Just like your car your body requires regular maintenance. Even when your car is running fine it still requires an oil change every 4 months. Your body is the same way sometimes it needs just a little tune up.
We all have that one friend or co-worker that’s ALWAYS sick. That one friend who is ALWAYS sore after a tough workout and my favorite friend who is afraid to get “too bulky” so they don’t drink protein shakes? um….do you even lift bro?
We all know there isn’t some magic pill that can change your weight loss journey but there are some supplements out there that could help your over all well-being to make you feel less sore, full of energy, and healthy! I can proudly say that I very rarely get sick with the cold. Why do I think this is? I live a healthy lifestyle. I work out regularly, I take my vitamins, I eat lots of fruits, veggies, and drink water. Of course I wash my hands, Clorox wipe down EVERYTHING at work and at the gym. I literally have Clorox wipes in my gym bag at all times!
My friends are always asking me what supplements I take and I think there is a lot of information out there to make it confusing and many stores to make it intimidating to even shop for supplements. Let me also say, I can NOT stand those chain stores with major DB “Bros” trying to up sell you products you don’t even need! As always talk with your physician or trainer, and do your research. this is what works for me and everyone is different.
Women’s Multivitamin: As we age our body has a harder time absorbing nutrients. Taking a multivitamin full of nutrients will help our body absorb the proper nutrition you need and help you age healthier. Multi-V’s contain lots of Vitamins like folic acid, iron, calcium, and vitamin D. Some of the benefits of these vitamins include healthy bones, healthy skin, prevent diabetes complications, manage stress, improve short-term memory, boost energy levels, improve balance and stability, and maintain muscle strength.
Fish Oil: Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most commonly consumed supplement on the market. If you don’t eat a lot of oily fish this supplement can have huge health benefits. make sure your fish oil is fresh and not outdated. If there is a gross smell throw them out. Check the purity and concentration of your fish oil, and consume your fish oil with a meal that contains fat for full absorption. Fish oil can be good for heart health, help with normal brain function, may improve body composition and reduce risk factors for heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids may also help support vision, reduce inflammation and chronic inflammation, and may help maintain healthy skin. Other research shows that fish oil can improve attention, improve symptoms of depression, improve symptoms of allergies and asthma.
Whey Protein: Besides the fact that consuming a delicious protein shake is the HIGHLIGHT of my day there are a lot of studies that show the benefits of whey protein! There are defiantly many different benefits to consuming protein depending on how you take your shake, what you put in it, when you drink your shake, and how many times a day. (New post coming soon regarding protein shakes!) Overall, the benefits include promoting muscle growth, lower blood pressure, moderates blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and highly satisfying feeling (filling) which helps reduce being HANGRY. Protein can potentially help you lose weight by maintaining muscle mass, suppressing appetite, and boosting your metabolism.
Fiber: Need I say more? I add powdered fiber in my shake every morning to help me stay regular, feeling full, and aid in proper digestion. Even though I eat a very well balanced food plan with lots of veggies I still make sure I’m consuming enough fiber. Since I’m not consuming carbs that usually have high fiber count I supplement with the powder.
Glucosamine: I take this in powder form and just put it in my protein shake after I lift. Studies have shown that glucosamine can help lower inflammation and help reverse autoimmune reactions, can help with any joint pains, help with overall join health, create a quicker recovery time, and help with any gut issues.
Glutamine: Okay so this one is all over the place but can help with your aging brain, IBS or other gut issues, can increase muscle growth without wasting muscle after your workout. Essentially your body won’t eat up your muscle for energy after you lift. Can improve your performance and allow for quicker recovery time, and can help aid in burning fat,
BCAA/Amino Acids: There are many skeptics out there with their own thoughts on BCAA’s and if they are worth your time and money. Some believe that you get enough amino acids through whey protein and it’s not necessary to consume an added amino. I usually drink my amino acids before and during my cardio sessions because it requires no digestion at all. I also consume my amino while running marathons with electrolytes. This has been a life saver for me personally and they don’t upset my stomach like other supplements have in the past. BCAA’s or amino can help increase protein synthesis which is the process of how your body builds new muscles. BCAA’s can also reduce the rate your muscles breakdown which leads to muscle growth (which is why I consume BCAA’s during long cardio sessions). BCAA’s could also help you push a little harder in your work out and help you workout harder and longer.
Pre-Workout: I use this for when I lift in the afternoon after a crazy day at work. There are many types of Pre-workouts and I would suggest you try half the serving size first to make sure it works for you. If you have a low tolerance for caffeine I would go for something more natural with green tea extracts and other natural ingredients to avoid any jittery unwanted side effects. I consume my pre-workout about 20 minutes before I go to lift to give me more mental clarity, energy, and focus. An alternative is to go ahead and drink a cup of coffee or iced coffee.
Where to Buy: I buy most of my supplements at my local pharmacy or target. No need to spend tons of money on these products. These days amazon has a lot of choice too! If you have questions and still aren’t sure what to take I highly suggest the Vitamin Shoppe. I think overall their sales team are very knowledgeable and there are many options that are reasonably priced. I also love their return policy! If you try a product say a new protein powder and are unhappy with it you can return it no questions asked even if you opened it.
A healthy balanced life with good nutrition, proper exercise, and healthy habits can help improve the quality of your life. In addition to my lifestyle choices these really do enhance my day-to-day activities and routine but this is just what has worked for me. Do your research before trying these and as always consult a physcian or expert if you have any questions, concerns, or issues. Whatever you do, don’t forget to Live, Laugh, Love, and LIFT! Happy Lifting friends!