Welcome to our detailed supplement guide, intended to be a master, up-to-date resource for athletes looking to sort through the bullshit supplement claims and actually spend money on stuff that has some real evidence it helps. This instantly cuts out about 95% of the supplements out there. I keep this article updated through the year. As of now, this article is updated for the end of 2016.

So Why Are Supplements Popular

Everyone loves to pop pills and drink shakes, probably in no small part due to the marketing prowess of what amounts to a 61 billion dollar industry in the United States alone.

With images of absurdly muscled men (and women) plastered across magazines, supplement containers, websites and fitness magazines promoting it’s no surprise that supplements are in fact the FIRST thing people turn to when it comes to gaining quick results in the gym or for sports.

Everyone wants an easy advantage and supplements have taken on an almost mystical aura, catering to a growing market of people desperate for quick results.

Everyone likes a shortcut. And trying to gain an advantage in a sport or for aesthetics is something that appeals.

But.

Supplements Are Less Important Than the Basics

Let me bust your bubble here. Supplements will do far less than you think, especially if you improve some basic lifestyle choices FIRST — lifestyle choices that no amount of supplements will make up for.

“The problem is there are no quick results, no easy short cuts to building (natural) muscle, increasing strength and endurance”

No supplement is going to replace the following:

  1. A proper training regimen
  2. A proper diet
  3. A proper amount of sleep

Supplements really come into play AFTER you have the first three things here nailed down correctly. Many people would do see far more results fixing one ore more of the first three than ingesting a room full of the latest ”scientific” supplements.

“If you have a balanced diet, supplements provide little, if any, benefit.”

People are sold on the idea of gaining easy results by injecting some powder or gulping down some power pills. The reality is this, though: the only effect most of the supplements out there will have on you is to lighten your wallet. And some of them might even be harmful.

dietsKeep in mind that supplement companies are NOT put through the same regulatory testing that drug companies are put through. That means supplement companies can make all manner of fantastical claims without really having to prove them. Not to mention the fact there could be questionable ingredients in the supplements themselves.

Now, having given the above disclaimer, there are a handful of researched-backed supplements that can provide benefits — and most of them being for a specific set of circumstances. For the supplements that studies show do actually work, don’t ignore the fact that they are usually completely unnecessary IF you have a balanced diet already!

Yes, there are a few supplements that may, in specific circumstances, give you a bit of an edge with endurance, strength, or recovery. But that edge is small. And, only consider these AFTER you have your diet and your recovery (i.e. sleep quality) down solid.

What Supplements are Worth Taking?

This depends completely on your diet, your sport, your training regimen, your age, and many other factors.

However, I’ve listed below the most effective supplements for fighters that actually have some scientific studies that show they MAY, in certain circumstances, actually do something.

There are a couple supplements I myself take that I have found effective while training Muay Thai full time. Partially because a diet of mostly Thai food is somewhat nutritionally lacking and because when you train like an athlete, your body easily gets run down and you may not absorb vitamins and nutrients as well.

Here’s the list of supplements we look at. These supplements are particularly relevant to athletes (especially fighters from all Martial arts such as Boxing, Muay Thai, MMA, Brazilian Jujitsu, Kickboxing). Not all of them are necessary effective, and some are only worth taking in CERTAIN cases.

Supplement Table of Contents

I like to break supplements into basic tiers with ‘does something,’ ‘possibly does something,’ ‘may do something only for specific cases,’ and ‘bullshit.’

“The DO SOMETHING Supplements”

These are supplements that have a lot of research behind them and have PROVEN benefits for people, especially if you use them for something specific (like endurance, building muscle, recovery, etc), provided you are doing something like exercise, lifting weights, etc. Some of these are ‘general health’ supplements which may improve your overall health (especially if you are deficient), and by doing so may improve your performance in specific areas.

Protein Powder (performance)

Creatine (performance)

BCAA’s (performance)

Beta Alanine (performance)

Fish Oil (health)

Caffeine (performance & health)

Probiotics (health)

Vitamin D (health)

 

The Possibly Do Something Supplements

Less recommended supplement, but still might prove beneficial. Research is mixed.

Multivitamins (health)

Magnesium (health & sleep)

Melatonin (sleep)

 

The May Do Something only for Specific Cases

These are the ‘iffy’ supplements. They may be beneficial, especially for very specific situations. But overall research doesn’t seem to show a huge benefit. These are the ‘only blow money if you have it to spare’ supplements. You probably are not hurting anything but your wallet, but give it a shot.

Vitamin C (health)

Glucosamine (health)

 

The Bullshit Supplements

These are the hyped up supplements that, research has shown, do very little to nothing at all. Spend money on these at your own risk. It may be studies will show some benefits in time, but as of 2016, these supplements are questionable. I would consider supplementing with any of these supplements as my last choice — and even then, maybe not.

Glutamine (performance)

Vitamin B12 (performance& health)

CoQ10 (Ubiquinol) (performance)

Arginine (performance)

 

 

The Main Supplements to Take

(If You Have Money to Spend)

If you want to supplement, then here’s my list of the major supplements to look at with full coverage of what the supplement is, the claim, what the research says, and whether you should supplement or not.

Protein Powder

What is it: a supplemental source of protein in the form of a powder. There are a plethora of differently sourced proteins and a plethora of brands, each advertising their specific protein blend’s numerous benefits over the competition’s. The major types of protein powders being Whey, Casein, Milk, Soy, and Hemp.

The Claim: you need to add protein supplements to your diet to gain muscle. Supplement brands all tout their own ‘special’ protein blends offer superior protein absorption rates and extra benefits such as muscle recovery.

The Truth: you don’t need protein supplements if you have enough protein in your diet. However, there are specific cases where adding protein may be beneficial. Athletes may benefit from the extra protein and the time-saving benefits that drinking protein has over trying to eat the same amount of protein.

The different absorption rates between protein powders are often touted, with Whey having a fast absorbing rate of about an hour while Casein protein being a slow one with several hours till absorption. The reality is this makes little to no difference for the average person.

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH Protein Powder: CONDITIONAL YES (read why)

Supplementing with protein powder is unnecessary if you get enough protein from your diet; if you cannot achieve this, then protein powder (whey isolate, whey concentrate, casein, soy, or any other type) is an easy and affordable way to meet daily protein requirement in for the day. There is a difference in absorption rates between protein powder types, but no study has yet proven this to make a clear difference in muscular development.

Read our Ultimate Guide to Protein Powder

WHAT TYPE OF PROTEIN POWDER IS THE BEST?

proteinsThis really comes down to the composition of the protein powder and what you are looking for. There are different protein sources (dairy sourced: whey, casein; soy; insect; animal; plant-based) and there are different protein ‘forms’.

Then of course there’s the special blends that every company promotes as being the ‘best’ with extra inclusions like BCAA’s, glutamine, and more.

Whey Protein 

For the average person, Whey protein will do you best. Yes, there are cases where you want a non-whey, but for 90% of you out there, stick with Whey.

Whey Isolate vs Whey Concentrate 

Whey Isolate contains less lactose and more protein per gram than does Whey Concentrate, while Whey Concentrate is less processed and a more natural protein makeup that you’d find in food.

Casein in another protein sourced from dairy. Unlike Whey, it’s slower digesting and usually taken before going to bed.

Both Whey and Casein contain calcium.

Other Proteins

Soy Protein powder has no lactose. Hemp protein powder contains fiber. There’s even insect protein or animal protein. Basically, if there’s protein in some plant, animal, or insect, you can buy a specialty protein made from that.

Absorption Rates

There is also the issue of absorption rates of protein (whey being highest). On paper, that means Whey would better for protein synthesis (building muscle). However, for the average person, the absorption rate differences between proteins (especially between whey and casein) will likely not make any difference in muscular development, studies have found.

The Best Protein Powder

As for the best protein powder, research is mixed, but some studies do show that Whey may be superior of the other variants (soy, hemp, casein) for building muscle ([1. Hartman JW, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, et al. Consumption of fat-free fluid milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. Am J Clin Nutr. Aug 2007;86(2):373-381. ]).

Take this with a grain of salt, however, as there are no good studies yet that directly compare whey, casein, soy, and hemp proteins.

The bottom line is that as LONG as you have enough protein in your diet, extra protein won’t help you. If you are trying to build muscle and lifting a lot of weights and you can’t easy get enough protein from your regular food OR you are cutting weight and trying to preserve as much as possible while you are on a calorie deficit, there’s evidence that increasing your protein uptake may help you a) preserve more muscle on a calorie deficit.

My Experience with Protein Powder: This is the main supplement I do take every day. I usually have between two or three whey protein scoops a day in part because I live in Thailand and the local food is carb-heavy and protein light. I try and keep my protein to about 1.5 gram per lb of bodyweight; this is very hard to do on the local diet. I give my protein powder recommendation below.

SEE ALSO:  Ultimate Guide to Protein Powder for Fighters (Muay Thai, MMA, Boxing)

Best Protein Powder Recommendation

 

If you are an athlete of some sort, I do recommend you take at least 1 scoop of protein. The ‘best’ protein powder is subjective. However, I recommend one specific brand above all others for three reasons:

  1. price — it’s available in bulk and very well priced
  2. quality whey — it’s high-quality whey, sourced from good quality dairy with a high level of protein in it per serving
  3. taste — the protein powder actually tastes decent, which is more than you can say about 80 percent of the protein powders out there.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey (10 lb)

ON Gold Standard 100% Whey - Double Rich Chocolate - 10 lbsThis is one of the most popular brands in the world — and with good reason. It’s quality; it comes in bulk size, it’s affordable, and it tastes pretty good. ON Gold Standard Whey is the shit as they say. Worth it.

The double chocolate flavor is particularly good, though if you want a more neutral flavor, you can go with the vanilla flavor. Don’t bother buying the smaller sizes (3lbs) as you save a lot more money with the 10lb bulk size bag.

 

Creatine

creatine for muay thai What It Is: A nutrient produced by the body and also found in foods, particularly red meat. Creatine is involved in the ATP production which supplies energy for short explosive movements.

The Claims: Creatine improves your maximum strength output, enhance the performance of high-intensity exercise, and increase lean muscle mass.

The Truth:  Creatine can boost your explosive strength by a small amount. This could translate to more work done over time, which with a strength building routine could mean more muscle gained. It could also translate into some explosive sports performance boosts, like sprinting and wrestling. However, your muscles will retain water which can hinder weight loss efforts.

Read our complete Creatine research guide.

Types of Creatine

There are basically three forms of Creatine on the market right now:

  • Creatine Monohydrate (the basic cheap stuff),
  • Micronized Creatine (claims made that there are little to no side effects such as bloating)
  • creatine ethyl ester (claims no bloating, no loading phase).

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH Creatine: Maybe (read why)

CREATINE FOR MUAY THAI? Not needed. Your technique and skill are far more important than an small increase in explosive strength. If you want to stay as lean as possible for fighting at lower weight classes, Creatine will hinder this as muscles will retain more water (read why)

My Experience with Creatine: I don’t take Creatine supplementation at present (I have in the past). I don’t like the volumized look it gives your muscles, and I prefer to keep leaner to fight at a lower weight class. There would likely be some benefit to taking Creatine for my strength training routine, however. While Creatine might offer a slight increase in explosive power, Muay Thai is more about skill, technique, and timing – not raw power. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a larger, stronger, more explosive fighter get knocked out by a lighter, more skilled opponent in Thailand Muay Thai matches.

 

Best Creatine Powder

 

Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder, Unflavored, 600g

Optimum Unflavored Creating Powder ($13 bucks)

There’s a huge variety of creatine supplements to choose from on the market, with each brand promising you a more effective Creatine.

Don’t believe it — that’s all marketing hype.

Just go with a basic creatine monohydrate. While this is the oldest ‘form’ of creating, it’s also the most studied. Supplement companies will try and sell you new types of creatine (CEE, micronized creatine), but these are hyped up claims.

My best recommendation is to go with Optimum Nutrition Unflavored Creatine Monohydrate Powder. It’s cheap and it works.

You can pick up 600 grams for under 14 bucks on Amazon.

BCAA’s (Branched Chain Amino Acids)

What It Is: BCCA’s are the three amino acids leucine, valine, and isoleucine which are part of the proteins used to build muscle. One of the three amino acids, Leucine, bcaa for muay thaiis also directly tied to the regulation of how food stimulates protein synthesis of the muscles.

The Claims: Supplementation with BCAA’s will prevent muscle catabolism (breakdown) and increase lean muscle mass when combined with strength training.

The Truth: They do work as stated, but are found in any food containing protein which means supplementation is not necessary for most. Supplementation of BCAA’s may be beneficial in specific cases: they may help preventing muscle loss after heavy cardio if ingested before or during activities and may also be beneficial for building lean mass when combined with strength training routine, but more research needed. Taking it before a fasted workout can be beneficial and is part of the leangains style of intermittent fasting.

Read our complete BCAA guide

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH BCAA’s: Maybe (read why)

BCAA’s FOR MUAY THAI? If you do a substantial amount of training and road work and want to hang on to as much lean muscle mass, then yes. If you are NOT already lean, you don’t train heavy and do lots of roadwork, then BCAA’s are not needed (read why)

My Experience with BCAA’s: I take about 10 grams of BCAA’s before working out (parted of my Intermittent Fasting Protocol) and I put about 15 or so grams of BCAA’s in my water, which I drink over the course of my 2.5 hour training session (30 minute run or skipping rope followed by 2 hours of Muay Thai). I have found, personally, that BCAA’s help preserve my muscle while doing absurd amounts of cardio. I’ve been on it and I’ve been off it and I always seem to benefit with more muscle retention when taking it.

 

Best BCAA’s

 

What BCAA’s should you buy if you want to supplement with them? Like all of the other supplement products, there’s dozens and dozens of legit brands to choose.

Scivation, Xtend BCAAs, Watermelon Madness, 30 Servings, 13.5 OZ (384 G)

Scivation Xtend BCCA’s

Personally, I recommend Scivation Xtend. It’s the brand (along with Purple Wrath) that I’ve tried out and used. I recommend it specifically because it’s zero calorie, it includes other amino acids with the blend and it’s reasonably cheap. Even better, it actually tastes pretty good. It comes in a 30 serving container which will last you anywhere from a month to three months. You can buy a bulk version which includes 90 servings for about 40 bucks (I recommend this one as you’ll get anywhere from 3 to 6 months and it’s cheaper).

Multivitamin

What It Is: A composition of different vitamins and minerals.

The Claim: Supplementing with a multivitamin are an effective nutrition insurance policy that can boost health and protect against disease.multivitamin

The Truth: Mostly Bullshit. Multivitamins don’t live up to their health claims to boost health and in multiple studies have been shown to do little for the general population. If you have a poor diet or are an athlete, they MAY be beneficial. Read our complete Multivitamin guide. Most ‘cheap’ vitamins are synthetic vitamins, and there’s a big debate about how well your body can absorb synthetic vitamins. A better alternative is to use wholefood vitamins — vitamins that are extracted from real foods like plants — fruits and veggies. 

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH MULTIVITAMINS: NO, unless you’re an athlete or on calorie deficit …(read why)

MULTIVITAMINS FOR MUAY THAI: Not needed unless you are training hardcore like a fighter or living and training in Thailand (read why)

My Experience with Multivitamins: I do supplement with multivitamins as I train 5-6 days a week, in addition to cardio workouts (long distance running – LSD type work; sprint – HIIT type work) and strength training. Due to cost and availability, I take traditional synthetic multivitamins, though I would prefer greens+ or whole-food vitamins if I could choose. The local Thailand diet might also be lacking in some key minerals and vitamins as I do not often eat the greens and fruit I should be. I have to say that I really don’t notice a key difference when I supplement with multivitamins or don’t supplement. I take it to cover my ass just in case, though.

 

Best MultiVitamins

 

You basically have two choices: synthetic vitamins and wholefood vitamins. Synthetic vitamins are manufactured artificially. There’s a lot of controversy about how (and if) these are effective. My take on synthetic is that your body is less able to absorb these artificial vitamins — and you may have adverse reactions to them. Without a doubt, I recommend whole food vitamins — vitamins that come from real foods.

Best Synthetic Vitamins

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men Supplement, 90 Count

Optimum Nutrition Multivitamins (90 tablets) $15

It doesn’t really matter much what multivitamins you choose in my opinion.

If you feel you need them, then look for a highly digestible, high quality version. Your basic Optimum Nutrition Multivitamins will do just fine (and they are available in bulk and cheap), though if you want to buy into the hype machine, you can try an Animal Pack brand, though I feel these are overpriced and unnecessary.

Best Natural Vitamins

Nature's Way Alive! Max Potency Multi-Vitamin, 180 Tablets

Alive Vitamins (180 capsules) – $18 

I would suggest you get your vitamins from JUICING a wide variety of fruits. Or, use some sort of GREENs powder, which real fruits and vegetables are used as the vitamin source. These are more expensive than synthetic, but I feel, worth the extra money IF you want to take multivitamins.

However, if you want a whole-foods vitamin (a vitamin sourced from actual foods and not created in a lab from chemical compounds), then try Alive! vitamins. They have a good reputation and, as stated, come from REAL foods which for some people, makes a huge difference in how their body reacts to the vitamins.

 

Beta Alanine

What It Is: a non-essential beta-amino acid that buffers intracellular acidity. Beta Alanine is the per-cursor to carnosine which when activated will increase carnosine concentrations over time.

The Claim: Supplementing with Beta Alanine will provide boost athletic performance by increasing strength and endurance (by suppressing lactic acid buildup in beta alanine for muay thaimuscle), allowing for more work to be done.

The Truth: Yes it works, which is itself practically deserves a standup applause in the supplement industry, but the effect as evidenced by the studies is very small and only most beneficial during a small window. Take only if you do activities that emphasise intensive repetitive muscle movements longer than 60 seconds — that is short to medium length high-intensity training. For example, kettle-bell workouts that stress endurance or a very high rep strength building routine such as HIIT, intervals, or crossfit-style workouts for more than 1 minute where you are hit with a lactic acid buildup. There was even a study done on boxers who supplemented with Beta Alanine had improved punch endurance and more punch frequency. So of all the supplements here, beta alanine may be the most applicable to the fighting arts as a means of increasing your endurance and striking output during each round.

Read the Complete Beta Alanine guide

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH BETA ALANINE: Maybe (read why)

BETA ALANINE FOR MUAY THAI? Supplement with Beta Alanine only if you fight and your style is a very active one and hand-heavy for each 3 minute round (read why)

My Experience with Beta Alanine: I’ve taken Beta Alanine occasionally and I do feel a slight benefit when doing things like punching for long periods of time (HIIT type activities on bag work where you punch maximum power for as long as possible). But for straight out long endurance activities such as running or Muay Thai pad round training, I don’t really notice a difference. It could help with activities like continuous punching, however.

 

SEE ALSO:  How to Lose Weight with Muay Thai

Best Beta Alanine

 

Optimum Nutrition Beta-Alanine, Unflavored, 7.15 OunceOptimum Nutrition Beta-Alanine Powder (75 servings) $20

I recommend the basic Optimum Nutrition Beta Alanine. Nothing fancy, but it does the job. And yes, it’s cheap. I’m a bit wary of some of the new, private label Beta Alanine brands as these companies don’t have any real history or regulation behind them or their products (and they buy fake reviews on their products).

 

Glutamine

What It Is: a non-essential amino acid that’s found in protein and also produced by the body from glutamate and ammonia. In certain cases such as during illness or severe physical trauma, it becomes an essential amino acid. It is the preferred fuel source for intestinal functions and the immune system as Glutamine will be used if present instead of glucose.

The Claim: supplementing with Glutamine will help build lean muscle

The Truth: Does nothing in most cases. The research into the muscle building effects of Glutamine have overwhelmingly shown it does NOT contribute to muscle gains nor does it increase glutamine for muay thaiperformance in the gym or sports. Anecdotally, Glutamine is thought to reduce soreness after working out. If you have a muscle-wasting disease, a compromised immune system, or intestinal issues  supplemental Glutamine can be very beneficial. There may be some recovery benefits for those on low carb diets or hard training athletes, but the research is slim in this direction.

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH GLUTAMINE:  NO, Unless… (read why)

GLUTAMINE FOR MUAY THAI? No, Glutamine is a waste of money for Muay Thai. The research just don’t show Glutamine will deliver any sort of performance boost outside of all but a very few cases (read why)

My Experience with Glutamine: I do supplement with 10 grams of glutamine before going to bed – not for any muscle building benefits, which research has thus far failed to prove effective – but to help with muscle soreness after strength training and heavy muay thai workouts. I know as far as studies go, glutamine is a spectacular failure. Yet, anecdotally I do feel it helps reduce SOME muscle soreness. Maybe it’s in my own head here, but I feel less sore after workouts if I’m on it. But this supplement should be at the very very bottom of your list. If you don’t engage in multiple endurance training sessions a day and lift weights to boot, you are wasting your money with Glutamine. So for 90 percent of you people out there, don’t buy it. For fighters or train like fighters, you may consider it (and it’s cheap).

 

Best Glutamine

 

Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Capsules, 1000mg, 120 CountON Glutamine (240 capsules) – $20

If you’ve read what I said above, the answer is NONE. But if you still want to take Glutamine, then I recommend the basic Optimum Nutrition brand. It’s cheap and comes in 240 capsules.

 

 

Fish Oil

What It Is: oil extracted from fatty fish. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Omega 3 fatty acids are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and are associated with  a number of health benefits.

The Claim: supplementing with fish oil will boost health, prevent (some) chronic diseases and reduce inflammation.fish oil for mauy thai

The Truth: does provide general health benefits but does little if fatty fish is a regular part of your diet. Fish oil can provide health benefits but only if the ratio of omega 6 to 3 fatty acids is near 1:1. The benefits include preventing heard disease, memory loss, and depression. It has also may reduce soreness and inflammation.

Read Our Complete Fish Oil Guide

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH FISH OIL: CONDITIONAL YES (read why)

FISH OIL FOR MUAY THAI?  Supplement if you don’t eat a lot of fatty oil fish (deep sea fish). This is one supplement that does seem to really work. Fish Oil can deliver a host of health benefits such as preventing some diseases and may even aid in fat loss efforts, but only if the ratio of Omega 6 to 3 is somewhat near 1:1. The anti-inflammatory effects might be beneficial for athletes. (read why)

My Experience with Fish Oil: I’ve used it intermittently over the years. I find it does help with my aches and pains (especially for recovery after weight training. I’m a fan, and if you take ONE supplement, fish oil may be that one supplement you should take out of this entire list.

 

Best Fish Oil

 

Omega 3 Fish Oil Pills (120 Capsules Count) Triple Strength Supplement, Burpless Softgels, High EPA (800mg) High DHA (600mg) (LEMON FLAVORED)BodyVega Omega-3

When it comes to Fish Oil, not all fish oil is created equal. This is one supplement where buying a cheap fish oil is wasting your money. You want fish oil that has a high ratio of EPA and DHA acids, which this brand includes.

When you supplement with fish oil, it does take a while to see any benefits. So expect to take the fish oil for a couple months straight. If you are just going to try out some fish oil for a couple weeks ONLY, then don’t waste your money.

 

Vitamin C

What It Is: an essential nutrient and not manufactured by the body. Vitamin C is necessary and essential for some metabolic reactions. Quite simply, if you don’t have enough Vitamin C, bad bad things happen to you.

The Claim: supplementing with Vitamin C prevents the common cold; if you have a cold, taking mega-doses of Vitamin C will cure The Cold.vitamin c

The Truth: Vitamin C does not prevent the common cold in general population, according to the many studies done. If you are an athlete, however, Vitamin C can, according to studies, half your chances of catching a cold.

Read our Complete Vitamin C guide

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH Vitamin C: NO, Unless… (read why)

VITAMIN C FOR MUAY THAI? Yes, if you are a fighter or you train like an athlete. No, if you are not. Research shows Vitamin C reduces chances of contracting the cold by 50 percent in an athlete population; if you are an athlete, popping a Vitamin C pill can potentially save you days of training downtime should you catch a cold you might not have if you did supplement. For the paltry cost of supplementing Vitamin C, this alone is worth it. Vitamin C, despite abundant research, does not prevent the cold in the general population. There is a slight reduction of the duration of a cold by 7-14 percent, however.

My Experience with Vitamin C: I take it while in Thailand. However, I’m not consistent with it. I used to take the synthetic (cheap) vitamin C, but I didn’t feel any benefits when I took it or when I stopped taking it. However, I’ve now replaced the synthetic with wholefood-derived Vitamin C and I do notice I rarely get sick. So I recommend it, especially for athletes now.

 

Best Vitamin C

You won’t likely need Vitamin C if you have a diet that includes plenty of Vitamin C (you drink a lot of OJ, for example or eat a lot of fruits…or you like hot peppers!).

Viva Labs Premium Non-GMO Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids and Rose Hips, 1000mg, 250 Veg CapsViva Labs Premium Non-GMO Vitamin C (250 capsules) $14

If you don’t get enough C in your diet, or you want to do a super dose of Vitamin C, then I recommend a wholefoods Vitamin C. Synthetic Vitamin C may not be absorbed by your body and often comes from very low quality sources. As such, I recommend a high quality natural Vitamin C source.

My recommendation is Viva Labs Premium Non-GMO Vitamin C. It’s completely sourced from natural foods and even better, those foods are GMO free, if that sort of thing matters to you. You pay more for natural vitamin C, but it’s worth the extra cost.

 

Caffeine

What is it: A stimulant — the world’s most popular drug.

The Claim: Caffeine will improve athletic performance, boost energy, reduce fatigue, and increase metabolism which will enhance fat loss efforts.caffeine for muay thai

The Truth: lives up to many of the claims (improves athletic performance, increases strength, boosts metabolism) but the effect wears off once caffeine tolerance sets in.

SHOULD YOU SUPPLEMENT WITH Caffeine: Conditionally, YES (read why)

CAFFEINE FOR MUAY THAI: Yes, it can enhance your athletic performance while training and aid in weight loss efforts, but you will have to cycle usage to see any of these benefits. If you are a regular coffee drinker, you are likely too tolerant; caffeine’s only effect then will be to help counter the effects of a bad sleep when training.

My Experience with Caffeine: I have 4 cups of coffee in the morning, which I find gives me a mental boost in the morning. Should my sleep be off, caffeine does help me feel more powered up for a training session in the gym. However, I’m clearly now tolerant of caffeine so I don’t have any of the boosted metabolic benefits or the endurance/strength benefits caffeine brings. I do however enjoy the benefit of awesome tasting coffee. Since I’m likely addicted to caffeine, I likely won’t be able to cycle the use of it to gain the tangible performance benefits it brings.

More Supplement Guides We’ve Written

Every single one of these supplements has a full article we’ve written about it. So make sure you check those out.