To Supplement Or Not
Posted under: Exercise, Fitness, Food, Nutrition, Physical activity
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- Posted by Jane Mukami
A supplement can be defined as any product that you use along with your existing nutrition and exercise program to improve your nutritional status, performance, fat loss results, or a combination of these things.
Why should you supplement?
- Standard eating habits do not account for huge portions of healthy, vitamin and mineral filled foods such as green vegetables. Supplementing them becomes a great way to consume these micro nutrients and trace elements.
- Current agricultural practices leave soil deficient of nutrients which then yields food thats devoid of nutrients. You need soil rich in nutrients to get food rich in nutrients.
- Even with the perfect nutrient rich soil, many fruits and vegetables are hybridized or genetically bred/modified to improve visual appeal, yield higher returns leading to lesser nutritional values than our ancestor’s food supply.
- Organic foods are becoming rare commodities. The public at large relies on produce from sources that cannot be determined. For this reason, supplementing would be the ideal way to ensure you’re getting all the necessary micro nutrients despite food source.
- Depletion of nutrients due to extended shipping and preservation methods.
- Cooking of food for better taste usually degrades quality of nutrients leading to reduced nutritional value
- As we age, our bodies provide fewer enzymes, including those needed to assimilate food as we eat. This leads to common issues such as indigestion, reflux, heartburn, constipation etc.
Wondering which supplements can take you from good to great? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people wonder about various products, but with hundreds to choose from, it can get overwhelming.
Let’s cut through the clutter and help you identify which products will help get you to where you want to be. As an active individual, you’ll need a little extra support compared to someone who’s not as active, so that’s where these supplements can really shine and help out.
The following is a brief list of the top rated supplements you should be considering.
- Fish Oil
The benefits of fish oil cannot be stated enough. Fish oil will supply you with a hearty dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which will help boost insulin senstivitiy, combat heart disease, strengthen your immune system, ward of depression and diabetes, and also help you maintain a leaner body composition.
Need I say more? Most people don’t take in enough omega-3 fatty acids through their diet plan alone, which is why supplementing is such a wise move.
The second supplement you’ll want to get on your list is a quality multi-vitamin product. Rich in vitamins and minerals, this will help provide the back-up support you need so that you have reassurance that you are doing all that you can to promote higher levels of health.
Life can get busy and at times, it can be a struggle to get all of the nutrients in that you need. While you should always aim to eat a diet rich in lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, the multi-vitamin will be there when you need it.
You might also want to consider looking for one specially formulated for your body – conside a woman’s multi-vitmain, a men’s multi-vitamin, or a prenatal or pregnancy multi-vitamin if either of those apply. A multi-vitamin usually contains 20 – 30 different vitamins in 1 serving. A great multivitamin will have a good milligram dosage per serving.
3. Protein Powder
Next up on the list is a high quality protein powder. Protein is the most critical nutrient to consume in your daily diet and sadly, many people are falling short. The best way to up your protein intake is through adding one protein shake a day, which will typically add 20-25 grams instantly.
Protein powder is ready to go when you are, so the excuse of not having enough time is no longer valid. Plus, it’s great for immediately following exercise as it’s designed to break down and digest faster than a meat protein powder would.
Note that protein powder is not absolutely necessary to see fitness or fat loss results however, but it can help you see faster and better results when you use it.
4. Vitamin D
Finally, the last supplement that you’ll want to pay attention to and ensure is in your diet plan is vitamin D. Vitamin D is critical for bone formation, proper production of testosterone in the body (especially important for men), for keeping your immune system strong, and it may even help foster a leaner body composition as well.
Vitamin D is found in very few foods that we consume in the standard human diet, which is why taking it in through supplemental form is so vital.
You can get vitamin D by going out in direct sunlight as well, however this is generally not recommended due to the fact it can set you up for skin cancer.
Taking 2000-4000IU’s per day of vitamin D can help ensure you don’t fall short and give you the nutritional support you need.
So keep all of these products in mind. If you want the very basic level supplementation, these are the ones that you should be focusing on. Beyond this, if you are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet plan, you really won’t need all that much else.