Supplements can be intimidating.
Just browse the shelves of your local health store or pharmacy and you could easily be overwhelmed by the number and variety of supplements on sale, all promising to get you closer to your goals, faster.
Many people simply write off supplements, believing that only fitness competition contestants and avid weightlifters need to take them. However, intelligent and appropriate supplementation, if used with consistency over a reasonable time period, could greatly aid in achieving your fat-loss goals and help keep you healthy.
Here are six supplements you should take, whether you train for a competition or simply exercise to stay healthy.
1. Whey protein
Consuming sufficient high-quality protein is essential, and this can be made easier by taking a suitable protein supplement daily. Our protein supplement of choice is whey protein, ideally taken once or twice daily. Take one to two 25-30g servings per day: one serving immediately after training and the other at some other time of the day, ideally with breakfast or as a meal replacement. Even on cardio days, continue to supplement with these protein shakes. Remember to use cold water or a blend of cold water and milk to mix your shakes.
2. High-potency multivitamin
When you work out, you sweat out a lot of the minerals your body needs. Daily life also places your body under stress, and modern food processing means much of what we eat today is devoid of nutritional value. A daily multivitamin will, therefore, help to replace these lost vitamins to keep your body in fighting-fit form, especially as vitamins are required in a number of important bodily processes.
3. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
This is both a fat burner and an antioxidant that offers anti-carcinogenic (cancer-fighting) benefits. it’s an omega-6 fatty acid, which you find naturally in dairy and meat products. It also boosts your immune system and is believed to help build muscle, too. Consider taking 1000mg soft gels up to three times a day.
4. Essential fatty acids
Taking three to four 1000mg EFA/fish oil soft gels daily can help you derive the full spectrum of benefits offered by the omega-3 essential fatty acids these supplements contain. This includes the optimal growth, development and repair of cells, optimal brain function, cardiovascular health, and healthy hair, skin and nails, to name just a few.
Calcium is the mineral that keeps both bones and muscles healthy, which should make it easy to see why you need more of it if you work out. However, it is also vital to optimal health as it is one of the minerals that controls the functioning of the cardiovascular system, nerve transmission, intracellular signalling and hormone regulation. Supplement with 600-1000mg a day.
Take 2-5g creatine daily. It assists in boosting your performance in the gym and enhances recovery so you can train harder for longer. Some users claim that regular creatine can make them feel “bloated” and report better lean muscle building (toning) results using Creatine Ester or a Kre-Alkalyn Creatine product.
A combination of these supplements will assist you with your fat-loss efforts, as well as help you maintain health and vitality.
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.