Do you need supplements? We will be the first to tell you that supplements should not be your top priority. Before diving into supplements, you’re going to need to make sure that your diet, training and lifestyle habits are in check first. Once you are consistent with feeding yourself well, training hard and executing consistently, that’s where supplementation can be considered to optimize your overall health.
As coaches, we like to split our recommendations into two categories: Foundational supplements, and goal specific supplements. Regardless of your goals, foundational supplements can improve your baseline health and functioning while goal specific supplements are well, goal specific! Think performance or fat loss, to name a few. Below I’ll detail a bit more of our recommendations.
If you are someone who is trying to ingest enough protein to support the maintenance and growth of muscle mass, having a whey protein powder is going to be extremely helpful. Most clients who work with us have the objective of improving their body composition, strength, and performance. In order to do this, research has recommended that individuals consume around 1.6g/kg of body weight. This can be difficult to do on chicken and egg whites alone, especially considering the fact that we have many clients hit even higher targets than that! Having a high quality protein powder to meet those needs makes hitting the targets and your body composition, strength or performance goals that much easier.
Inflammation is an underrated cause of many issues when it comes to your overall health. Because of that, combating chronic or excessive inflammation is very important! Taking in ample amounts of omega-3 essential fatty acids in your diet from oily fish sources can help naturally suppress this inflammation. Studies on fish oils rich in both EPA and DHA have shown they help with lowering blood pressure, reducing triglyceride levels, lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels while at the same time increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels. Omega-3 fatty acids are also very important for long term cognitive health function.
Multivitamins are very useful for filling in the “holes” of our diet. Unless you’re able to eat enough of every fruit, vegetable, and protein under the sun it might be difficult to get enough of the micronutrients your metabolism needs to function at its best! It also becomes harder to hit the adequate amount of nutrients if you’re in a calorie deficit due to less overall food.
Similar to a multivitamin, having a greens powder is like having insurance for missing out on any important micronutrients that you are missing in your daily diet. We always recommend Opti-greens 50 by 1st Phorm to our clients. Opti-Greens 50 is packed with 50 hand-chosen, gluten-free, alkalizing ingredients to help build a strong immune system and stay healthy. Opti-Greens 50 has a diverse blend of fruits, veggies, and grasses to maximize the nutrients you’ll get in every scoop. The variety of nutrients and antioxidants included in this micronutrient dense powder further ensures that you are filling in any holes that might be left with your current diet, for a healthy body!
Goal specific supplements
Pre-workout is one of those things that most meatheads can’t live without. While you may not need it to get a great workout in, it can definitely help with training performance. The literature is overwhelming with evidence to suggest that caffeinated pre-workout enhances focus, strength, endurance, and overall training performance. Keep in mind that you can go overboard with pre-workout which may have the opposite effect and decrease training performance so be sure to dose appropriately.
Intra-workout carbs can have a significant impact in training performance and endurance. Especially when dieting or in a fat loss phase, getting in some quick digesting carbs during a training session can be just what you need to keep the intensity throughout the entire training session rather than dying out half way and then dragging through. Whether you are in a fat loss phase or not, making sure you are performing at your best in either phase is going to be important for overall physique enhancement.
The evidence on the benefits of creatine are too great to argue. When it comes to performance, research consistently shows that creatine supplementation helps with training endurance and strength compared to individuals who do not take it. If you are looking for the extra edge to enhance your training, creatine is the way to go!
Fat burners are only something we suggest in a fat loss phase when you need that little extra push for additional fat loss. Fat burners generally help with aspects of dieting like appetite and focus, which make the end of the diet a bit more manageable. In certain contexts that are time sensitive like contest prep or to finish out the last few weeks of your wedding cut, they can give you that extra edge you need. However, they are certainly not a top priority and there are many other supplements we’d recommend before a fat burner. And of course, without the proper nutrition protocol in place, they won’t do much, either!
For a better understanding on what you NEED to be supplementing with, we recommend getting some blood work done. By getting a full panel done, you can get a better understanding on what your body is deficient in, and what you are doing well with! We often recommend this panel to most of our clients for a comprehensive look at the tests that would tell us the most about overall metabolic health.
Supplements don’t have to be confusing. Make sure that you’re putting in your 100% to the basics before you evaluate further regarding your goals and what you’re looking to gain from the supplements you’re investing in.
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