Updated: Apr 17
Supplements are just that, supplemental to your daily nutrition, they aren't needed if you're getting all of your nutrition in each day. So why is the supplement industry so booming? Well, there are actually times when you probably aren't getting all of your nutrition (even if you're trying your absolute best!).
Here are 2 of the most common reasons you aren't getting all your micronutrients (and some of your macros! Ahem, protein.):
1) Nutritional deficiencies- Do you know for sure that you have a need for some of these vitamins you're taking? How would you learn this? Ask your doctor. A lot of times you may know "something isn't right", intuition tells you it's probably your food choices, but you never think you could be deficient in a mineral or vitamin. If you're constantly tired, your skin is dull, your bowels aren't functioning like you prefer (!), you can't recover from workouts very well or you simply get moody waaay to easily...you may be lacking one (or a variety) of minerals or vitamins.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B
- Magnesium And many others could lead to these symptoms too, so it's good to figure that out.
So many people are taking vitamins that they don't even need, it's a waste of money! Then there are those people that are not taking vitamins that they are severely lacking. If you're taking a multivitamin then you're probably getting some of what you may be deficient in, but that isn't to say you're getting all that you need, think about how small your pill is, sometimes you need more than can actually fit inside that pill. The best thing to do, take a quality well-rounded multivitamin (see my recommendation below) but also check with your doc to see if you have any deficiencies you haven't been taking care of.
2) Fat loss mode- Have you had a fat loss goal recently, or ever? Have you "watched what you ate" or cut out certain foods because you needed to lose weight? Are you always watching what you eat and trying to eat in a calorie deficit? When someone is trying to lose they're, more likely than not, missing some key vitamins and minerals because losing weight requires eating fewer calories than your body requires (aka "caloric deficit"). You could very well be eating all the food you need to in order to reach your goals, you may be spot-on with your fat loss macros and eating all the protein and veggies that you require to still lose body fat...but that's the problem! When you're in fat loss mode it is required that you eat in a caloric deficit, therefore, you may not be eating enough foods to get all the nutrients you need (especially if you already have a deficiency).
I try and combat this by calculating the StressLess Lifestyle macros in a way that enhances your food choices but it's up to you to select foods that provide nutrients (most of the time). Let's take protein for example, if you're in fat loss mode and you have to be eating in a calorie deficit, those calories have to be cut from somewhere so that somewhere is carbs and protein (you learn how fat is essential)...if we cut from protein then it is likely that you aren't getting enough of the minerals that come from proteins (iron, magnesium, B vits) OR that you CAN'T get enough because you aren't used to eating that much...so we supplement with protein powder or a good iron/magnesium supplement....or simply take a good multivitamin while in fat loss mode to cover all the bases while eating less food than your body requires :)
So what are some of the supplements I suggest?
Well, this is actually an entire "Topic of the Week" during our StressLess Nutrition cycles- it's about a 20 minute topic with 15 different ideas and options and I break them down into Daily needs, Fitness related and Stress/lifestyle related. I go into what they do and why....But here's a sneak peek and things that you can easily take now to boost your body on a daily basis.
Remember, I am not a doctor, I only know why my own doctor suggested I take based on my lifestyle and blood work. But many people know where they're lacking, or they've even seen their doctor and she/he suggested some, and if you haven't, it's always a good idea to begin there!
- Daily mulit vitamin by Natures made -everyone could benefit from one of these!
- Magnesium Citrate by NOW brand - helps with sleep, stress and "slow" GI issues.
- Fish oil 1000mg by Barlean's - great for heart health, fat loss and whole body health.
- Super enzymes by NOW brand- helps digest food, helps with bloating.
- Aspire energy drink- Bvitamins, Vitamin C, low caffeine, no sugar/carbs/calories
- Vitamin D by Carlson's- bone health and immune support, mood & gut.
- Collagen by Great Lakes - Helps with gut health, hair, skin and nails.
- Aspire energy drink- Bvitamins, Vitamin C, low caffeine, no sugar/carbs/calories. Helps with energy pre-workout
- Aux pre workout by About Time- has all you need for a great energy boost and good lift.
- Momsanity BCAAs- helps with muscle recovery, avoid fatigue, helps crush cravings.
- L-Theanine by NOW brand (immediate stress/anxiety relief, not a medicinal, it's an amino acid found in green tea and naturally occurring the the body, this just boosts it.)
- Elixinol Stress Ease- Ashwaghanda and CBD combo for mood/chronic stress/hormone balance. *My favorite! Give it time and you'll notice benefits.
- Ashwaghanda from Gaia Herbs (an adaptogen herb used to make tea, can relax you over time)
**Always, always consult your doctor before taking any supplements (especially herbal) or adding anything to your daily intake.