In case you didn’t see my insta post the other day, I want to start this blog by saying that if you don’t currently workout consistently (4-6 times a week) then DON’T worry about what supplements to get just yet.
I’d prefer that you spend that money on a gym membership or an online coach/trainer (I’m available!). Supplements can’t replace hard work but they can assist if you’re already working hard and feel ready for that extra push.
I spent so much money on diet pills, energy drinks, water pills and powders that I didn’t even know what to do with when I was younger. It left me feeling dehydrated, starved, and jittery AND looking the same so, there’s that.
Now that I’ve been training consistently for the last couple of years, I felt like it was time to see how I could advance my results and invest in some things that elite trainers suggest. I asked 5 different trainers who have been in the biz for 8+ years and who have backgrounds and connections in the fitness industry that go far beyond anything we know, for their top 5 recommendations.
I took the ten top listed vitamins, minerals and supplements from everyones picks and rounded them into this list! Check out the trainers who contributed here: @Showupfitness | @Trainvive | @Mecastrong | @Edstrengthacademy |
This was 1 of the most recommended supplements across the board from all trainers. Benefits include:
- Reduced risk for osteoporosis
- Improves physical strength E
- Eases feelings of depression
- Levels of Vitamin D have been linked with lean mass.
Because let’s be real, how many of you are really getting all the nutrients you need on a daily basis? Well rounded healthy food should always be the go to for getting all your vitamins, minerals and nutrients but even still, deficiencies in many areas is still common. I did a DNA test a few months ago with MyDNA and found that I was deficient in b6, b12, folate, and vitamin A. I’d suggest taking a test as well to see what you need but incorporating a daily Multi Vitamin was something I did to help and I have felt more energized since.
Omega’s were highly recommended by all trainers. Here are some of their benefits:
- Reduce high blood pressure.
- Raise levels of GOOD cholesterol.
- Can prevent the formation of blood clots.
- Can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation in people with belly fat and high blood pressure.
- May improve sleep.
- May improve bone and joint health.
Remember in my last blog how we talked about the importance of testosterone and growth hormone for women? Well Zinc is here to remind us yet again how important it is. Low levels of these hormones may affect our strength, body fat percentage and recovery but research shows that Zinc can help to raise these hormones. Zinc also plays an important roll when it comes to T-Cell Function. T Cells are helpful in building an immune response to viral and bacterial infections so being able to fend off sickness is especially important for continuous results in the gym.
Do not overlook magnesium! According to this article, magnesium is responsible for more than 600 reactions in the body. It helps create energy by converting food into energy, creates new proteins from amino acids, helps create and repair DNA, is part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles, AND it helps regulate neurotransmitters which is essential for training.
Some studies show that magnesium helps push blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate which could lead to better exercise performance.
It can also lower blood pressure, help fight inflammation, reduce insulin resistance, AND improve PMS systems. Lord help us.
EAA’s (Essential Amino Acids):
Amino Acids are well, essential. They are the building blocks of protein and they help with hormones + neurotransmitters. The body needs 20 to grow and function properly but only 9 are considered ESSENTIAL. THESE ones cannot be made by the body though and must be obtained through our diet which I find weird…like let’s go darwinism.
Amino acids are mostly recognized for their role in muscle development and repair but they do SO much more and a deficiency in them can actually impact your entire body from the nervous system to the immune, digestive and reproductive system.
Amino acids can also prevent muscle loss and may prevent weight loss.
Wondering what foods contain amino acids? You should be! Luckily this part is super convenient because there are some foods that actually contain ALL 9 ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS and these are therefor called “complete proteins”.
- Dairy Products
On that note – if you make protein shakes but are vegan, dairy free or prefer plant based products, try to get a plant based complete protein so that you get all of your aminos. I used to buy plant based protein like a brown rice protein, or a pea protein but as you can see that is not considered a COMPLETE protein. I like this one.
BCAA’s (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
MORE AMINO ACIDS?! Don’t worry – these are included in the 9 essential amino acids, but they are grouped together as a specific group of 3 important amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.
According to this article, BCAA’s are mostly broken down in the muscle instead of the liver so they are considered to assist in energy production during exercise. BCAA’s also help reduce muscle soreness, reduce fatigue during exercise, may increase muscle mass, lower blood sugar levels, and may enhance weight loss.
It’s recommended that women take A MINIMUM of 9/g a day but 15-35g a day is generally safe. The most common time to have them is before and after exercising but if you have a low protein diet or train often then more could be helpful also having some in the morning and before bed.
Remember how we were talking about ATP earlier and how it is responsible for every single muscle contraction AND how it is made in all energy systems? Well the reason that creatine is super popular is because it increases your muscles phosphocreatines stores WHICH allows you to produce more ATP energy. Make sense?
More ATP = being able to perform better at strength training, sprinting, and recovery while reducing how quickly one fatigues. Some people do complain though that ATP makes them look “softer” because creatine can increase the water content in your muscles so play around with how much you take and see what works for you! Definitely buy creatine monohydrate to make sure you’re getting all the benefits.
Protein Powder / Protein Bars:
From all the assessments I have done with women in person and on the phone, I can honestly say that no one has ever come to me with the habit of eating enough protein and taking it easy on the carbs…ever. Time and time again I see food logs that show that protein is around 40-60g a day and carbs are 200-300g a day. Simply adding more protein into my client’s diets and reducing the amount of carbs they we’re consuming, my clients all started to feel better, understand REAL satisfaction with food, and lose inches.
I recommend protein powder and protein bars to all of my clients as an easy way to get in more protein, especially if you’re on the go. A complete animal protein would be a better option than a protein shake but most of us don’t have the luxury of sitting down for every meal. If you’re on the go I highly recommend making a protein shake or buying a protein bar while you’re out. There’s protein bars at every gas station so there’s no excuse as to why you can’t stop.
My favorite smoothie to make and take with me to work is:
+ 1 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
+ 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries).
+ 1 tbsp roasted flax seeds from Trader Joes.
+ 1 tbsp maca root powder (for natural energy and focus).
+ 1 scoop of Amazing Grass “Wild Berry Hibiscus” Protein powder.