Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely love having access to supplements because sometimes it just gets TOO complicated trying to get everything from food and sun! Whether I am preparing for a competition, a bulking season, the wintertime, or my workout, I tend to always have supplements that support me within those contexts! I am going to narrow down my list to the top 5 supplements that I believe are beneficial to anyone from the gym-goer to the professional athlete!
It is safe to say that there are different types of protein powders for different goals and dietary needs. This includes whey, isolate, vegan, and many more! Different types of protein powder provide different benefits, so I have a few key components I look out for when choosing my protein. First, I check how much carbohydrates there are, and how much of that is sugar. Sugar itself is not the culprit, but if one scoop exceeds the equivalent of a chocolate bar, you may not be doing yourself any favors. The amount of protein per scoop is important because you want to be getting the best bang for your buck! Anywhere from 24-30 grams per scoop is promising. My protein powder recommendation: Magnum Quattro Protein. This is a pharmaceutical-grade protein with 30 grams of protein per scoop and only 2 grams of carbs.
Vitamin D has an abundance of benefits including helping the body absorb calcium better to maintain bone health and improve our mood! Unfortunately, many people work indoors and don’t get enough sun exposure to fulfill their vitamin D, and most diets don’t consist of high concentrations of it either. Research shows around 4000IU of vitamin D a day is sufficient, and less is required if you anticipate being out in the sun more, especially during the summer!
I debated putting this on my top 5 list, but decided caffeine is something that needs to be discussed! I am personally very sensitive to 2 ingredients in most pre-workouts: Caffeine and Beta-Alanine. Beta-Alanine is often felt through the tingling you get at the tips of your fingers and nose after drinking a pre-workout with significant amounts of it! Most of us take some sort of stimulant in various amounts to keep ourselves moving throughout the day or as a pick-me-up. Personally, on days where I am anticipating a workout that requires more energy than I can give, I will take pre-workout to give me the little push I need to get things going.
My pre-workout recommendation: Magnum Pre-Fo. This pre-workout contains 100g of caffeine and 135g of Dicaffeine which is the equivalent of 200g of caffeine. Dicaffeine is a derivative of caffeine specifically targeting parts of our nervous system responsible for concentration and alertness.
Most of us don’t get an assortment of fruit and vegetables that can mimic a rainbow every single day. In fact, most athletes and competitors barely eat more than 2 or 3 different colored vegetables! Due to the lack of variety, we may experience symptoms like the faster onset of fatigue, lethargy, poor sleep quality, and struggles with concentration. Most of my clients would initially tell me they think they’re not eating enough. Oftentimes, it’s not the amount of food they are eating, it is the lack of variety that is the culprit. They may be lacking certain antioxidants, electrolytes, or minerals that all influence our hormones, nervous system, and all the cells in the entire body. Greens are essential in the fulfillment of those nutrients, and can guarantee that you are receiving at least some amount of those vitamins and minerals that you otherwise miss!
My green supplement recommendation: Magnum Performance Greens. This product is not only pharmaceutical grade, but it also contains 75 ingredients that all work well together to promote optimal absorption in our gut.
This one always stirs debate in my conversations with my clients. Sodium has a bad rep with its link to hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. I am an avid believer in the concept of “everything in moderation”. Before we get ahead of ourselves, sodium definitely can be detrimental to our health, but oftentimes we see high amounts of sodium in very processed foods. Once that problem has been dealt with, an extra sprinkle of salt to your meal will actually benefit you! Sodium is an electrolyte, it has water carrying capacity and is the most important component of hydration on the cellular level. There is a reason why we are told to drink electrolytes, especially during endurance events or when we feel symptoms of dehydration. You can see the added sodium (amongst other electrolytes like potassium) on a nutrition label clear as day! That added sodium transports our water molecules to our cells, and the body is quite quick with its ability to absorb sodium to do its job very efficiently!