Even though there are now a few GNCs around Thailand, prices are double what you would pay back home and some things are hard to come by. It’s tempting to overload your bag with everything from creatine, NO- explode, to ZMA, but I would suggest just bring what you are currently using and what you really need. Here is a list of what I brought and what I recommend – from highest priority to lowest. Fish oil capsules – I buy the 500 count at Costco for around $10US which is 1/10 of the price you would pay for them in Thailand. I take one after each meal to counter balance all the omega 6 that I eat from the vegetable oil they use in Thai cooking. It also helps with fat loss and a host of other health benefits, including joint health which is very important if you do MMA or
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Multivitamin – I take one or two a day after meals, just in case. The diet is pretty varied in Thailand and you’ll end up eating more vegetables here than you would back home but a multi is such a cheap ‘just in case’ supplement that there’s really no reason not to take. Protein powder – I brought a 5lb (2.25kg) tub of ON Gold Standard Whey – Chocolate – which is 74 servings. I choose the Optimum Nutrition brand because I read a study where they compared 10 popular protein powders and found out that most of them don’t have nearly as much protein as advertised – ON is true to their strength. Vitamin C – I bought 500 chewable pills from Costco for around $10US and eat one or two for dessert after meals, instead of having something sweet like I normally crave. Plus, Vitamin C has tons of health benefits; I have a large dose if I feel like I’m getting sick, which often happens after being on an airplane for 20 hours.
Ibuprofen – Often known as ‘Vitamin I’. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory that you’ll be happy you have on hand each time you hurt yourself in practice. It helps with back pain, pulled muscles, headaches and just about everything. Try not to take them unless you absolutely have to, as studies have shown you don’t gain as much muscle after a workout if you take ibuprofen. I bought a 750 pill bottle at Costco for $10US which is the equivalent price of getting 50 pills at the pharmacy here in Thailand. Caffeine tablets – I brought a bottle from home for three reasons: 1 – Taking it first thing in the morning during the week you arrive helps you counter jetlag. 2 – I also take one before training instead of a pre-workout product as caffeine is thought to delay the onset of muscle fatigue (by helping your body use its own fat reserves as energy instead). 3 – I might also take a caffeine pill instead of drinking a ‘Red Bull’, if I’m going to go out at night and don’t want to drink.
Pink Himalayan Salt – This is a kind of random thing but I think it really helps. When you train a lot you often get adrenal fatigue and the easiest way to combat it is to simply have a teaspoon of salt in the morning with some water. It makes me have more energy throughout the day, instantly wakes me up and keeps me hydrated. The reason why I use Pink Himalayan Salt instead of normal white salt is firstly, normal salt tastes like crap – trying to drink it in the morning makes me want to throw up. The pink stuff is a finishing salt and actually tastes good, plus it contains 84 minerals that normal refined white salt doesn’t have. I bought mine at Trader Joes, as the only place in Thailand that sells it is the upscale Rimping supermarket, which isn’t in most places.