Supplements. There always seems to be some new 'BAZOOKA BLASTING ENERGY SHOT' and 'SUPER DOOPER SHAKE AND BAKE' but what's essential and what really works? From protein powder to multi vitamins and everything in between.
So, what's important for our everyday health and fitness? We'll specifically be looking at the following:
- Protein powder
- Multi Vitamin and mineral tablets (in particular Magnesium, zinc and vitamin C
This is a small list but a very powerful list - the ones covered in this article may be included in your collection of products year round and is what we recommend will make the biggest impact. Now we are going to break these above supplements down into simple to understand terms, how they work and how they should be taken.
Let's start with everyone's favourite. Protein powder!
How it can help you: Protein powder in its simplest form is protein in powdered form. WOW. So, what does this mean and how can it help. Protein powder can be used for a number of different reasons from post workout recovery aid to a quick and easy solution to increase protein amounts in the daily diet. The main reason is for post workout recovery aid as the powder is the quickest way to get protein into your blood stream and then into your muscles. There's a small window of about 30 minutes where your body is in a dull version of shock and is grabbing and absorbing as much as it can - imagine if you had to spend the time driving home from the gym, cooking some protein and rice, eating it and then digesting. In comparison to something you can whip up and drink in 2 minutes, it simply makes sense. You might even pre-prepare it and bring it to the gym! If you can fit in that source of protein sooner, rather than later, you'll find your recovery to be quicker and muscle soreness to be less. The powder is simply the easiest for your body to digest and absorb into the bloodstream. This will help to repair any muscle tissue that was broken down.
And think of the variety! There are endless recipes for protein pancakes, protein muffins, protein balls, protein cookies and don't forget the vast array of smoothies and shakes that are possible! Our favourite is the frozen mixed berries, blended with the Vision Vanilla Protein Powder, almonds, almond milk and chia seeds.
If we look at using protein powder to increase protein amounts in the daily diet there is one main factor to look at. Anytime you can get your needed nutrients from whole food the better it will be for your body and your body will respond better. The reason for this is due to the vitamins and minerals you will get from eating whole foods. So, protein powder can be used as the quick fix to get an extra 23-24g of protein into your diet but other methods should also be explored. The best protein sources to use are chicken, turkey, kangaroo and eggs. Salmon and tuna are great protein sources but be mindful with the fat content associated with these foods.
The next product to consider is a multi-vitamin as well as certain mineral tablets. The name says it all. Multiple vitamins and minerals in capsule form. These are considered to be the essential vitamins and minerals and must be obtained through the diet or via supplementation. This is where the capsule form makes it so easy. On average 1-2 multi vitamin tablets per day gives you your daily dosages. Now this doesn't mean you can't get these vitamins from your food sources but it ensures you are getting them into your body daily. In case you have an off day with your nutrition, you still know your body has all its needed vitamins and minerals to keep it healthy and functioning at its best. Some minerals will even help with muscle recovery. The main mineral tablets to look into taking are Magnesium, zinc and vitamin C.
Magnesium will help with a range of things such as improved energy levels, increased nutrient synthesis into the blood stream and it will also help to maintain healthy heart function. Zinc will help with improved immune functions, balance hormone levels which is essential for weight loss and also help with muscle repair. The role that vitamin C has on the body and your health is to help lower cholesterol levels which will lower blood pressure and to help improve immune function.
The last supplement to look at is BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids). BCAA's are amino acids which are derived from protein sources. These amino acids mainly help to keep your muscles from breaking down to be used for energy and recovery. They can be taken during the day in-between meals to help increase protein synthesis or during a workout to avoid muscle breakdown. Some BCAA products have an ingredient called beta alanine which will help against lactic acid build up. The main benefit for BCAA products is to keep your muscles from breaking down so should be taken daily.
So, there you have it! The main supplements you should look into and the reasoning behind them.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.