Top 5 Recommended Supplements (IMO)

Top 5 Recommended Supplements (IMO)

Even though supplements are not necessary and shouldn’t not be used as a substitute for food in anyone’s health regimen, supplements nonetheless have several benefits if you are willing to set aside some money to purchase them. Please remember to consult your doctor before starting any fitness or dietary regimen. This is my list of five supplements that I believe are worth the money and worth integrating into anyone’s fitness goals. This list is not in any order so please keep that in mind.

Electrolytes

Electrolytes are composed of three main ingredients. Those ingredients are sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Electrolytes are composed of free ions that conduct electricity and are the basis for almost every action in the body. They trigger an event called action potential which the brain sends down neurons to the muscles to contract. A lack of electrolytes can cause the contraction to be weaker and is also responsible for cramping. Sodium is responsible for maintaining fluid balance in and out of cells and maintaining blood pressure. Potassium is responsible for proper nerve and muscle function. Magnesium is responsible for enzyme function, muscular contraction, nerve function, and even cell formation. Electrolytes can be found in sports drinks like Gatorade but contain high amounts of sugar and calories. A great alternative is a electrolyte powder or tablets like Nuun. You can also buy Magnesium and Potassium supplements and salt your foods in order to get an adequate level of electolytes in the body.

 

Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and provide several benefits after physical activity. There are 22 different amino acids but out of those 22, only 9 are essential amino acids. Essential amino acids (EAA) are not created in the body and are needed to either come from diet or be supplemented. EAAs are composed of Cysteine, Lysine, Methionine, Histidine, and many others. There are several amino acid supplements on the market ranging from branched chain amino acids (BCAA) and essential amino acids. Branched chain amino acids have a larger profile of amino acids and are typically used during or after exercise. BCAAs have been shown to reduce catabolism (break down of muscle) and increase recovery time. Branch chain amino acids typically include Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. Leucine is known as the ‘muscle building’ amino in the fitness industry and is the reason why many athletes use BCAAs for post-recovery. My recommendation would be to use BCAAs since Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are critical to overall health.

 

Caffeine

Third on the list is some sort of caffeinated drink or something that would provide energy. Even though there is a picture of coffee, anything that would provide focus, mental clarity, and energy would work. Caffeine is a stimulant which means that it effects the central nervous system. Some days we feel lazy and we do not want to do anything especially after work, but we need something to get us in the mood and motivated to make a change. Something to give us a little pep in our step. If you are sensitive to caffeine or it causes health issues, another alternative would be using something with Vitamin B12 like 5 Hour Energy. I find that B12 creates lasting steady energy without the crash associated with caffeinated drinks.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin

Glucosamine and Chondroitin is a a supplement that aids in lubricating joints and helping with symptoms of Arthritis. Especially with medium to high impact exercises, your joints take the brute force of your bodyweight when doing any exercises that involve bending, twisting, squatting, crouching, or having any load on your back or legs. No matter what your age, this supplement is crucial to proper fluidity in synovial fluid between joints in your shoulder, spine and knee. There has been medical studies that show that glucosamine and chondrotin help with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

 

Fish Oil

Fish oil contains omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids which are not produced by the body and are thus ‘essential’ and required to either be supplemented or ingested from diet. Omega fats have been shown to reduce heart disease and are one of the main components to healthy cell formation, brain function, and nerve function. These fats also contain small amounts of conjugated linoleic acid which can control cholesterol levels, boost metabolism, and improve the immune system. Fish oils typically contain DHA and EPA which is known to help in brain development, function, and cognition.

 

Even though these supplements are optional and are not necessary to a healthy diet, by implementing some or all of these supplements, you can ensure good health for years to come. These supplements are inexpensive and can be found in any health food store or grocery store. Please consult a doctor before starting any exercise, diet, or supplement routine. I’ve included some brands that I have personally used and recommend below for your convenience.

 

 

 

 

 

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