One question I get repeatedly is what supplements can I take to improve my physique or perform better? And my answer is always- Is your nutrition on point? Do you drink enough water? Do you get enough sleep? Is your lifestyle truly in line with you goals or are you looking for a shortcut?
The point I’m trying to make is that supplements are SUPPLEMENTAL to all of the other lifestyle factors being in place. Without everything else listed above being dialed in supplements are a waste of money!
So let's say you’ve got your nutrition spot on, you drink all the water, you sleep 7-9 hours a night, and you manage your stress levels appropriately; now what? Well there are two supplements that will really make a difference.
Whey protein is usually found in a powdered form that you can mix with water or milk. If you have ever bought protein powder you know there are tons of options. When choosing one there are two important things to look for.
- Whey protein Isolate: This is the most pure form of protein powder that has a complete amino acid profile. There are many of different types of whey protein such as whey concentrate. As well as casein protein and plant proteins. These proteins either contain more milk fats which can lead to a digestive distress, are not as well assimilate into the body, or have an incomplete amino acid profile. Look for whey protein isolate to be the only, or at least the first, protein listed on the ingredients.
- Artificial Sweeteners- Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Xylitol, and Sorbitol are just a few. These are added because they are 0 calories so it looks great on the packaging. However, scientific studies have proven that artificial sweeteners will disrupt the gut mircrobiome leading to many issues including weight gain! Avoid these proteins at all cost! The only sweeteners that are acceptable are stevia or natural sugars!
When- Whey Protein is not a replacement for whole food. This should be taken around your workouts. This includes protein bars, cookies, and shakes.
Fish oil is a great supplement to balance the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 that is present in the American Diet. The correct ratio is about 1:2 but most Americans are around 1:20. Unfortunately it is very difficult to correct this through diet alone which is why taking Fish Oil becomes beneficial. Fish oil contains only Omega 3 fatty acids which helps to correct the ratio.
When- Fish Oil can be taken any time throughout the day with food. You should be aiming for 3 grams of combined DHA and EPA as listed on the ingredient label.
Creatine- Helps build muscle and increase power output
Caffeine- Safest and most effective ergogenic aid
Glutamine- Beneficial to gut microbiome
Magnesium- Plays important role in energy metabolism and muscle contractions
Vitamins B,C,D- Important to many functions associated with metabolism, immune system, and recovery
Zinc- Important to maintaining immune system.
All of the supplements above can be useful in certain situations. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks. If you are interested in one of the supplements listed above please reach out to one of the MOD Nutrition Coaches and follow our supplement partner: Swolverine!