The most common over looked benefit of taking supplements is they can make you feel awesome!
You probably know or have heard I import the Poliquin range of supplements in order to maximise weight loss and strength gain. I have to continue to further my education every year in the advances in supplements in order to maintain this privilege. Needless to say i’m a big believer in using supplements. Using them SMARTLY, and using them based on your individual need. No two humans are the same so no two supplement protocols should be the same. Now some supplements work and work extremely well. Some blatantly do not. If you cannot see or FEEL your supplements working then it may not be right for you.
Which brings me to todays post. I take supplements not only to help me get stronger but honestly, its mainly to FEEL great…….Plus when I get my blood work back from my GPand she tells me i have a extraordinarily strong immune system it validates everything.
But yes the most common over looked benefit of taking supplements is they can make you feel awesome! A trainer asked me a few weeks ago “why do you take so much fish oil?” and i said “cause it makes me feel awesome!” For me 15-20g of fish oil a day is what makes me happy. Literally. It so noticeably increases my sense of well being, energy levels, libido and outlook i can’t take less. The links between omega 3 and brain health are iron clad its not even a talking point but FEELING these supplements work is all the evidence i need.
So i thought id share some basic info on the basic supplements and what they can do for you.
Zinc is one of the most common mineral deficiencies. Your body has no way of storing zinc so it essential you get a daily dose. Food sources of zinc include quality meats, particularly oysters, beef, crab, pork, and lobster, as well as other protein sources such as yogurt, chick peas, almonds, and cashews.
Low zinc means you’ll have low testosterone and correspondingly decreased lean body mass. Low zinc has been one of the major reasons behind the plummeting testosterone levels in men over the last 50 years.
Zinc affects brain function and ability to concentrate. It’s essential in supporting over 100 enzyme and hormone functions in the body. It plays a role in DNA synthesis and cell division, and is also linked to stomach problems, lack of immunity, and slower recovery from training or injury.
Take note that it is ineffective to measure zinc with a blood test because of how it is distributed throughout the body as a component of various proteins, and its role in maintaining homeostasis in the body.
How it makes you feel :
Magnesium deficiency is just as common as low zinc—Magnesium does wonders for people who can’t sleep. Magnesium regulates essential brain receptors, meaning it is necessary for memory and cognitive function. Low magnesium is linked to low testosterone in men and the related problems of less lean body mass, diminished protein synthesis, and less strength gains from training. Bone disorders, diabetes, and chronic inflammation can also be prevented with adequate magnesium.
Magnesium needs increase with more physical activity, athletic participation, or strength training, meaning athletes and trainees need more. Halibut, almonds, cashews, and green vegetables contain magnesium, but one serving of these foods will only provide about a low dose.
Once again blood testing is not very reliable since about 66 percent of magnesium is found in bone and 33 percent in muscle, with only 1 percent appearing in blood.
Magnesium oxide has a much lower bioavailability than magnesium chloride, lactate, aspartate, glycinate,sulphate, or other forms. Also, the effectiveness of different magnesium forms vary based on different parts of the body. Magnesium glycerophosphate is best for raising central nervous system magnesium, while the glycinate, lysinate, aspartate, ororate, and fumarate are best for supporting overall levels. The key is to avoid cheap magnesium products because they will be completely ineffective.
How does it make you feel :
Deep, uninterrupted sleep. Especially when combined with zinc and taurine.
Greater recovery from training
Everyone I have blood tested in the last 2 years came back low in vitamin D. Low vitamin D, like fish oil deficiency is associated with just about every know illness. I’ve posted on vitamin D twice before HERE and HERE but here’s a recap. Vitamin D is absolutely essential for immune function, bone health, muscle function, peak athletic performance, cancer prevention, reproductive health, and there are at least 15 other health benefits to achieving optimal levels (read the Top 25 List here).
Current guidelines for Vitamin D evaluation, treatment and prevention of D deficiency were published last year by leading Vitamin D expert, Professor Michael Holick and colleagues. The ideal test to evaluate Vitamin D status is the level of serum circulating 25-hydroxyvitaminD [25(OH)D]
* Vitamin D deficiency is defined as a 25(OH)D below 50 nmol/L;
* Vitamin D insufficiency is defined as a 25(OH)D of 51–74 nmol/L;
* Vitamin D sufficiency is defined as a 25(OH)D of 75–250 nmol/L;
* Vitamin D toxicity begins at 25(OH)D levels >375 to 500 nmol/L;
80-90 is best. I’m not a fan of going over 100.
Severe symptoms of extreme deficiency include bone disorders such as rickets and osteoporosis, while a poor immune system and regular illness is a more common sign of low levels. Just like magnesium and zinc, other symptoms are hard to link to low vitamin D because they appear with many health issues, but poor health and lack of results from exercise or strength training are major indicators.
How does it make you feel :
Omega-3 Fish Oils
I can’t believe i haven’t posted on fish oil in this blog! (note tot self) If you’re not taking fish oil you’re mad. Cut snake mad. Low levels of EFA’s are associated with just about every known illness. Omega-3 Fish Oils are my number one supplement behind HCL. Health benefits from optimal omega-3 levels include decreased chronic inflammation and pain, better cardiovascular health, peak brain function, fat loss, improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, Alzheimer’s prevention, and athletic performance. Omega-3s can improve the health of every cell in the body because every cell in the body needs essential fat to make its cell membranes. That means your hair, your organs, your skin, your eyes everything! They are essential as your body cannot produce them on its own meaning if you don’t eat seafood very often or quality meat you’re not getting any. Oh man i could go on and on about omega 3’s…
The omega-3s are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). DHA and EPA aare what appear in fish oil. They are hard to get as they come from fish and grass-fed or wild meats. ALA also has health benefits but not to the degree of EPA and DHA, and it’s more abundant in most diets, coming from vegetable oils including flax and canola.
How they make you feel :
Energy levels increase
Sense of well being shoots up
Mood changes for the better
Less pain from inflammation
Taking a multivitamin is an ideal way to round out a healthy diet. Do you eat your 5-7 cups of veggies a day? If no you’re going to benefit from a multi. A multivitamin is essential for individuals with gaps in their diet such as a vegetarian or vegans OR people who wont eat their vegetables as they will be missing out on a number of necessary nutrients. I like to add the multi to the other four nutrients already mentioned (zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, and omega-3s) as individuals usually respond better to higher doses than what is in a multi. Omega-3s are almost never included in multis.
Not all multi’s are created equal. You usually get what you pay for. A company that spends most of their money on advertising usually have poor quality products. Good multi’s are bound to amino acids to increase absorbability and poor multi’s simply end up in the stool.
You want to choose a multivitamin that fits your needs and is high quality. A quality product means that the nutrients in the vitamin will be absorbed FAST. The product be encased in a coating that will break down rapidly in the body because this will facilitate greater absorption. Also, ensure that the raw materials in your vitamin has been tested for contaminants and heavy metals—these are not things you want in your vitamin supplement.
How they make you feel :
Energy levels increase
Sense of wellbeing shoots up
So there you go. A quick bit of info on basic supplements. All these supplements accelerate fat loss and strength gain so before you go for the fat burners that blow your adrenals out and miracle claiming weight loss pills, optimise your diet and use essential nutrients to make you as healthy as possible. That way you can feel and look as good as possible.
Nothing feels better than getting out of bed and feeling energetic and well rested!
Please contact me for information on ordering any of the above supplements
See you in the gym
Personal Training – Bondi Junction
Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, Murad MH, Weaver CM. J Clin Endocrinol Metab.2011 Jun 6 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21646368