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The Rundown On Supplements: What’s Necessary?

 

When witnessing ads, commercials, and fitness models promoting name brand supplements… you might find yourself wondering if that’s the next step to take to help you progress towards your goals.
Supplements can be a great variable inside your daily regimen. They can help boost performance, increase energy, and help aid in whatever you are choosing to pursue. However, they DO have a time and a place for specific people and specific goals. That being said, some are just NOT necessary!

Whether it’s because there is simply not a lot of research on that ingredient, or maybe even because it’s a marketing tool made fancy. You might find yourself wondering WHAT it is that is actually necessary and can help you reach your goals. Below, I go over some basic supplement recommendations that are worth the extra cash!

  1. Protein

  2. A solid protein supplement is a great addition to one’s daily regimen.The human body is composed of protein/amino acids. One of the ways to rebuild tissue after it’s been broken down (after weight training) is by consuming protein. It’s not always possible to have a whole meal ready to eat when you’re finished working out. 

An easy way to get a good quality protein source is by a protein supplement. Whey isolate is a great option because it is fast digesting and easier on most people’s digestive systems. Isolates are also leaner in calories so they can work for almost any “macro budget”. However, having protein post workout isn’t the only time it’s important. A powdered protein supplement is also a great way to ensure you’re getting enough protein each day. Many of our clients have a protein shake for breakfast or even an afternoon snack in addition to an apple with peanut butter or some rice cakes.

 2. Pre-workout Ingredients

Pre workout supplementation is a fantastic option to help optimize your workout performance. A common trend I see within the fitness community is people blindly purchasing pre workouts, not knowing what purposes they serve. Below, I will help you identify some benefits you can achieve from taking a pre workout, and also what ingredients you should to look for!
Solid pre-workout supplements can deliver great benefits to your workout. While supplementing with this, you could experience:

  • Increased energy
  • Increased endurance
  • Increased strength
  • Increased mental clarity

These products can be stimulant or non-stimulant (for ones who are sensitive to caffeine). Below are some of the key ingredients you want you keep your eye out for on labels!

A.) Creatine– Creatine is a very popular supplement on the market and an underrated ingredient that serves a great purpose. Creatine is a molecule that our body produces in an energy system. This is used to produce energy (also known as ATP) and deliver maximum power output which can aid in increased strength.. Ladies, DON’T fear creatine. Our bodies make creatine, we also consume it in foods such as meat, eggs, fish, etc. Research has shown that creatine monohydrate is the best bang for your buck and can help you achieve these benefits.

B.) Beta Alanine– You know, that itchy, tingly feeling you get when you use pre-workouts sometimes? No fear, this is a harmless effect of an ingredient called beta alanine. This is an ingredient you want in your pre-workout for various reasons. “Beta-alanine has been shown to enhance muscular endurance.

Many people report being able to perform one or two additional reps in the gym when training in sets of 8–15 repetitions. Beta-alanine supplementation can also improve moderate- to high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performance, like rowing or sprinting.” (1).

C.) L-Tyrosine– This is an amino acid that is used to produce dopamine and norepinephrine. These are neurotransmitters in the brain which are known for their “feel good” or antidepressant properties. L-tyrosine has  an anti-stress effect to acute stressful situations, such as exercise. This amino acid serves a great purpose for mental clarity, focus, and memory. L-Tyrosine is a great ingredient to include in your pre- workout supplement because of it’s effects during your intense training sessions!

D.) Caffeine– Commonly loved by many, caffeine has great benefits prior to exercise. Not only does caffeine give you a boost of energy, it helps substantially with mental clarity. Caffeine can increase strength and muscular endurance prior to intense exercise. 

Some people are very sensitive to stimulants like caffeine, so the recommended dose is based on the individual. Our practical application has shown 100-300 mg of caffeine can do the trick prior to exercise. It’s worth noting that caffeine has a half-life up to about 6 hours. This means if you consume 200mg of caffeine mid-day you might still have about 100 mg in your system around 5:30pm. We often see this cause issues with sleep in our athletes and recommend limiting caffeine intake after lunch time.

3. Probiotic

This one is a little different than the other performance type supplements I’ve mentioned above.
A probiotic is crucial for gut health and for healthy bacteria to be present in the lining of your intestines. A high quality probiotic is something well worth paying the money for. This can be a game changer for your immune and digestive health.  

Digestion is key when it comes to your everyday nutrition; because if you are not properly digesting nutrients, you are not absorbing them to it’s highest potential. Studies found in recent research proves how probiotics have a profound positive influence on strong immune function, antibody production, balanced gut flora, and even lowering the risk of diabetes and obesity. (2). The function and health of your gut is going to play a large factor over time on the overall efficiency of your body’s systems.

Like many good “supplements”, this is one of those that you won’t “feel”, but it is necessary for long-term health and it is definitely something you will notice in your everyday routine for a healthy, happy gut.

4. Greens supplement

A vegetable/superfood product or commonly known as “greens” powder is a great option to supplement to your current intake. While you may or may not be getting a sufficient amount of nutrients from your diet already, this product can ensure you are receiving nutrients both in a caloric surplus OR deficit. 

This product “covers the holes” in which areas you’re making a priority for other reasons in your diet. For example, when you are in a caloric surplus, it isn’t recommended to be eating 10 servings of fibrous veggies a day due to causing GI stress. That’s where you can still intake a couple servings a day, but can supplement with a greens product in addition to eating a different variety of foods while your “calorie bank” allows.

Supplements

Supplements are to help SUPPLEMENT a diet and exercise program. They are not meant to put in the work FOR us (as much as we all want to think).

If you find yourself being consistent with your nutritional intake and training, considering some of these supplements might be your next step! Once a strong foundation is built on the two most important variables, then supplements should be considered. Most importantly, we want to save you the time, effort and money when it comes to things like this. There are many many more supplements that exist so if you have questions or you’ve seen something you might want to use, but aren’t sure, just reach out. We’d love to help!

As I noted above, a fantastic resource for all things supplement related is Examine.com. They have a supplement reference guide that is continually updated. If you have questions, check this out!

We also offer many of these (and more) directly from our site in the Resource section of our shop.

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