Supplements I recommend to everyone
This article will go through the 4 supplements I recommend to all my clients, family, friends, people at parties, passers by… whoever will listen basically. These are supplements that pretty much anyone in the UK would benefit from taking, with well researched benefits, are very safe, and relatively cheap for the value provided.
- Omega 3.
- Vitamin D3
In addition to this I also conditionally recommend: 5. Protein Powder, and 6. Greens powder – not necessarily to be taken regularly like the others but to keep in the cupboard as a backup plan in the case that you don’t get enough protein or vegetables that day. Food is better, but if the cupboard is bare the powders are quickly and easily mixed with water, protein can be stirred into porridge or as an ingredient to be baked into things, and both keep for a long time without going off.
Benefits to your health and gains:
You may notice that these are all just nutrients that you can find in food, however – of the many chemicals found in food that your body needs, these are the ones you are almost certainly lacking. If you lack any of these then your body cannot function as well as you’d hope, and your health, lifespan, and fitness gains will suffer. Even if you don’t have little enough to be classed as medically deficient (many people are and don’t realise), it is highly unlikely that you have optimal levels, and that getting more wouldn’t improve your health.
Omega 3: is incredibly well researched and has been shown to improve pretty much everything. From a health standpoint it decreases risk of basically any disease including all the big killers such as stroke, diabetes, heart attack, cancer etc. as well as many mental health issues (a huge percentage of your brain is made of it). For performance it’s been shown to improve intelligence and cognition, recovery from exercise, wound healing, muscle growth, fat loss, and the ability to produce speed. On top of that it helps a whole bunch of other stuff like skin condition. It’s a real wonder thing. For more info checkout this blog dedecated just to omega 3
Vitamin D: again reduces risk of many diseases including the most prevalent such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, asthma, age related cognitive decline, depression, MS etc. In terms athletic performance it’s been shown to improve muscle strength, as well as its ability to help prevent common colds to ensure non-stop gains.
Zinc: is used in hundreds of processes in the body, it helps immune system, cell division, wound healing, taste and smell etc. but it also helps the body utilise other nutrients, so if your zinc is low it can give you health problems due to deficiency in other nutrients. Zinc is also very useful for fitness goals as it’s essential for androgen production, which programmes your body to become stronger, leaner and improve sex drive. It also regulates dopamine to improve training drive and low levels can reduce attention span. Additionally it is used in insulin management which is important for fat loss, muscle growth, energy production and not getting diabetes.
Magnesium: Important for energy production making it very relevant to athletes, it’s used in over 300 enzymatic systems, and similar to the above notably helps sex hormone profile, programming the body to be lean and strong, insulin sensitivity again promoting good body composition as well as assisting GABA so you can be calm under stress, be less anxious and improve memory and cognition.
Protein powder (conditional): Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or just nourish your body with useful amino acids, a high protein intake has been shown to be incredibly valuable. However if you’re not getting optimal amounts of protein each meal (few people do), powdered proteins such as whey can be really useful to mix into recipes or get in on the go to help hit protein targets. Nothing is as good as fresh, whole, natural food, but powders have a place as a back-up plan.
Greens Powders (conditional): Most people don’t eat enough veggies. If that includes you, a bag of dehydrated mixed vegetable powder mixed into a glass of water can be a useful back up plan when you don’t have the time to buy and prepare real veg. Note this is not a replacement, it’s for the one day a month when something unexpected happens that messes up otherwise great habits of eating loads of veg everyday. It’s an aid, not an excuse, and getting the fresh veg in is your priority if you haven’t got that sorted.
Can’t I just get this from my diet?
Theoretically you’d get all this from your diet, just eat a good quantity of the foods humans are designed to eat, we’ve survived on that for long enough right? It’s not so simple, humans don’t live the lifestyle we used to, and food isn’t the same as it used to be. On top of that, we don’t just want to eat to survive, we want to thrive. More than just good enough – we want optimal, you only live once, so you want to get the most out of it, living as long and healthy as possible.
The modern lifestyle is different to that of our ancestors, and as such we’ll get through some nutrients faster than before – (for example some nutrients related to stress, or detoxifying our bodies of increased environmental pollution), and some slower than before (for many people that includes calories, particularly sugars). Cars, buildings, and clothes all contribute to the lack of skin exposure to sunlight that prevents us from getting optimal Vitamin D. Modern intensive farming methods are largely responsible for the lack of zinc, magnesium and omega 3, due to depleted soils, monocultures, and favouring high yield disease resistant grains rather than diverse plants in both our own diets, and the diets of the animals we eat. Add to that produce being less fresh, more processed, and often picked before ripe and you can see how we can be lacking in some key nutrients even with a relatively good diet. When you consider the addition of high calorie – low nutrient processed foods and alcohol etc. the issue is intensified.