My View on Supplements

Do you remember when Jack traded his cow for those magic beans?

How do you think he felt after?

Cheated?

Excited?

Well like many, I was once like young Jack, completely gullible to the claims of a magic pill that can shed 40 pounds in a month. Actually, to think about it, the claims were not totally untrue, I did shed 40 pounds, in hard earned money.

First of all, I am no doctor, just an ordinary guy trying to teach people about my experiences and mistakes. When I initially started my weight loss journey, I went online and researched all the magic pills that can help me lose fat super quick, I didn’t take much time to research the drawbacks or bad experiences of others who have tried it. I was so caught up in trying to lose weight in such a short period, that I didn’t actually stop to think about the harming effects these pills may have on my body. Sound familiar?

Gold dollars

The fitness industry is huge and every year there will be at least a few hundred new fitness products ready for marketing. Although, there are some genuine products, this ridiculously overcrowded industry is also full of questionable, ambiguous claims and shady marketing ploys.

Let me be forthright with you, ‘there is no magic pill, powder, or supplement that can get you fast results and make you look and feel like a Greek God’.

To be honest, we Homo Sapiens have thrived in this world for over 200,000 years, with an ancestral lineage going back over six million years and I do not think they were popping back pills and powders. In fact, all we need is simply a healthy diet and regular physical activity.

So, the question we have been waiting for, do you really need to take supplements?

Unless you are suffering from a particular ailment, nutritional or genetic problem, or are required by a doctor to take supplements, they are not required. However, if like me you feel that you are not getting the right nutrition, vitamins or hitting your daily macro nutritional needs simply through your diet alone, supplements are great in terms of filling in small deficits.

What supplements do I take?

Learning from my past mistakes, I have whittled my supplementations down to its basics, consuming supplements that are natural and have few to no added ingredients:

  1. Gender specific Multi-Vitamins

No rocket science here. Vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) are essential for your body to continue doing what it is designed to do, issuing the vital instructions to sustain life, acting in cadence to perform the many hundreds of roles in our body, i.e. strengthening bones, healing wounds, boosting your immune system and also play a vital part in converting food to energy and repairing any cellular damage.

There are over thirty micronutrients and dietary components that the body needs to continue functioning and most of these cannot be manufactured on its own.

Multi-Vitamins for Men

Based on studies, the following are known to be the most important and vital vitamins needed for men. Therefore, ensure that your Multi-Vitamins contains at least 80% of the recommended daily allowance of:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • B Vitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc

Multi-Vitamins for Women

Based on studies, the following are known to be the most important and vital vitamins needed for women. Therefore, ensure that your Multi-Vitamins contains at least 80% of the recommended daily allowance of:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • B Vitamins
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Calcium
  • Folic Acid (vital during pregnancy)
  1. Omega 3, 6 & 9

Omega 3, 6 and 9 are fatty acids that are needed for all systems of the body to function normally, including your skin, respiratory system, circulatory system, brain and organs.

There are two forms of fatty acids, essential fatty acids (EFA) and non-essential fatty acids (NEFA).

EFAs are made up of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are important for brain development, immune system function and blood pressure regulation. These fatty acids can help in supporting risks relating to asthma, diabetes, skin disorders, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, digestive difficulties, macular degeneration etc.

NEFA is made up of Omega 9 fatty acids, which helps promote heart health by balancing cholesterol levels and improving immune functionality. The body produces Omega 9 fatty acids naturally whenever there is enough of both Omega 3 and Omega 6. However, if your levels of Omega 3 and Omega 6 are low, then you must get Omega 9 from your diet or through supplementation.

  1. Whey Protein

Whey Protein is simply a quick-digesting protein that should be consumed regularly to help improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass.

On a daily basis, your muscle fibres are being constantly broken down (catabolism) and rebuilt (anabolism). When you exercise and participate in sports, the rate of catabolism increases, therefore the need for regular protein consumption is vital to help support tissue damage.

Studies have shown the many benefits of whey protein supplementation:

  • Aiding Weight Loss
  • Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Lowering Cholesterol
  • Improving Immune Response
  • Lowering Blood Pressure
  • Reducing Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

So, these are the supplements that I take on a daily basis. However, before rushing off to the shops to stock up, talk to your doctor, do a blood test to see what you are lacking and look at your diet to see how much micronutrients, fatty acids and protein you are getting, and then come to a sound decision.

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