Supplement Alternatives: Save Money On Supplements

supplement-alternativesUnless you have a dietician on staff and/or a perfect diet, you need supplements.  Supplements provide the variety of vitamins and nutrients you body needs that typically come from a range of foods.  The typical diet does not include this range of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats…  not to mention all the minerals and antioxidants.  There is an even starker contrast between what your body needs and what it’s getting when you are working out regularly.  This is where supplements come in.  They bridge the gap between what you need and what you can get from your regular diet.  There are some basic supplements and some supplement alternatives that will save you some money if you can’t afford the real deal.

I am writing this article with a focus on people who work out regularly.  If you do not currently exercise, you still probably need to get vitamins and minerals and some more protein in your diet.  So you can skip the pre and post workout recommendations and go right to the other supplement alternatives recommendations.

Supplement Alternatives – Pre-Workout

I use a pre-workout amp called Energy & Endurance or E&E from Beachbody.  It is an all natural, mild pre-workout drink that will give you a boost going into your workout and give you sustained energy throughout.  I really rely on my pre-workout drink in the latter half of my workouts and can tell the difference when I haven’t had it.

Great pre-workout supplement alternatives will be simply drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee and taking a good dose of both vitamins B-6 and B-12.  This will give you the pep from both caffeine and B vitamins to help you power through your workout.

What it will not do: E&E has an amino acid blend that help to provide readily available amino acids during workout so that your body resists breaking down muscle for fuel during workouts, especially if you are trying to lose weight.

Supplement Alternatives – Post-Workout

I use a post-workout supplement called P90X Results & Recovery, and have for over two years now.  Results & Recovery will provide a perfect ratio of carbs and protein post-workout so that your body replenishes your muscles for the next workout.  Also the creatine provides the phosphates needed to resynthesize ATP’s, the fuel that makes your muscles work.

Great post-workout supplement alternatives will be drinking a glass of low fat chocolate milk after a workout.  Chocolate milk has a good balance of protein and carbs for post workout and is tasty post workout beverage.

What it will not do: Chocolate milk, while providing a well balance of carbs and protein for post workout recovery, will not provide the creatine present in Results & Recovery that helps resynthesize ATPs and reduce soreness.  Plus, believe it or not, Results & Recovery tastes better than chocolate milk.  Hard to believe but it does!

Supplement Alternatives – Vitamins

If I’m not taking other supplements that cover my vitamins and minerals, you will need to take a quality multivitamin.  You can get these anywhere but the Performance Multi’s from Kirkland brand at Costco are a great, cheap option.  If you are like me, you get EVERYTHING you need on this front from Shakeology, so there is no need to buy and take a multi vitamin.

Supplement Alternatives – Protein Shake

Okay, I will take a stand on this one.  Shakeology.  Period.  I say this because a serving of Shakeology provides the perfect balance of macro nutrients while giving you a great shot of protein, along with a squillion other things your body needs (see Supplement Alternatives – Protein Shake).

You can buy a standard whey protein drink and it will be cheaper, but you will nothing but a protein drink…  which is limiting in terms of helping you fuel your body.  The macro nutrient balance and goodies in Shakeology will fill you and keep you from eating more, while a protein shake will leave you craving other foods.

Don’t skimp here, Shakeology is irreplaceable in your diet.  Nothing you will eat or supplement with will replace it.  Honestly, there are no Shakeology supplement alternatives.

Supplement Alternatives – Weigh Your Options

As you can see, there are definitely some ways to save some money on supplements by buying supplement alternatives.  These alternatives are a little easier on the wallet and in most cases will give you a good portion of the things provided by the more expensive, high quality supplements.  Personally, I don’t mess around…  as I put 110% into my workouts and don’t want to lose an ounce of my efforts to save a dollar… but I realize not everyone thinks this way.

Whatever you do, make sure you do something!  Fuel your body properly and be CONSISTENT…  you will see more dramatic results!  Taking your supps every couple days or whenever you feel like it will yield sub-optimized results.  You work hard so give yourself the most for your time and efforts.  You can do so by taking quality supplements and supplement alternatives!

Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach
I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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