Selecting Supplements To Optimize Your Health

 
Written by Connor Brown & Kenneth Thomas

Written by Connor Brown & Kenneth Thomas

How reliable are supplements?  Current research will suggest that supplementation will contribute about 5% of the success for body composition changes when being used consistently.  What is supplementation?  Its simply the additive of nutrients that we do not ingest from our everyday foods. Examples of supplementation can be the use of protein powders and fish oils, and those may be some more commonly used supplements.

Only contributes to 5% right? You might be thinking, “Why should I even be using them?’. I used to work in a supplement store, and month after month the regulars would come in spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a month supply of supplements. So, should we be spending our money on these products.  That is up to you.  But, if you choose to purchase anything, please check out our $.02 on which products we think would work best for you.  

Our first supplement of recommendation is..

Whey Protein

You probably use this daily.  Whey protein can be useful for both caloric deficit and surplus. Protein powders are excellent for ingesting a protein source that may have little to no additional carbohydrates. The convenience of protein powders are helpful to enjoy a meal around your workout window, or to enjoy at any time of the day.  A couple notes for deciding if you need to supplement protein:

  • Can be useful if you are not able to obtain your recommended daily allowance of protein in grams in relation to lifestyle, or dietary preferences.

  • If you are having trouble meeting a calorie goal. Most protein powders are generally low calorie and meet macronutrient needs.

  • You can choose between whey, isolates, and casein type proteins to meet your needs from post-workout to before bed, or long periods without being able to eat.

Our second supplement of recommendation is…

Fish Oil

Ever heard of Omega-3?  The benefits of Omega-3 are large and fish oil serves it in abundance.  Fish oil and other Omega-3 supplements can help promote brain and heart health. I would recommend getting the basic capsule and freezing them. Rumor has it that it helps reduce the awful “fish burps”. Supplementing fish oil provides benefits for joint health, as mentioned to acting like a lubricant for your joints.  Highly recommending this for individuals who train multiple times per week or looking to improve their general health.  If you’re not interested, start adding some fish to your meals 1-2 times per week.
 

Our third supplement of recommendation is…

Creatine (Monohydrate)

From conclusive studies, creatine monohydrate has been shown to be the only type of creatine to provide the most benefits and actually work.  This product is great if you are looking to improve strength. Using the recommended dosage for a complete mesocycle will show great results. You may have heard about the terrible “bloating” that comes along with this product. If you participate in a sport that are weight sensitive, then avoid it outside of the competition phase. Not looking to get stronger? Studies have shown that creatine monohydrate is showing benefits for individuals who have had a history of issues with heart or brain health, including those who have suffered from a stroke.

Our fourth supplement of recommendation is…

Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid. It can help promote the stability when the body is facing major stresses.  Glutamine is not responsible for helping you bounce back from difficult workouts, soreness, or fatigue. Rather, it (glutamine) helps to maintain plasma glutamine levels for those who frequently endure intense training and flirt with the aspect of ‘overtraining’.  This can be important, because when an individual applies that much stress towards their body, they become more at risks for illness and injury. Which neither are good for the progression of your training goals.  There are also some studies that glutamine may help individuals who recovering from stroke and sickle-cell anemia.

Our fifth supplement of recommendation is…

Turmeric

Turmeric is awesome. It is more commonly used to combat arthritis and inflammation. Turmeric is easily accessible or added to some foods. When ingested, studies show that it can be good for internal organs and combating cancer.  If you exercise on a regular basis, turmeric can be kind to you as well.  Based on how your body responds to exercise, whether its facing an initial response to exercise with acute swelling, or facing achy joints and muscles from high frequency training periods, turmeric can help as a method of recovery.

Other considerations:

Artichoke leaf extract

According to results from a clinical study in 2013 published by the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, artichoke leaf extract (ALE) supplementation was shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular disease management. According to the CDC, the “good” cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the “bad” cholesterol as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease while LDL cholesterol will increase your risk for heart disease. For the study, 92 overweight participants with mild hypercholesterolaemia were randomly given either artichoke leaf extract supplements or placebo. The results showed that artichoke leaf extract increases HDL cholesterol levels while total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol levels both decreased. We would recommend artichoke leaf extract supplementation, especially for individuals with cases of high cholesterol, with these findings.

 

 
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