Supplements: Do You Need Them?

Ultimately, if you are eating a health diet that consists of plenty of variety and in the right portion sizes, the general school of thought is that supplements are NOT required.

In saying this, eating perfectly is near on impossible for most individuals that are juggling employment, family, social and other commitments; It is just too time consuming to be THAT Prepared and other priorities get in the way.

Similarly, if you have super-lofty ambitions, such as body building, then getting enough fuel for your body to get the types of strength and size gains desired in a short period of time is probably out of the realms of possibility simply by eating ‘normal’ food.

This is where supplements can come in, and we have broken down a few for you below:

Fish oil: Aim for between 2-3g of EPA/DHA. Look at packaging of your fish oil to make sure you get at least 2g of EPA/DHA. Fish oil assists you in decreasing your inflammation and improves a lot of your bodily functions.

Vitamin D: There is reasonable chance that if you are working inside you are short on vitamin D. It is one of those crucial vitamins that is linked into everything our bodies do. Many professionals recommend up to 1000IU/10kg body weight daily, depending on how much sun you normally get. That may come across as quite aggressive but it is an especially important vitamin.

Magnesium: This has been found to assist in fat loss, so using anything from 300mg to 2g daily, depending on how much you weigh, is an option.

Protein Powder: This can certainly be useful, but remember whey is meant to increase your muscle mass through the spike in insulin. Protein powder should be a once in a while supplement, but most fitness professionals do not support having a shake instead of a meal every day. Adding protein powders in smooties or meals can be a great way to increase your protein load. If the budget allows you should use WPI – whey protein isolate rather than WPC.

BCAA – Branched chained amino acids: These are an option and can be used in water. The taste is pretty shocking to most. Some hard-training athletes use a litre of water to 10g BCAA and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Good effects of BCAA have been widely described in the literature and Charles Poliquin, renowned strength coach has gathered some of the information.

Overall, you should consult a health professional to discuss your nutrition needs. A “one-size-fits-all” program is not possible, but hopefully the information above gives you and indication of some of the nutrients to ask your health provider about.

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