9 Men In Fitness Share Their Go-To Supplements

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Whether you’re looking to balance out a suboptimal diet, enhance muscle recovery or just get a good night’s sleep, the right supplement can be worth its weight in gold. We asked nine men in the fitness space for the supplements they rely on…
Author Tor West
Photography ISTOCK/BRIANAJACKSON

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Mark Airs

trainer at KXU

“I always hated taking fish oil as a child, but this supplement continues to be an integral part of my routine. Fish oils have many benefits, including supporting your heart and eye health as well as reducing long-term inflammation. Fortunately, fish oils have advanced significantly in the last few years. Magnesium is also a no-brainer, especially as deficiencies are common. It supports metabolism so aids my sports performance, and also helps with sleep and recovery. I also take vitamin D year-round – it can support your muscle health, mood and fertility – as well as a good-quality multivitamin.” 

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Rob Hobson

Sports Nutritionist

“Even as a nutritionist, there are supplements I rely on from time to time, especially when it comes to supporting performance and recovery from exercise. First, I regularly take B vitamins. I am a naturally stressed-out person and lead an active life, two factors which can increase the body’s need for B vitamins. I take a B complex daily, which helps me overcome any underlying feeling of fatigue. I also take creatine to support my resistance training – it has been shown to promote lean muscle mass gains, muscular strength and power. I take it with meals as studies show this can aid absorption, aiming for 20g per day. I also have a protein shake within an hour of working out. I’m not great at digesting dairy but find a whey isolate works well. I rate Healthspan Elite Ultimate Whey Protein Blend as it contains an enzyme derived from kiwi that helps the body break down certain proteins. I also take magnesium to aid sleep – it activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for sleep. Magnesium is depleted from the body in times of stress, and low intakes exacerbate the situation, so a supplement can prove useful.”

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Dan Savage

PT At A Body Forever

“Supplements aren’t mandatory to overall health but they can be incredibly helpful to get you to your goals. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three amino acids which play an important role in the building and repairing of muscles. Studies suggest they can aid muscle growth, increase energy and kickstart recovery. There are some great BCAA powders that can be added to water, many of which contain added electrolytes for hydration. I also take an omega-3 supplement religiously. This helps improve my mental alertness, immunity, inflammation and aids joint mobility.”

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Ben Parker

founder & head coach at Runna Coach

“I make sure to keep my protein intake high throughout the day, but if I’m lacking I’ll add in a protein shake. My go-to is My Protein’s Clear Protein, and I’ll sometimes add in ELEAT’s high-protein cereal. I also swear by electrolytes. Every day, I do some form of endurance cardio or something faster paced, which means I sweat a lot and need to replace the lost salts. I’ll often add a SIS electrolyte tablet to a large bottle of water to drink during training or have at my desk afterwards. Energy gels help keep me fuelled during training, especially during recent Ironman sessions. My favourites are SIS Beta Fuel gels, which contain double the carbs. Creatine monohydrate, meanwhile, is one of the most tested supplements in the fitness world and is worth taking. It helps aid strength and power, whether you’re a sprinter, lifter or endurance athlete.”

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Anthony Fletcher

Founder Of Onetrack

“When it comes to supplements, I have an ‘all or nothing’ relationship. At one time, I was rattling around like a pill pot, taking 11 tablets twice a day, then came off everything and truthfully didn’t feel too different. That’s the bittersweet nature of supplements – they aren’t potent forms of medicine, they’re just there to supplement what you can’t get from a varied diet. Today, I’ve come to a middle ground in which I use a vitamin D3 tablet or spray and a probiotic. Vitamin D receptors are found on almost every cell in the body and are a vital hormone, especially for those of us living in the UK, where we struggle to get adequate amounts of sunlight. Probiotics, meanwhile, help replenish the ‘good’ gut biome. I take these in the form of fermented foods, usually kombucha (look for one that has sediment at the bottom), kimchi or sauerkraut.”

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Pelé Zachariah

head of performance at Rowbots

“Protein powder is a quick, efficient and trusted way to increase my overall consumption of high-quality protein throughout the day. This helps build muscle, repair tissue and provides the body with other minerals and nutrients that speed up the overall recovery process post-workout. My go-to recipe is two scoops of Raw Sport toffee fudge with two bananas, a spoon of peanut butter and a handful of frozen blueberries. I’ll sometimes add in a greens powder for added micronutrients, vitamins and antioxidants – I use Vivo Life’s Thrive powder. When it comes to powders, I also rate Vivo Life’s creatine. If you’re looking to increase your overall performance in the gym and build muscle, creatine isn’t something you should be missing out on.”

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Omar Mansour

PT

“I’m not massively into supplements as I try to get everything my body needs from food. However, I always have a whey protein shake within 30 minutes of working out. I use either SF Nutrition or PHD Nutrition. I’m also a huge fan of Optimum Nutrition’s creatine monohydrate – I use this regularly to help give me the edge with strength training and to enhance muscle mass.”

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Harry Aitken

sports scientist & master trainer at Auster Fit

“Supplements shouldn’t be a replacement for a healthy diet, but they can help in certain areas. I recently performed a test with Nutri-Genetix (NGX), the world’s first genetically personalised nutrition company. My swab test revealed I’m genetically terrible at processing a number of vitamins and minerals, including B12, folate, vitamin E and selenium. I now consume a plant-based protein powder from NGX, containing a personalised level of vitamins and minerals based on my genetics. I also use a vitamin B12 spray as this is a key vitamin for red blood cell production and metabolising amino acids, which builds muscle. Sevenhills’ beetroot powder is also a must if you’re into fitness. Beetroot is rich in nitrates, which cause vasodilation and lower the oxygen cost of steady-state exercise. This means that your medium paced jog or cycle will be more aerobic, and therefore easier – allowing your heart rate to be lower for the same effort, or enable you to go slightly faster and maintain an aerobic pace.”

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Rod Buchanan

founder of Bod By Rod

“I take 1,500mg of glucosamine sulphate daily as I’m no longer the spring chicken I once was. I used to be a professional dancer and my joints have taken years of impact – this supplement helps protect cartilage and deterioration. Nutri Advanced’s MegaMag Night Formula has also been a game-changer for my sleep. It calms mood, aids digestion, eases muscle cramps and guarantees a good night’s sleep. Solgar’s l-glutamine, meanwhile, helps support my immune system, while Opal Fitness BCAA’s with B6 help me maintain muscle mass and aid fatigue. Finally, Indi’s Tone is my go-to protein product. I suffer from colitis and my gut isn’t happy with the majority of protein powders, but Indi has nailed it. It’s predominantly pea protein and contains other nutrients like vitamin C, chickpea protein, cherry, green tea and pomegranate. It’s rich in antioxidants to support muscle mass, aid recovery and boost metabolism.” 

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