To take or not to take, that is the question?
We all have those friends who INSIST we need to be taking this supplement or that.
Take ZINC! Try AMINOS! You aren’t taking CLA? What’s your dosage of L-Carnitine? What’s your fiber at? You need Glutamine! Buy Fish Oil! EVERYTHING MUST HAVE COCONUT OIL ON IT! So on and so forth.
So you run into GNC or Super Supplements or Vitamin Shoppe or whatever the local spot is to see what all the fuss is about----and immediately you think “Holy hell---where do I even start?”
The salespeople generally aren’t that helpful because let’s be honest, it’s still retail. They aren’t nutritionists usually or scientists who know the difference between all the ingredients. It’s like working at the GAP. You know something about fashion and jean cut, but you aren’t a tailor or a designer at the end of the day. Knowledge limited.
Now special circumstances aside (i.e. if you have digestive issues, unique body pain, etc.), I think most people benefit from a couple key supplements and the rest you can take or leave as you choose. Remember, health is not one size fits all, so find what you need for YOUR UNIQUE BODY.
- Protein powder: Yes. My number one is the most cliché thing on the menu. Truthfully most folks do not get enough protein in their diet (shoot for at minimum .8 grams of protein for your body weight). Protein powder is an easy way to add protein to ANY meal. Throw it in a shake, throw it in a pancake, throw it in a smoothie, etc. They come flavored, unflavored, gluten-free, dairy free, etc.
- WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
i.SUGAR: Keep a serving under 5 grams usually.
ii.FAT: Don’t let it creep too high unless you are planning to use it as a total meal replacement.
iii.FIBER: More the merrier. People can get….um, clogged up internally……if their protein powder isn’t fiber rich enough, and no one likes that.
- Aminos or BCAA’s: Branched Chain Amino Acids are pretty much a staple in my opinion for anyone doing any sort of exercise. They help with fatigue, muscle growth, and recovery. They can be taken pre, during, and post workout. They seriously make a difference with energy and soreness.
No really. Those are my BIG TWO. While I do think Fish Oil, Melatonin, Creatine (yes I believe in Creatine use) Cortisol complexes, and Glutamine complexes all have a place in the world (and in my diet), I don’t really think that you HAVE to use them. I know plenty of people who wouldn’t take a Fish Oil tablet if their life depended on it, and they are perfectly happy and healthy in their fitness lives. Get yourself a good multi-vitamin, watch your protein, replenish those muscles with some BCAA’s, and drink as much water as you can. Keep it simple people. And if all else fails, find a team of folks to work W.I.T.H. on developing a supplement regimen ;)