As a health coach, I often get asked about supplements.
Questions may arise, such as:
“What supplements should I be taking?”, or
“When should I be taking them?”, or
“What does “X” supplement do?”
These questions can appear frequently, for newcomers to weight training or even for seasoned crowds. Supplementation may play a part throughout your journey, whether health supplements or supplements to augment your performance.
Health supplements may include, but are not limited to:
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Omega 3’s
Supplementation here can be focused on improving your overall health and well-being.
Vitamins and minerals, for example, may be taken daily to ensure daily values percentages are met, and avoid deficiency in any specific area. Under your vitamins, you have your fat-soluble vitamins, and water-soluble vitamins.
Your fat soluble vitamins are Vitamins A,D,E,K. These vitamins are recommended to be taken with a meal, specifically with some fats in it. These vitamins also may contain a higher risk of toxicity in them, so verifying daily values may be a focal point.
Your water-soluble vitamins are the B and C vitamins. These can be absorbed relatively quickly. These vitamins may also contain less of a risk of toxicity.
Omega 3’s such as fish oil, may be important for prevention of cardiovascular disease, as well as inflammation reduction. The 3 types Omega 3’s are Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Out of these 3, EPA, and DHA, also known as your fish oils, are looked at as the most biologically active forms. These fatty acids can be consumed in different forms, whether capsules, oils itself, or from foods such as salmon, cod liver, or sardines.
Performance supplements, also known as ergogenic aids, may include but are not limited to:
  • Amino Acids
  • Creatine
  • Caffeine
Supplementation here can be focused on improving athletic performance, or body composition.
Under your Amino acids, 20 are considered important for your body to function. Out of these 20, 9 are considered essential, meaning that they should be consumed from your diet. These 9 amino acids are: Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Lysine and Histidine.
Amino acids are considered the building blocks protein. Your body utilizes amino acids to produce muscle growth, as well as increase rates of your muscle protein synthesis. (The process in which muscle grows and repairs) Amino acids can come in different forms, such as powders or capsules. Supplementing with amino acids, post-workout, is recommended.
Creatine is another supplement to look at.  Creatine is what some say to be “the most researched supplement of all time.” Creatine may aid in increasing muscle mass, strength, as well as assist in resistance to fatigue. Creatine Monohydrate, specifically, is what is considered to be the superior.
Creatine can be taken daily, with a recommended daily intake of 5 grams. You may also go through what is labeled as a “loading phase”. This signifies intaking an increased daily amount of Creatine for the first 5-7 days on the supplement, and then dosing about 5 grams daily after that.
Caffeine, whether found in a supplemented form, or natural, may be beneficial for releasing adrenaline, weight loss, and performance. A caffeine intake of under 400 mg daily, is usually recommended. Avoiding caffeine intake, 6-8 hours before bedtime, is something I would recommend. However, caffeine may affect people differently.
Whether health, or performance objectives, reading nutrition labels on supplements, is recommended. Remember, these are “supplementary”, meaning in addition to. It is not recommended to replace foods or your daily diet with supplements, but rather as an aid to propel you towards your objectives.

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