When You Are on a Budget, What Supplements Should You Use

What Supplements Should You Use

When using supplements while working out with weights the question becomes, “what should I use?” And, “how can I keep within the budget I’m working with?” There are five prime supplements that we will take a look at here to make decisions on how we can best use our money spent when we’re working out.

• Creatine
• Whey protein
• Caffeine
• Branched chain amino acids
• Omega-3 fatty acids

These five supplements will treat you very well during your workout times and also a little extra money in your wallet at the same time. We will take a look at these supplements and see how they fit into your weight training program. And at the same time will look at what might be the recommended dosage for each supplement, the price per serving on the supplements and also the timing of using the supplements in your workout program.

Skeletal Formula of Creatine


Creatine is one of the prime supplements used by weightlifters and other athletes to increase their performance. Not only can creatine help you to increase your muscle mass and your muscle performance but also it can help in the recovery time between the workouts to repair your muscles and strengthen them along the way. Creatine has been called the king of the weight lifting supplements. Creatine is something that occurs naturally within our body. This comes from eating red meat and the ingestion of that into our body produces a natural born creatine. The body naturally stores a small amount of creatine within your muscle mass. However, the amount of muscle mass can have positive effects upon your workouts. You can make a choice of eating more red meat or other high protein type foods like eggs and dairy to increase your creatine level within your body. Give it some consideration however, eggs right now are close to $3 a dozen and red meat of any quality whatsoever can run a close $7 to $10 per pound! So going this route could be a very costly method to increasing your creatine within your muscle mass.

The alternative is to use a supplement like creatine on a daily basis to achieve the level of creatine that you would like to have in your muscle mass. Typically when starting a workout program and using creatine in it, you will have a loading phase followed by a maintenance phase of the amount of creatine you ingest. Loading Phase is typically 20 grams of creatine a day for 5 to 7 days. This is followed by a maintenance phase of three to five grams per day.

If you choose to go the route of the grocery store I’m sure you would find yourself spending a considerable amount of money very quickly. If you choose to use a powdered creatine and instead you will find that you will need 20 grams for 5 to 7 days and 3 to 5 grams for maintenance after that the cost per serving on this will they be anywhere between $0.10 to $0.70. The $0.10 is the lower dosage that you would use for maintenance and the $0.70 for your loading phase. Also, the timing of taking this within your daily routine can be at any time of the day. It is recommended though to give complete consideration to your timing of your consumption: pre workout, during your workout and post workout timings.

Whey Protein

Whey protein has many of the same characteristics as creatine does. There are numerous benefits you receive in muscle strength and size that whey protein brings to them. Whey protein does not only help to maximize muscular strength and size but it also helps us to decrease in body fat and again have a faster recovery time after our workouts. These characteristics alone are enough to make whey protein a staple in the workout routine.

The primary benefit of whey protein is at the end of your work out. It is suggested through many studies and is statistically proven that this is the best time for you to consume whey protein. There have been many studies looking at various dosage levels from 5, 10, 20, even 40 grams and the 20 grams is found to be fully stimulating toward protein synthesis after resistance training.

So make yourself a protein cocktail for the end of workout. The recommended dosage is around 20 grams. The cost to do this will greatly depend upon what size of container that you get your whey protein in. It is highly suggested to stretch your budget as far as you can and by as large of a container as possible so you get the best possible price per serving, between a dollar and a dollar fifty. As far as timing goes, any time after your resistance workout is a good time to have the whey protein cocktail.


Caffeine may seem like a very odd ingredient to have in a workout routine. But what your goal is, to increase your workout reps at the gym or you want to lose weight, keep an eye on caffeine in your regiment. We all normally have a cup of caffeine in the morning to help get us going. The same response can help us in the gym. It can help to reduce fatigue during workout exercises and keep us going the extra time to do the best we can during our exercise routine.

While you may not have ever thought of this before, caffeine in itself can actually help to lose weight. A recent study has come to the conclusion that adding 1.8 milligrams of caffeine per body weight moved our metabolic rate up to an additional 12%. Adding caffeine to our workout routine it can be as simple as brewing a pot of coffee at home and taking a thermos with you and having some before you start a workout. Or you can get extravagant and stop by Starbucks and spend a whole lot more money. A recommended dose is 150 to 300 milligrams and the cost could be anywhere from $0.05 to $3 depending on where you decide to make or buy your coffee. Also, from a timing point of view it is suggested or recommended that you have this coffee 30 minutes prior to your workout session.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS)

While these amino acids are not spoken about a lot in the muscle building process they are very important. For a few who do not employ them in the process, you could be leaving all the gains that you’ve achieved with your creatine and whey protein on the table. These BCAA s are built from three vital amino acids that make up one-third of your skeletal protein. In your muscles they have been shown, through studies, to stimulate and improve muscle protein synthesis and also aid in recovery of your muscles after a workout. 10 grams is anywhere from $0.50 to $1. It is also suggested that they should be taken prior to or during your workout time.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a prime nutrient for your body. Omega-3 is considered essential to your body’s well-being. And because our body cannot produce these on our own we must take them in as a supplement to our diet. We typically get these supplements in fish oils that are high in DHA and also EPA. Studies have shown that by using the omega-3 fatty acid it can reduce the “after the workout muscle soreness”. Other studies have shown that by using omega 3 fatty acids we can have a greater range of motion after a serious workout session and also reduce pain and swelling. So these benefits can do one thing for you and that is to help you recover faster and train harder.

Knowing fish is the primary source for this omega 3 fatty acid it would become very, very costly to try to consume enough fish on a daily basis to meet the requirements needed of this essential element for our body’s wellbeing. The recommended dose is between 1 and 2 grams per day and this can be achieved by using a supplement form of omega-3 fatty acids at a cost of $0.20 to $0.87 a day it is recommended that you take this with meals.

We have looked at five different supplements that we can use during our workout routines. These are all attainable at a reasonable price and can be utilized on a daily basis to maximize your workout time. So keep your hard earned money in your wallet and the proper supplements on hand to help you to get to where you want to be.