When consistently trying to stay healthy or participating in an exercise regimen, your body will require additional nutrients for fuel and for recovery. Sometimes, we’re not able to meet these demands through diet alone. For this reason I have put together a list of supplements I highly recommend that you take to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Unfortunately, the supplement market is flooded with thousands of supplement types and brands. It can be incredibly difficult to choose the right type of supplement and the best brand. To eliminate this challenging selection process, we have provided you with the some of the best supplements that are perfect for energy, recovery, and weight loss. Before trying any dietary supplement, check with your doctor first to make sure these supplements are safe for you.
Whey protein is often thought of as a supplement only for weight lifters and bodybuilders. However, this is far from the truth. Your body needs protein for many vital processes including building muscle. Whey protein includes all of the essential amino acids and is easy to digest. In addition to muscle growth, whey protein has the following known benefits:
Weight loss – it takes more effort for the body to digest whey protein than other nutrients. This equates to burning more calories in the digestion process.
Hunger – whey protein helps to curb hunger by making you feel satiated and to slow down glucose absorption in the blood.
Disease Prevention – whey protein has been found to improve symptoms and to assist in the prevention of diseases like diabetes and cancer.
Reduced Stress – recent studies have found that consuming whey protein can help to prevent depression, anxiety and stress.
Whey protein can come in 3 different types: concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzed. To spare you of a science lesson in these different types of whey protein, Concentrate is the most pure form of whey protein and should be your first choice.
The other two, especially isolate, have a great deal of added ingredients such as artificial sweeteners and various chemicals. Make sure you choose a whey protein product that’s as close to 100% pure as possible. This will help to eliminate the less credible brands.
The organic protein that I use and recommend is Teras Whey. It’s one of the healthiest organic proteins that I’ve seen on the market.
Teras whey has become one of the most reliable options on the market due to its ingredients. This protein doesn’t have any added ingredients, fillers, or long unhealthy ingredients lists like some of the other brands of protein out there. It’s reasonably priced and offers a variety of flavors.
The Recommended Dietary Intake for protein per day is roughly 46 grams for adult women and 56 grams for adult men. However, the amount of protein needed per day may increase depending on how physically active you are and how many calories you eat per day. If you are just trying to stay healthy, I recommend you have 2 scoops of protein in a smoothie every other day either in the morning, afternoon, or at night of each day.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that the body can’t produce. They provide numerous benefits for the body including improving your overall health. The 3 fatty acids are: ALA, DHA, and EPA. These fatty acids can be taken in supplement form (typically pills or fish oil) or they can be found in foods like fish. Over the last few years, research has found that Omega 3 fatty acids have the following health benefits:
Improved heart health
Reduction of inflammation
Reduced cholesterol levels
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced triglyceride levels
Improved rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
Alleviates depression symptoms
Reduced risk of various types of cancer
Depending on if you are taking Omega 3s as a supplement or to help treat a health condition, most experts believe that 1 to 2 grams per day is sufficient. However, you may experience some gastrointestinal issues with higher amounts of Omega 3. Additionally, if you are on anticoagulants, then talk to your doctor before taking Omega 3 fatty acids.
There is an ocean of scientific evidence regarding the benefits of individual vitamins and multivitamins. The benefits are numerous and can range from preventing scurvy to improving bone or skin health. Ideally, most health professionals believe that you should meet your daily vitamin requirements through a healthy and balanced diet.
However, most people don’t eat a healthy enough diet to meet the recommended intake for vitamins and minerals. This is where a good multivitamin can be of assistance.
Think of multivitamins as an “insurance policy” for your overall health. And if you are exercising regularly, then your body will require even more vitamins and minerals to meet the added physical demands and to recover.
In regards to diet and exercise, multivitamins have the following benefits:
Boost immune system
Boost energy levels
Aids in recovery
Helps to reduce stress
Improves bone and joint health
Improves cardiovascular health
Improves focus and clarity
Improves digestion of proteins
Helps to convert fat into energy
Helps to improve endurance
It’s important to note that you should stay within the healthy limits of vitamin dosage. Most labels have percentage amounts of the recommended daily intake. Some vitamins can be toxic if taken in high dosages. Also, make sure to choose a multivitamin that is pure and not filled with processed ingredients.
Over the last few years, turmeric has become incredibly popular within the health industry due to its weight loss properties. Turmeric, a spice which naturally comes from the root of the curcuma long plant, has long been used in ancient Chinese treatments as an anti-inflammatory treatment. In addition to anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric’s ingredients also have the following benefits:
Prevents various forms of cancer
Used to help treat Alzheimer’s
Aids in pain relief
Can help treat depression
In regards to weight loss, a few different studies have linked turmeric to decreasing triglyceride levels and fatty acids, which may suggest that it can help treat obesity. Additionally, turmeric has been found to increase one’s metabolism.
Turmeric can come in the following forms: powder, dried root, fluid extract and a cut root. Popular ways of implementing turmeric into your diet are in your tea, sprinkled on cooked vegetables, or added to a chili recipe (like the one you’ll see in the meal plans).
Staying heart healthy is important as we age. An important part of heart health is a coenzyme Q10, which is found in every cell of our bodies. This enzyme helps you create energy from fuel (food). COQ10 is produced by your body and is a component to making your heart beat.
As we age our production of COQ10 decreases and it’s important that you supplement with it to stay healthy and full of energy. This supplement can also help reduce high blood pressure. This supplement is a powerful antioxidant, helping reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol.
This is another great supplement to take to keep your immune system strong. We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun and there is a problem with that. The problem occurs during the winter months when the sun doesn’t rise higher than 35 degrees in the sky, we can’t get enough penetration from the suns UV rays.
Even if you live in a constantly warm place, such as Los Angeles California. If the sun doesn’t rise higher than 35 degrees or higher in the sky you can’t absorb vitamin D.
Optimal levels of vitamin D are between 50-80 ng/ml but most of us if we’re not supplementing don’t have optimal levels. If you do not have optimal levels of vitamin D, then this could lead to heart disease, poor physical performance, depression, cancer, difficulty in losing weight, and all cause morality.
You can find Vitamin C in lemons and limes, which can be added to your water for taste. To get even more vitamin C we recommend a supplement.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet. It helps with the reduction of free radicals in your body that can contribute to aging, heart disease, and various other problems that occur as we get older. We recommend you take 1,000 – 2,000 mg/day.
Plant chemicals in cocoa known as flavonols help the body synthesize a compound called nitric oxide, which is critical for healthy blood flow and healthy blood pressure in the body. Nitric oxide also helps improve platelet function, meaning it makes your blood less sticky.
You can get your dose of flavonols by eating 2 square of dark chocolate with a cocoa level of 70% or higher, or you can take a supplement if you don’t want to eat chocolate.
I’d recommend the chocolate though because it’s delicious.
When taken within the recommended dosages, all of these supplements have tremendous benefits especially in regards to living healthier and losing weight. However, it’s strongly recommended that you consult with your physician before trying any of these supplements, especially if you’re on medications so you don’t have any conflicts.