Your diet should consist of whole foods. Sometimes, though, you can’t get all the necessary nutrients from eating whole foods—even if you think your diet is perfect. That’s when supplements take a place. Supplements should complement your diet of whole foods; they should never be a replacement for something you intentionally leave out of your diet.
The list of available supplements is long and confusing! Here are the three most basic products that every healthy woman should take, no matter her fitness level:
A basic multivitamin offers the full range of nutrients your body needs. The dosage amount for each nutrient can vary greatly from brand to brand. It’s worth exploring the multivitamins made specifically for women; we tend to have a greater deficiency in nutrients like folate, vitamin B12, and iron.
Is generally safe for everyone. Study after study has promoted the benefits of having high Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet. More importantly, fish oil supplements provide us with EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid) fatty acids, which are star players in cognitive health and development.
Research suggests that DHA and EPA have positive effects on lowering the risk of various cancers, help prevent neural degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, keep chronic, harmful inflammation at bay, and may even improve insulin sensitivity. Really, there’s no reason not to take fish oil supplements.
A 130gm grilled portion of chicken breast contains approximately 30 grams of protein. For a 59 kg woman, getting enough protein means eating the equivalent of more than 450gm of chicken each day!
Instead of eating chicken after chicken, a protein shake which offers 25 grams of protein per serving really comes in handy. Shakes offer convenience, they taste great, and can be used in a variety of smoothie and baking recipes for an added source of more protein.
Once you think you’ve established a regular pattern of healthy eating and supplementation, you might want to consider graduating to these more advanced performance supplements to support your fitness goals.
Each one of us is flush with billions of bacteria in our digestive tract. Good bacteria helps your body digest your food and absorb nutrients much more effectively. With probiotics, you usher in healthy, beneficial flora. You may find these good bacteria labeled as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium on the labels of yogurt, kefir, fermented foods, and on high-quality probiotic capsules. Make sure the supplement is from a reputable brand!
Nonessential nutrients are food based nutrients that either your body can make itself, or nutrients that aren’t needed for normal physiological functioning but produce positive benefits when used specifically to enhance certain physiological responses. Here are some examples of nonessential nutrient supplements:
Caffeine – prior to your workout to improve Central Nervous System (CNS) output
Green Tea Extract – daily during fat loss periods to stimulate metabolism
Creatine – daily during high intensity training to increase energy and lean body mass
CLA – daily during fat loss periods to stimulate metabolism, and down-regulate leptin (satiety hormone) during weight loss phases.
Success in fitness requires support. Please ask. I’d love to answer any question.