Should middle age guys take supplements to help reach their fitness goals? Well, that depends on what your goals are. If you’re just trying to get a little leaner and fitter, then you probably don’t need supplements. Getting older is tough, though. I recently turned 43 and I can’t do what I used to do in my 30s. Part of it is because I haven’t worked out regularly for about 5 years. However, my endurance had really deteriorated over the last few years. It was never that great previously due to my mitochondrial disorder and now it’s really difficult to exercise. Would nutritional supplements help?
When I was young
I never really like supplements. They are not cheap and I don’t like ingesting unnecessary stuff. I get plenty of nutrient from the regular food. When I was in my early 20s, I took some protein powder and creatine. They were helpful because I was trying to build muscle at that point in my life.
In my 30s, I didn’t take anything and that worked okay too. I didn’t want to bulk up so it’s not a big deal if I didn’t build a lot of muscle. I just wanted to be a stay fit.
Now in my 40s, it’s harder to exercise. I couldn’t use the elliptical machines as long and my weight lifting performance was not good. My max pull up was stuck at 8 for many weeks. When I was younger, I’d be able to improve steadily and plateau much later. I figured, it might be time for some nutritional supplements. We need all the help we can get as we age.
I was reading up on the mitochondrial disorder and I found there are 2 supplements that can help alleviate the symptoms. For my family, that’s mild exercise intolerance. I can’t run that long and I need to monitor my heart rate carefully or else I’d pass out. Anyway, studies have shown that there are 2 supplements that can help with this genetic disorder.
1. CoEnzyme Q10 – CoQ10 is present in most cells to help generate energy from food. Genetic defects can affect the level of CoQ10 in your body. CoQ10 is also an antioxidant.
2. Creatine – Creatine occurs naturally in the body. Like CoQ10, creatine supports the production of ATP, the muscles primary source of energy in the body. I’ve tried creatine in my 20s and I know it improved my workout.
From what I read, these two supplements can be taken for the long term if you’re healthy. However, people with kidney disease, high blood pressure, or liver disease should not take creatine as a dietary supplement. Of course, check with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you to take these supplements.
Another reason why I didn’t like taking supplements is because of the cost. However, I’m doing better financially now and I can afford these supplements. It seems the price have come down quite a bit over the last 20 years as well.
CoQ10 – I got 200 capsules of 400mg CoQ10 for about $40 from Amazon. I take 2 capsules per day so this bottle will last me about 3 months.
Creatine – You can get a 600g bottle of creatine powder for about $15. If you take 5g per day, this supple would last about 4 months.
So these 2 supplements cost me about $17 per month. That’s not too bad and I can afford it. I feel like supplements used to be much more expensive 20 years ago. Back then, you need to go to GNC or buy it from the gym. Nowadays, you can get them from Amazon at an affordable price. Nice!
I’ve been taking CoQ10+Creatine for about 2 weeks and the result is amazing. My max pull up increased from 8 to 14. That almost reaches my goal of 15 max pull ups by the end of this year. I have more energy when I’m working out and it helps a ton. I’ll continue taking this mix and hope to keep improving. Now I feel more like my old self.
What about other supplements? I read that a serving of protein powder after a workout will help build muscle and aid recovery. I might try that next and see if it’ll help.
What about you? Do you take supplements to help achieve your fitness goals?
Image credit: Flickr Dylan