How to Pick the Right Supplements in a Scary Supplement World

Garage Gym Athlete
How to Pick the Right Supplements in a Scary Supplement World

Hey, Athletes! How to Pick the Right Supplements in a Scary Supplement World Episode of The Garage Gym Athlete Podcast is up!

How to Pick the Right Supplements in a Scary Supplement World


  • Today, Jerred talks supplements
  • He gives his feelings about supplements
  • He talks about the supplement industry
  • And A LOT MORE!!

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To becoming better!

- Jerred

Podcast Transcript

Hey, real quick, before we start the podcast, if you have listened to more than one episode. Can you do me a favor and rate and review the show now? I'm not big on asking for favors But we really want to get this podcast listed in the top of all health and fitness podcasts Not just the fitness category this will take you less than a minute and if you could do that that would make us friends forever and since we refuse all Sponsors on the show this will be my only ask rather than telling you to go check out some supplement or product We don't actually believe in like every other podcast out there.

So please rate and review. Okay, that's it to the podcast What's up, ladies and gentlemen, Jared Moon here, and welcome to the Garage Gym Athlete podcast. It's just me today, and I'm going to be talking about supplements just a little bit. And the reason I'm talking about this is, if you didn't know, I have another podcast called the Better Human Business Podcast.

I just do short 5 10 minute episodes about running the behind the scenes of different online businesses that I'm running. And I recently recorded an episode about supplements and how Garage Gym Athlete... Almost started a supplement company back in 2017, 2018, somewhere in that timeline. And a lot of athletes also listen to that podcast, and so I got some questions about it.

And I thought I would address more of the health and fitness side of supplementation here on the Garage Gym Athlete Podcast. And talk about kind of some of my thoughts because I often talk, I talk bad about supplements. Like I just really don't like supplements and it's not the actual supplement itself.

It's just most of the time I've been in the industry a long time. I get fairly jaded about. Athletes introducing their own supplement lines and stuff. It's just, it's funny because when you look at the behind the scenes of how to create a supplement company, it's really not that difficult. Say there was a athlete, a athlete B and then me athlete C.

And we all have, we're all popular. We have large followings. Let's just say that's true. In all cases, we can all go to the same pro supplement manufacturer and they might be a good supplement manufacturer. And then they will create a supplement for each one of us. Let's just say it's a whey protein. And then.

And that way protein gets athlete A's label, athlete B's label, athlete C's label. It's all the same product. And that's a lot of what's happening today. And so when you, you know, have an athlete introduce a line, it's not like they're out there trying to find the best ingredients or that they actually, you know, stand for something.

They're really just trying to monetize their brand. And that's where I get frustrated. But that's not the case of all supplement companies. Some supplement companies are actually trying to change the industry. They're actually trying to put out higher quality supplementation. And I think this is really important to know.

And so when I was in the military. There were a lot of, I had a lot of young airmen who worked for me, worked underneath me directly and they, they took all sorts of crap. I, I, you can only advise so much and they would have energy drinks, all this other stuff. But then this one guy, he was taking a lot of stuff when he, he was like, he had worked out, but then took a long break and he was getting back into it.

And he was taking a bunch of different stuff. And I was like, that's. He kept it all in his office. I was like, that's a lot of supplementation. What are you working on? Like, why do you have so many supplements? And he just, he knew what he was doing. He wasn't hearing anything from me. And then a couple of weeks go by and we noticed that his eyes are starting to get slightly yellow.

And I'm like, dude, we need to get this checked out. Like now, like we need to get this checked out. And if you didn't know, uh, yellow, yellowing of the eyes is a sign of liver problems or a liver failure, liver distress, like any of those things. So what was happening was he was combining too many different supplements, none of them which were good or high quality.

They're just all like the crappiest, cheapest stuff that you could buy. And he was going into liver failure. Luckily, it was an easy fix. It was come off all those things and everything reversed itself pretty fast. But I have also seen stuff like that happen. And get gotten really burned on supplements and taking too many and really focusing on the quality.

So the first thing is if you're going to be taking supplements, you need to make sure that they are high quality. And I'm going to talk about what that means in a minute. But high quality is also going to be caught. It means it costs more, right? It's going to be more expensive. And if you're looking for the cheapest supplement.

of out there. You know, like I, I just want the cheapest possible, whatever I can get, you should probably go ahead and stop right there. Maybe don't even think about supplement supplementing. And this is just my opinion, right? I'm just giving you my advice. I'm sure you could take the cheapest whey protein available and you'd be fine, but I don't think it's good for your longterm health.

And so just something to think about if it's going to be more expensive, that means it's, if it's higher quality, it's going to be more expensive and it's probably worth it, but you're probably going to want to. So have something that's a little bit higher quality if you're going to be ingesting it each and every single day.

And before you even go down that road, you need to be asking yourself, what am I trying to fix? Have I optimized my sleep? Have I optimized my diet to the best of my ability? I know diet's a very challenging one for most people. Have I optimized, you know, that have I optimized my recovery, my hydration, all of those kinds of things.

Am I, Trying to mitigate stress. Once you've taken care of all of the basic lifestyle guidelines, what we call the EO3 elements, sleep, hydration, digestion of food, zone 2s, getting some additional zone 2s, sunlight, vitamin D, all of these kind of things. If you have nailed all the EO3 elements, and you're training, sleeping well, you're hydrated, all those things, only then should you say, Hey.

I think I'm going to add a supplement and what is a supplement for and most of the time when you're looking at supplements I wouldn't be going into the performance like I'm going to try and increase my performance. Because we've also done a lot of research, like actually looked at the research for supplementation, and the only thing, when you look at the literature, there are only a few that seem like they're worth it.

And those are caffeine, and so I don't recommend taking a bunch of, a bunch of caffeine before your workout. But it's proven. to be very effective, and the doses they typically give people, these caffeine doses they give in these studies, are quite high. They're quite high, but caffeine is very proven to increase performance.

Beyond caffeine, if I'm looking to increase performance, I would just stay away from supplementation. Like, caffeine can help, and if you want to just get that through coffee or tea or something like that, that's what I recommend. I wouldn't be taking any supplements that have caffeine unless they've been thoroughly checked out.

Like I said, I'm gonna get into quality here in a second. The second one... That has a lot of research, seems to be fine, is creatine. And we talked about this on the podcast not that long ago, but creatine, pretty proven, pretty safe. And the company I'm looking for typically, and again, this goes back to you, any manufacturer can have it, but you can look on Amazon.

Ultimately, I'm looking for somebody who has CreaPure, if I'm going to be taking creatine, so CreaPure is a formulation made in Germany. And it's just, I don't want a creatine synthetically made in, um, China. They're all synthetic, creatine's synthetic in every capacity, no matter what powder form you get it in.

But CreaPure seems to be the most legit one out there. And again, you can find 200 companies that sell CreaPure right now. So it's not like I'm not going to endorse an individual brand, but more a sourcing that most of these people have. So you can get CreaPure creatine. And then the last one is protein.

Protein seems to be very effective. I've looked at a lot of the research on vegan protein, beef protein, isolate, whey protein. and egg white protein, and they all seem pretty legit and in their ability to increase muscle protein synthesis and pack on some muscle when you're taking it on, you know, a regular basis, but also you have the training.

So those are the only ones I typically look at. And so now let's talk about quality a little bit. If you're looking at those kinds of supplements, those are the ones that we, I would say are GGA approved. If you're looking to supplement anything else, I'm not necessarily going to think that it's too worth it.

Uh, and I'll end the podcast telling you with basically everything that I take right now and why I take what I take. So, two things that I think that you should start looking out for in your supplements. If you want to go down the organic or non GMO, GMO free, those kind of things, you can. Typically, organic means that...

It's free of GMOs and pesticides, but if it's just non GMO, that just means that the food product was created, was not created with genetically modified organisms. So whether or not that's important, you'd have to do a lot of research and people fight over this back and forth all the time, but ultimately it might be something that you want to throw on your radar.

But the two bigger ones that you want to look for. Are going to be NSF certified for sport and then also informed sports certification program. So, these are both very similar programs. Some, some companies out there actually have both certifications and then other companies might only have one. And when I see a company with both, that makes me really happy because it makes me more excited about that brand because I know That they're not scared to invest because these things are not cheap for the company to do.

And it means that their stuff is getting tested. I would say if I had to pick one NSF certified for sport seems to be just slightly better in my opinion, just from looking at all the. What they do NSF certified for sport seems to be slightly better than informed sport certification. Not that it's necessarily bad, but these are two things that you're going to want to be looking for.

And so let's go over what each one of those is. So NSF certified for sport, it's a certification program offered by NSF international and they are a U S based organization and they certify products and product facilities in a bunch of different industries. So. The things that they do, they, you have to meet a couple of different requirements to get a certification from NSF.

The first is GMP registration. So good manufacturing practices. So the manufacturer must attain fed federally regulated good or GMP registration, which involves two yearly audits at the facility, plus a review of the manufacturing quality control. Cleaning and sanitization sourcing and traceability staff training and product recall procedures.

So again, You're it's always good. If you have a supplement company, you'll see that on there too. Sometimes. Hey, we have gmp registration And because you can have that kind of as a standalone that's not just nsf certified So i'm gonna be throwing around some terms here But just throw them in the back of your head when you're starting to look at all these supplement companies because they're I swear One's popping up every single day So, GMP registration is pretty legit, but it's more talking about how things are handled.

At least that it's not a guy in his... In his garage, just throwing powders around, right? Like you at least know that it's a legit supplement. So the second thing for NSF certified for sport is annual product testing. So each year NSF performs product testing for potentially harmful contaminants, including heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and microbiological contaminants.

The certification team also tests samples of the product to ensure label accuracy. This is my favorite part. So the product's actual contents are compared with its ingredients list and protein content and caffeine content claims are verified. If you have been listening to the podcast, I have a sensitivity to dairy.

It annoys the crap out of me, but I can't have whey. And then I switched to beef protein isolate, and that actually ended up, over time, gave me digestive problems too. And I was like, what the hell? I can't have whey protein, I can't have beef protein isolate, like, how am I gonna get pro Like, I can only eat meat.

Like, real meat and eggs. That's all I can have to get protein. And so I started to go into vegan proteins a little bit more. Some are good, some are bad. You really have to pay attention to how much leucine's in the protein. Anyway, I started looking into vegan proteins, but vegan proteins could get pretty, pretty nasty pretty fast if you're going low quality.

Especially with like heavy metals, those could very easily to have a lot of heavy metals in vegan proteins. So for me, this certification is very important because one, I want my supplements to be verified that there's actually what it says, actually what it states on the label is in there. So 20 grams of protein, I think it's awesome that a company is going out there and testing to make sure, Hey, you say you have 20 grams of protein, boom, it has 20 grams of protein.

And they're also making sure that it doesn't have, it's free of heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, all those kinds of things. That's huge for me as someone who has to take vegan protein. I try not to supplement that much, to be honest. Um, but I ended up maybe taking one shake a day. with protein and try to get the rest as naturally as I possibly can.

Alright, so the third thing NSF Certified for Sport does, they test for banned substances. So, NSF tests each lot of product for 280 banned substances and verifies lots are posted on NSF's website. They also review any change to the formulation or sourcing of raw materials that go into certified products.

So that's basically NSF Certified for Sport. So they're making sure the facility's good, they're doing annual product testing,

And lastly, they're just making sure that there are no banned substances in, inside of the, the supplement, whatever it is you're taking. So I like NSF Certified for Sport Registration. I think that's awesome. It's certification too, should I say. Now like I said, the one in my mind that's below that is Informed Sport Certification.

And so what they do, uh, this one is a British based company, and the company works closely with anti doping organization and major sports authorities to develop their list of banned substances in sport of testing. So this is, this is where I feel informed sports certification is a little bit different and maybe may, maybe more of their focus.

They seem slightly more focused on Let's make sure if you're an athlete and you're taking our supplements, you're not going to get popped for any illegal drugs or like things that you shouldn't be taking all that kind of stuff. So I've never truly thought informed sports certification was amazing, but they do a lot of the other things that NSF does.

So they review product ingredients and company procedures. So first the certification team reviews each product's ingredient lists, raw material sourcing, manufacturing procedures, staff training, branding. Retail plans and they evaluate risks. So they're just looking at your company, not as good as good manufacturing practices registration, but they are at least looking at some of that stuff and just like signing off on it.

They do sample testing. So next pre marketing samples are tested for over 250 substances that are either banned in sports considered harmful to health or including substances that WADA. So the world anti doping agency prohibited making sure that nothing on the prohibited list is in there. Uh, and anything that might be banned by the NFL, MLB, AFL, NCAA, amongst many other organizations.

All right, they do post certification product testing. So after certification, each batch of the product must be tested before it is sold to consumers. Results from each batch are made available on the Informed Sport website. An additional sample from each batch is saved for the duration of the product shelf life.

And then lastly, they do blind sample testing, blind samples from products sold in stores are collected and tested between one of our four, between one and four times per year and the informed sport team reviews, manufacturing procedures on a regular basis. So as you can see from everything that I just mentioned, informed sport certification is way more about.

So let's just make sure that there's nothing, nothing banned by WADA that was going to make it illegal to be in the NFL, MLB, all that kind of crap. So if I was in the NCAA, if I was a collegiate athlete, this might be important to me. And the reason I say collegiate athlete is because typically if you're probably in the NFL or MLB, you're probably just getting supplements from your organization and they're probably already making sure that they're okay.

Or who knows what the hell professional athletes are doing these days. Assuming the athletes who are playing that aren't on anything, I'm sure that they're making sure that they don't have any of the banned substances in the supplements that they do take. And so, to me, as an athlete right now, that's not that important to me.

Like, I'm glad that they're not putting anything illegal in there, but what's more... What I'm more interested in is things that could be harmful to my health. So again, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, all the stuff that NSF is checking, I think is a little bit, a little bit more stringent and a little bit more important.

So that's one thing that I wanted to cover today was make sure that the difference between NSF certified for sport and also informed sport certification. And you have to decide, okay, what am I looking for and what's going to be the most important thing. So I would be looking for one, if not. both of these and then also good manufacturing practices.

If I was looking at a supplement and again, only looking at caffeine, creatine, protein, and all those kinds of things. And then whether or not you want to go organic, inorganic, all that stuff, that's going to be a hundred percent up to you. And that's about all I'm looking for. These days, because I, I like to make sure that what I'm taking is not going to be harmful to my health over a long period of time.

I've been taking some supplements for a very long time. So I'm going to get into what I do take and what I. So first thing I'll, I'll tell you, I take protein, right? I had mentioned it and my protein journey has been all over the place. I did take whey protein a lot and then the, I realized the more I took whey protein, the more either digestive issues I'd have or skin issues.

I would basically break out, I'd have acne or whatever. And it'd always be in conjunction with whey protein or the amount of whey protein I took. And that just compounded over time. And how I developed that allergy, I honestly think that I had way too much dairy. Growing up and then even into adulthood, like early twenties, I would drink ridiculous amounts of milk.

Also have whey protein. I think that my body just gave up at some point and was like the hell of this. Like we're going to, we're going to revolt. And I've tried to do a lot of things to fix it and it's definitely gotten better. But still, if you gave me a whey protein shake right now, it'd be bad news. So anyway, I stay away from whey protein.

I already mentioned I tried beef protein isolate. I actually did that for a couple of years off and on, but then ultimately. That screws my stomach too. Uh, and so now I'm on vegan proteins, and I hate that I'm on vegan proteins, because I feel like they're probably the least effective of the protein supplements that you can have.

Pea protein seems to have the most leucine in it, so typically if I'm taking a vegan protein, I'm looking for one that has either all pea protein or large amounts of it. Most vegan proteins these days are a blend of multiple different seed proteins and, and plant proteins. So the one I'm taking right now, and again, I'm gonna mention brands today, and I don't have, oh, Go use Garage Gym Athlete at checkout for, I don't care about any of that stuff.

I'm just legitimately telling you what I take. I didn't get any kickbacks from these companies. I could care less. They don't even know I'm talking about them today. None of that. So just so you know, but momentous. And if you've heard of that supplement company, I take their vegan protein right now. And again, a big reason why is because they have NSF certified for sport and also informed sport certification.

They have both of those on their protein and someone who's taking a vegan protein. Like I said, that's very important for me, especially on the heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, all those kinds of things. And it's verified that the, what they say is in there. From a macronutrient standpoint is actually in there.

So momentous is the vegan protein i'm taking right now other things that I take I am taking a Athletic greens a daily green drink. I've been taking this for years if you've been listening the podcast They i've been taking athletic greens for a long time. I've mentioned it I just probably don't eat enough fruits and vegetables.

And so I like to have a daily greens I've experimented with experimented with other ones, but when I actually look at the ingredients list I'm still the happiest with athletic greens and they also Are pretty strict on their testing procedures and everything else. So athletic greens is pretty good.

Again, I don't have any affiliation with that company. They actually have reached out recently and want to do. Some sort of collaboration or be a sponsor or whatever, but none of that, none of that's happening. It hasn't happened yet. And to be honest, probably won't happen. Um, but they, they did reach out to want to do that, but I get no kickbacks for having mentioned them.

And then other than that, pretty much electrolyte supplement is the only other thing I'm taking. I go off and on with creatine. So again, I don't have a creatine brand. The creatine brand I was taking was on it on its creatine cause it was made with Creapure, but then. Someone in the Garage Gym Athlete community told me that they actually don't use CreaPure anymore or they discontinued the supplement, one of those things, and that's no longer a thing.

That's something that I want everybody to know. It was on its CreaPure, but they don't use CreaPure anymore, and so I wouldn't take them. So again, if I was looking on Amazon or wherever, I would just look for a creatine and that would be my new form of creatine. I've been off and on with that. Again, I don't...

Always take creatine. And then the only other thing that I really supplement with are electrolytes. And this has actually been a lot more recently. So I actually, Rob Wolfe was the founder of Element L M N T. And I actually got to talk to him, Joe and I did many years ago when he was just kicking that company up off the ground.

And he actually asked us to be a sponsor very early on for Element when he was first getting started. And I turned him down. And the main reason I turned him down at the time was because. His, his electrolyte supplement didn't have any sugar in it. And I, that might sound weird, but I just knew how electrolytes worked.

I was like, why don't you have at least one or two grams of sugar? Like it would make this a more effective electrolyte beverage. And he's really big on the keto train and all that stuff. And he was talking about how a lot of the people who take it are like similar to me. And so they typically, like, if I want to add some glucose to it, he was getting like.

Glucose tabs at like c v s and stuff and adding it to his element. And I was like, dude, if you're like basically admitting that your supplement like has like a, a shortcoming, I, I'm not sure I wanna, I wanna put it out there if like it doesn't have the sugar. 'cause I don't wanna be like, oh, make sure you buy this really expensive electrolyte, but then also be sure to add the sugar.

So anyway, that was why I didn't get involved with Element when it first launched. And why do I take Element now if it doesn't have sugar? I've done more research and it's not actually as important what the sugar does is. So if you need electrolytes faster, you want sugar with it. If it's not like it's just going to sit in your stomach and you're going to pee out all the salt and your body's not going to use it.

But how I take electrolytes now are not like an intro workout thing. I have. like an element in the morning to stay hydrated. And I know if I just get it in the morning, first thing, that's like the first thing I do. I drink like 30 ounces of water with an element in it. I just chug it first thing when I wake up.

So now I have all the electrolytes in there, plenty of sodium and all that kind of stuff. And I know my body will, will use it. If I were going to be looking for a supplement that During my workout, I probably wouldn't use element. Uh, but again, I'm not working out multiple times per day. I am working out in incredibly hot environments.

I sweat a ton. The other hydration supplements that I like are a noon, pretty basic one. Those tabs that you can get, it has one gram of sugar, one or two grams of sugar. That's going to work a little bit. better. And then liquid IV. If I want to use something during a workout, it has a good amount of sugar.

It's 11 grams of sugar, but that would be something I use for in a workout, but I still like element again. We didn't start promoting them early on or anything basically because I didn't think it was a good idea, but now elements huge. So maybe I was wrong on that one because it's a massive company now.

So anyway, electrolytes, the only other thing that I am currently. Uh, currently supplementing with and that's about it. So again, things that you want to be looking for are quality ingredients, maybe organics important to you, maybe a non GMOs important to you. Again, those things are often up for debate.

That's typically what I'm looking at. Other things I'm looking at these days, NSF certified for sport is a big one. And then secondarily, Informed sports certification, but that's about it. And the only thing I like to supplement with is protein, athletic greens, occasionally creatine electrolytes. That's about all you need.

Anything beyond that. You're just not going to see a lot of results from so I stay away from anything that claims it can increase my Testosterone or my performance a lot of those things. I think you just don't want to jack with I don't want to jack with My hormones through some supplement that was made made in China, right?

That's just seems like a dangerous game to be playing long term with our health And I don't think that people should be doing it in general. And so anything else seems unnecessary I have mentioned in the past my use of carbohydrate supplements And the brand, my go to brand for carbohydrate supplement has always been UCAN.

And that's mainly because that's a corn based supplement and it is GMO free. And so I just think that's slightly better, but still, that's not something I want to take every day. Because if we go back to pesticides and all that stuff... Corn is, corn is like some of the worst. Corn has been sprayed with pesticides and typically GMO, all that kind of stuff.

The pesticides is what scares me more so with a cornstarch supplement. And that's all these supplements by the way. If you're looking at like a carb supplement, it's basic, they might give it a fancy name, but ultimately it's cornstarch. It's a version of cornstarch that your body can digest and use quickly and you won't have a huge blood spike and your body can digest it very easily and very fast.

So anyway, They're just different versions of cornstarch. My bigger concern there is the ingestion of what is probably pesticides each and every single day. Not something that I want to do personally, but I will use it on a periodic basis. So you can, as something I would take if I'm getting into an event and that kind of Joe asked me those questions at the end of the last podcast, but that's basically when I would use it as if I'm trying to carb load around an event or if I need something during an event, that's the only time I would ever use a carbohydrate supplement.

Not something I would ever take every single day in my life. I just don't think that's a good decision long term for health, especially when carbs are so easy to get. If you just make sure your glycogen stores are full, you're eating plenty of carbohydrates, maybe have a banana with some peanut butter before training, and you're ultimately going to be fine.

So that's my take on supplements, things that I'm looking at these days. I did get some questions, like I said, from a different. podcast, different episode. But I thought I would address some of those things here because we've talked off and on about supplementation here at Garage Gym Athlete. Most people know I'm not a huge fan of supplements or supplement companies, even though I still take supplements each and every single day.

So those are my thoughts. That's what I'm looking for. Hopefully you enjoyed this. Hopefully you got something out of it and you can be slightly more informed as you go to make your supplement decisions and what you're buying at the end of the day, just know it's, it's going to be all the basic lifestyle.

Lifestyle guidelines that are going to get you to your goals, the consistency, the hard work, the hydration, the sleep, and the actual training and not the supplementation. There are no easy buttons. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that. So for all of our athletes who are making the right decisions, you're getting your three elements in each and every single day.

I really do appreciate you being a part of Garage Gym Athlete and the Garage Gym Athlete community. It means a lot to me. Anyone who's listening to this, who wants to get started, we're not far from a new cycle kicking off. So definitely you might want to go check us out. You can go to garagegymathlete.

com. I'm doing a live Q and a, and also talking about the new cycles in a couple of weeks. Uh, that'll also be published here on the podcast. If you want to hear more about our training, what we're doing, that's coming here to the podcast, but if you just want to go ahead and get started, start, start with a free trial, go to garagegymathlete.

com sign up, get in the app, get started. and we have a new cycle popping off here in a few weeks. But that's it for this one. Remember, if you don't kill comfort, we'll kill you.

If you want to learn more, go to garagegymathlete. com. You can learn about our training. Let us send you a copy of our book, The Garage Gym Athlete, or you can even get featured on The Garage Gym Athlete Podcast. Thanks for listening.

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