Aside from people asking me, “Where do you find the time to train?” questions, I am most frequently asked questions about the supplements I use. I wanted to take this time to demystify the world of supplements and give you my two cents on supplements for guys like us.
The Top Three Supplements For Older Men
The supplement industry is robust and has products and formulas intended to help consumers in all aspects of life, but when it comes to staying athletic and fit, especially when you’re out of your 20s, there are some go-to products that rise above all of the others. In my opinion, these are protein powders, creatine, and immune system support. I personally use these in my daily routine and would recommend them to all the other 30 and 40 something dudes out there trying to cling on to their youth.
Protein, Protein, Protein
Protein powder, specifically whey protein or whey protein isolate, is so crucial in my daily diet that I really consider it more like a food versus a supplement. A quick Google of protein will convince you that protein is the key “macronutrient” for building and maintaining muscle. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins are rarely seen by the body as “empty calories”; in fact, quite the opposite is true. It’s sometimes a challenge to get enough protein into your daily diet, and this is where the convenience of protein powders comes in. Protein powders generally provide the body with large amounts of quality protein, but with little to no calories coming from carbs or fats. These powders make it easy to get the nutrients you need without any extra calories. I generally consume one or two protein shakes a day; I typically mix two scoops of protein powder in water and consider it a meal. This is a quick, easy, and tasty way to get a quality meal in while in an office environment.
Creatine Is Still King
If protein powders transcend the supplement world and are more of a food to me, then I can honestly say that creatine is the most important supplement in my nutrition plan. To me, fighting middle-age means maintaining the same body composition I had in my 20s. Creatine, which WebMD mentions can help “improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help the muscles recover more quickly during exercise,” is an amazing tool. Maybe I am still stuck in the 1990s, but no supplement has ever helped me to gain/keep strength better than creatine! It is inexpensive to buy but it is time-tested and effective. Creatine really is the perfect weapon in the war against aging. I will usually consume five grams of creatine a day for six to eight weeks and then take a month off before starting a new cycle.
Take Your Vitamins For Immune Support
It’s no secret that we are unfortunately living in the age of COVID-19 and everyone from physicians to TV reporters have been recommending things like zinc, vitamin C, elderberry, and other natural vitamins and minerals to supercharge everyone’s immune systems. If you are like me though, you have work responsibilities and a team in the office that makes total sequestration at home impossible. I believe that it is important to take these vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system as a preventative measure, particularly those of us working in an office environment during the coronavirus global pandemic. You should look for an all-in-one supplement that contains all the above ingredients, and perhaps even some other ingredients that have also been proven to help fight off colds and support immune defense.
The Keys To Success
In conclusion, success in fitness, like success in corporate America, requires some planning and strategy. I know that finding the right supplements to fit into your lifestyle and fitness goals can seem overwhelming but do not overthink it. In my opinion, you should start out with structuring a healthy diet and nutrition plan for yourself and then see where the supplements fit in (like finding the right time to consume a protein shake). Also, you need to remember the value that daily exercise brings to the battle against growing old and how leveraging the supplement as tools can help to support healthy muscle function (like incorporating creatine). Remember to always stay focused on staying healthy, particularly with flu season starting and COVID-19 lingering.