Supplementation plays an important role in achieving a better body composition, even though it may still be a grey area for many people. Supplements are not and should not be used to substitute a proper diet, and cannot replace hard and smart training, and sensible healthy habits. However, seeing as most of us struggle to eat a balanced diet and cannot get all the essential vitamins and minerals from our daily food intake, added to the fact that more and more toxins are being pumped into our environment and affecting our food chain, supplements are becoming a necessity in order to achieve optimum health.
Supplementation ideally needs to personalised, in consultation with a personal trainer or nutritionist; see someone who can run a blood test before taking supplements to see where you as an individual may be deficient in the required vitamins and minerals, but below I have listed a few supplements to aid with everyone’s training and wellness. With regard to buying supplements I suggest you seek out the best quality that you can afford, invest in ones produced or manufactured in countries such as Canada for example, that have better government scrutiny on their products, as it’s illegal to produce supplements that make false claims about the benefit to your health.
1-Fish oil aka the magic fluid
Take a good quality omega-3 fish oil, fats rich in omega 3 help to reduce “bad cholesterol”, it can also help to reduce inflammation, increase utilization of fat stores and decrease fat storage leading to better body composition, helping balancing our modern dietary intake of omega 6 to omega 3,and countless aliment it has been shown to assist in.
2-Vitamin D aka the Sun subsititue
If you cannot get out the office during the summer time to expose yourself to some daylight and seeing winter is almost back with us, lack of exposure to regular amounts of sunshine can trigger seasonal effective disorder (SAD). Sunlight increases the levels of vitamin-D and melatonin within our skin, individuals especially in colder countries where sunlight can be non-existence year around and in summer time where a lot of people use sun cream and makeup the block they skin from absorbing the sunshine, deficiency of vitamins D has been link to depression and diabetes.
3-Multi Vitamins/powder green drinks aka the backup plan
If you are someone who doesn’t like their fruits and vegetables this might be a good option, not that this should be on excuse not to eat your veggies or because you lack bad nutrition, but it’s a good back up to help fill in the gaps or cover your bases with a good multivitamins, some of the symptoms of lacking vitamins are as follows exhaustion, mood swings, depression, lethargy, mouth ulcers, muscle and joint pain just to name a few.
4-Zinc – the immunity mineral
It’s an important mineral that acts as a co-factor for over 200 metabolic enzymes, playing a central role in our health and immunity and helps protect against infections such as the common cold, sperm production in male and countless other, plus a good reason to take them is that our bodies is unable to store them.
5-Probotoics – for gut health
Taking a good quality of live probotoic supplement daily has been shown to encourage the creation of B vitamins which help energy, mood and memory, go for the ones that say the organism is alive till expiry date not ones that was alive when produce or at manufacturing date. Also it’s ideal to use when travelling outside your local area or foreign lands, its ideal to use after a surgery and when using a lot of painkillers and antibiotics usages or problems with IBS and LAB.
6-HCL – the digestion aider
A lack of efficient hydrochloric acids in the stomach have a lot of repercussion on your gut and system, making a lot of your food from fats, carbohydrates and protein maldigestion, especially if you consume a lot of protein dishes as it will help you to digest and assimilate it, good HCL levels are need to encourage bile, prevent harmful bacteria, yeast and fungi growing in the small intestines, symptoms are indigestion, abdominal bloating and excessive intestinal winds, its can lead to leaky guts and malabsorption of nutrients. This should be your first priority before taking any other supplement as if you are not absorbing your nutrients you simply are pooping away your money.
7-Magnesium – the sleep helper
It’s the fourth most common metal found in the body, with 70% stored in the bones and teeth, it’s need for the function of over 300 enzymes, every organ, muscles and kidney needs it, helps with energy production. Anxiety, sleep problems, stress and irritability are some symptoms experience in some people who lack enough and it can help people with insulin sensitivity.
8-Protein powder- the muscle builder
It’s essential you replace muscle glycogen after a workout and the best way to get that is with whey or plant protein, research has been shown that it help with the rate of protein synthesis and muscle growth can double when protein is consumed immediately after a workout which is a good process whether you are aiming to achieve fatloss or building muscle, try to use the cold pressed version and ones without added sugar and bulking agents.
* Most importantly to remember you cannot out train a bad diet or your poor nutritional habits, so if you are not eat properly no amount of supplement is going to create the desired body you want.