Help Me Choose the 'Essentials'

Long story short, I’ve always wanted to purchase Biotest products, but, due to living in South Africa, the cost of shipping and customs was prohibitive. In a few months, I will be starting college in the US, so I’ll finally be able to access the Biotest products.

Partially as a reward for my acceptance, and partially because they’re awesome, my parents have agreed to allot a specific amount to supplements in my monthly budget. Before I sit down with them and negotiate the amounts, I’d like a clearer picture of what I’m aiming for.

18 years old. Training for roughly 3 years.
Want to build muscle, reduce body fat (preference for minimizing fat gain – I really like having abs).

I’m thinking:

  • Peri-workout supplement, Plazma or Surge workout fuel (how significant is the difference in benefit?)
  • MAG-10, post-workout.
  • Metabolic Drive (for the occasional protein boost, or a few scoops as a meal replacement if I’m too busy to catch lunch)
  • Creatine monohydrate (I’ve used a creatine of some sort for the past 2 years… Is this still a staple? I don’t see it getting as much airtime on this website)
  • Flameout.

Also interested in:

  • Indigo 3G (because I want to minimize fat gain)
  • Micro PA (also for better composition)
  • Carbolin 19? (same as above)

Can I get some advice on which of the above supplements to ‘prioritize’? I know that Flameout, Metabolic Drive and (possibly) creatine will be ‘easy sells’ (I have always taken a fish oil, creatine and whey, so these will be easy to negotiate). Then there are the much more pricey, ‘premium’ supplements – Plazma et al, and I know that I won’t be able to get all.

I think I’ve conveyed my question sufficiently…

Any help would be much appreciated!

Flameout, Creatine, Metabolic Drive, Plazma for intra workout, just eat a meal before and after training.

It’s the easiest way to maximize your training and fill in any nutritional gaps with the Flameout/creatine/MD

I’d skip the “interested in” until you’re older ( you’re in your prime years hormonally speaking ) or when you’re more financially stable, i’d rather see the money invested in quality food versus “nice to haves”

Thanks for the reply, corstijeir!

The college that I’m going to attend has an all-you-can-eat meal plan with very high quality food (they’re quite pedantic about sourcing all of the meat and veg from local farms, they cook everything from scratch, etc.). I did my research. Bearing that in mind, I don’t see myself having to buy food very much at all. Does that change the answer at all?

Also, if I could get one of the ‘nice to haves’, what would be best? MAG-10? Indigo-3G?

Oh, one other question:
For the past 2 years, I’ve been having roughly 50 grams of casein before bed. I noticed that Biotest doesn’t even manufacture a pure casein. Is this not an effective routine? Is it not worth continuing?

#1 is definitely Plazma. According to Jim Wendler, me, and literally every single person I know who has tried Plazma, you do not get muscular soreness from exercise if you pre-load it. Since you’re in college, you’re probably going to be doing things that are hard on your body, not adding “and DOMS from the gym two days ago” will be a tremendous difference in your quality of life.

#2 is ZMA or Elitepro minerals, they will help you get GOOD SLEEP, which is something that is always going to be in short supply in college. I liked ZMA, so I tried Elitepro, and I like it more.

#3 is Curcumin, if it works for you like it does for me, it’s better than motrin or aleve, but ymmv

MAG-10 for immediately after the workout is good, Metabolic Drive or MAG-10 before bed is good. MAG-10 or Metabolic Drive instead of a meal/candy bar/whatever if you’re in a rush is good. I used Metabolic Drive in college, but I haven’t used it much since MAG-10 became available.

Indigo-3G and Micro-PA are unnecessary in your situation, and besides, if you’re normal, your top priorities are your studies, your health, and having awesome college experiences with your new American friends. Use this time, and the all-you-can eat meal plan to set yourself on good habits like choosing healthy food, sensible portion control, and making time to go to the gym without making it your life. If the food quality is as high as you say it is, you can probably get by without Flameout, because you will be getting your Omega-3s from your diet.

Lots of over-ambitious freshmen (like me!) decided that they were going to commit to schedules that were too aggressive and didn’t leave much time for “just screwing around”, so they either threw the whole thing out and developed bad habits, or worse, they missed college for whatever unimportant thing they decided they had to do.

Also, Plazma/MAG-10/Curcumin are all things that you use “as needed”, meaning that they sit on the shelf taunting you when you haven’t been to the gym for a week because finals and girls. Many of the others (Micro-PA, Alpha Male, Indigo-3G, Carbolin 19) are “daily”, will require scheduling, and really shouldn’t be stopped intermittently. So selling your parents on the highest quality “as needed” stuff (use the argument for no DOMS, good sleep, and ‘in case of joint pain’) will be easier than a “I need $200/month every month for my supplement habit”. Especially because you can tell them you’ll just ask for more when you burn through the first few bags of Plazma, so they’ll know how much you’re going to the gym and be able to yell at you if you’re doing that instead of getting good grades (this is a selling point, embrace it).

Thank you very much for that thorough response, JoinInTheChant. I really like your reasoning, and it’s awesome that you suggested products that I omitted. (BTW, I did read and absorb the rest of your post, I’m just not commenting on that because it would be quite off topic. Thanks, though.)

Curcumin > Flameout? Interesting, I had always thought the opposite.

Currently then, it’s looking like (if negotiations go well): Plazma, Metabolic Drive, ZMA, Elitepro, curcumin or Flameout and MAG-10 if I can squeeze it in.

[quote]Fyzjin2 wrote:
Also, if I could get one of the ‘nice to haves’, what would be best? MAG-10? Indigo-3G?[/quote]
At your current size, especially if you have defined abs right now, I wouldn’t say Indigo-3g is “essential” at all. A young dude who trains hard and eats smart shouldn’t have any major issues with bodyfat.

Metabolic Drive is micellar casein.

ZMA and Elitepro is borderline redundant. Some guys do take both, but if we’re prioritizing, I’d only do one of those and squeeze in the Mag-10 (great for between meals and/or post-workout, even if you’re using Plazma).

Also, if I had to choose one or the other, I’d go Flameout over Curcumin, by a hair. I personally feel the anti-inflammatory effects of high-potency fish oil like Flameout very noticeably.

You might also want to check this thread, where a lot of people give their input on their own “Top 5” supps:

But above all else, totally remember that the “essentials” for an 18-year old guy trying to build size is lifting 3-5 days every week and eating three or more solid meals every single day.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Disclaimer: Individual results may vary.