I bet I get asked about what supplements people should take everyday. I always respond the same way, “Supplements are just that. They are there to supplement what we are not getting regularly from our diet. Eating actual food should be the foundation of what we do.” There is one major foundational element that consistently gets overlooked; the importance of health. In the fitness industry people are always concerned about weight loss, weight gain, speed, power or athletic performance, but often times they forget the basic foundational element is to just simply get healthy. You know the boring stuff like gut health, food absorption, cardiovascular health, and blood profile. Generally speaking if your body is healthy you will naturally move toward your fitness goals. Once your diet is where it needs to be then I would say there are 3 basic supplements worth your money that will help you get healthy.
Probiotics– This is essentially good or healthy bacteria. Chances are if you have been on antibiotics recently, have a ton of stress, eat a diet high in sugar, alcohol, processed foods, or frequently overeat then you have poor gut health. This can lead to bloating, irregular bowl activity, weight gain and poorly absorbed nutrients. By taking a quality probiotic supplement you improve intestinal health and help the body get rid of the bad bacteria that causes sickness, food intolerances or allergies, poor body composition, bloating, and general digestive dysfunction. To learn more on probiotics check out http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-probiotics
Fish Oil or Omega 3’s– These are essentially healthy fats. The typical American diet is missing the appropriate amount of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These fats play a huge role in brain function, cardiovascular health and cell membrane function. Recent studies have shown blood levels low in Omega 3 have been linked to memory loss and even Alzheimer’s. On the cellular level, if your diet is low in these fatty acids your cell wall become’s more rigid and resists nutrients passing in and out of the cell. This can lead to poor tissue repair and regeneration post workout, as well as insulin sensitivity that can lead to Type II Diabetes. Fish Oil consumption will positively impact serotonin levels which helps mood, sleep patterns, memory, cell wall health and countless other things. To learn more on Fish Oil consumption check out http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-fish-oil
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)-These are essentially the building blocks of protein, and with the human body constantly repairing and rebuilding protein is the most important macronutrient we consume. While most amino acids are stored in the liver and called upon when needed, branched chain amino acids need to be consumed and are floating around in the blood stream, ready to be burned for energy or protein synthesis for repair. BCAA’s help maintain blood sugar levels. So, if you are working out and eating a natural diet consisting of real foods (no processed foods or sugars) then consumption of BCAA’s will help maintain your muscle mass and prevent your body from breaking it down and using the muscle as a fuel source. Remember as we age, we need to do everything in our power to preserve our muscle mass which will prevent our metabolism from slowing down. To learn more on BCAA’s check out http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-bcaas
If you simply focus on getting your body healthy instead of weight loss, weight gain, speed, power or athletic performance then I would suggest you look into adding Probiotics, Fish Oil, and BCAA’s to your plan. Remember though, health is a 3 legged stool. It’s important to get your heart rate up several times a week for cardiovascular health. It’s important to strength train so you can build and maintain muscle mass. This keeps the metabolism racing. And finally you need to eat meat, vegetables, and fruits. Eat real foods that God created, not man. Focus on health and you’ll achieve your goals. If you’d like to learn more or pick up any of these 3 supplements, stop by Results Personal Training.