by Tim Mount, CN, CCMH
The choices of workout supplements are almost overwhelming – pre-workout, post-workout, BCAAs, glutamine, whey, N.O., creatine, fat burners, antioxidants, and on and on. You could spend several hundred dollars a month if you took it all, but who has that kind of money?
Now that I’m training for an NPC Physique show in November I needed to figure out which supplements are the real deal and which ones are hype. As your personal guinea pig, I’ve tried nearly every supplement on the market and whittled the list down to absolutely essential supplements that are the most effective.
Here is my list of supplements I never skip, in order of priority:
- Types 1&3 NeoCell Collagen
That’s it! To those in the bodybuilding world #2-4 are well known and accepted, but #1 is not. Collagen seems to be overlooked by nearly all competitive athletes. How, then, could I consider collagen the #1 most critical exercise supplement? Am I crazy?
First, let’s set our priorities straight. Exercise is about improving health, looking good, and feeling great. Most people equate those goals with lower body fat and bigger, leaner muscles. I don’t disagree, but I also don’t consider weight loss and muscle gain the most important measure of health and the top goal of exercise.
How does the saying go, “You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone”? As a second degree black belt in judo who has had my fair share of injuries, believe me when I say that NOTHING is more important to your health than having fully functional joints and strong connective tissue.
When I tore my MCL and wound up in a full leg brace for 3 months was I able to exercise? When I twisted my ankle hiking was I able to go to the gym? While training for a competition and developing “weightlifter’s shoulder” causing me severe pain and limited range of motion in my right arm, was I forced to take months off while it healed?
Here’s the thing everyone forgets – you have to be able to move in order to exercise! Joint health is taken for granted until it’s gone and you’re laid up on the couch for months, gaining weight and losing all that hard-earned muscle. Protecting and strengthening your connective tissue needs to be your top priority when exercising, otherwise you won’t be exercising for long.
Nearly everyone I know in the fitness and athletic industries have had some type of injury, or at the very least some nagging joint pain which limits their training. Does it have to be that way? Not if everyone supplemented with NeoCell Collagen!
Here’s why – your ligaments and tendons responsible for joint mobility and strength are almost 100% Types 1&3 collagen. If you twist your ankle you are twisting your ligaments and tendons, therefore, you are damaging your collagen. If you have tendonitis (“tendon”-itis), your collagen which makes up that tendon is injured. In order to heal from these conditions your body needs to repair the collagen that makes them up.
By taking NeoCell Collagen, you can keep that connective tissue strong before an injury occurs! Taking muscle-building supplements, like BCAA and glutamine, does nothing for connective tissue. In fact, building strong muscles without equally supporting your connective tissue is a recipe for joint disaster. Likewise, “cardio” exercise designed to reduce fat puts an incredible strain on your joints, and over time wears down your connective tissue with repetitive motion.
So ask yourself, do you want to make exercise a healthy activity that you can sustain? If so, you should be taking NeoCell Collagen as your top priority!
Check out the Collagen Sport protein powder that makes an excellent post-workout shake that supports both joint and muscle recovery with collagen and whey proteins. In fact, any NeoCell Collagen product will be an effective supplement for ligament and tendon health.***
***Note that NeoCell’s Type 2 Joint Complex is a more cartilage specific supplement for knee meniscus and spine disc support.