I’m not a big supplement guy…but here I am making a top 5 favorite supplement. It’s like going into a candy store when you’re diabetic.
All joking aside, I like supplements exactly for what they are: SUPPLEMENTS. What I don’t like is when supplements replace real food. Supplements should be used to supplement your diet to make it more complete. That being said you should still try to include a variety of natural, unprocessed foods in your diet (meats, fruits, vegetables and nuts of all kinds). But even when trying to eat as healthy as possible, there’s a thing called life that gets in the way of our good intentions to eat well. To complement you diet you may want to consider using one of these supplements:
5. ZMA. There is not that many scientific proofs out there that support the claims that ZMA improves sleep quality and boosts your hormones. But if you talk to anyone who has ever tried it, they’re gonna tell you that it does provide a deeper sleep. Everyone I ever prescribed it to have reported the same effects; they all say they sleep deeper when they take it. Personally I like to take ZMA sparingly whenever I have a couple nights where I don’t sleep that great, or when I feel like my immune system is down. The zinc and the magnesium in ZMA help boost your immune system.
4. Protein powder. This is far from an essential supplement, but oh so convenient. Ideal for snacks or for post-workout recovery, a good protein powder is always good to have at hand. My personal favorite is to make a smoothie using a scoop or two of protein, almond milk, a banana, strawberries, peanut butter and flax seeds. It’s absolutely delicious and still very convenient to take on the go or when you “don’t have time to eat breakfast”. A big question that always comes up is: “what kind of protein should I get?” There are obviously hundreds of different protein powders on the market, and each company claims that theirs is “better tasting” or have “better absorption”, or whatever BS they claim. The truth is that there is no magical protein powder. The less ingredients added the better. My absolute favorite one is the Jay Robb Whey Protein.
Other than having the stupidest label, that brand is great because it is made from organic dairy, and they used stevia as the sweetener. This is THE MOST natural and healthy option I’ve ever found when it comes down to protein powder. It is not the cheapest one though…
3. Vitamin D. Although I’d much rather get my vitamin D directly from the sun, the reality is that most of us spend the majority of the day inside when we work. These are coincidentally the hours where you’d want to be outside enjoying the sun. That being said, a vitamin D supplement is almost essential if you live in northern regions because we don’t see the sun much, especially in the winter. With all the research coming out on vitamin D and stating its importance in depression, mood swings, hormone levels, and certain types of cancer, you definitely want to make sure you vitamin D levels are in check.
2. Fish oil. It’s not a breaking news anymore, fish oil plays an important role in the prevention of many types of cancer, it improves memory, it slows down aging, it lubricates your joints, it helps preserve lean body mass and decrease body fat, etc, etc, etc. The studies proving the importance of the omega 3′s DHA and EPA are accumulating by hundreds every year. We all need to take it. Period.
The only thing you want to be careful about when it comes to supplementing with fish oil is to make sure the quality is good. In recent years, there has been many cases of mercury poisoning with some types of fish. Because of that you want to make sure that your fish oil comes from a quality source that doesn’t extract its fish oil from cheap fish that have a higher chance of containing mercury. Carlson Lab Fish Oil is the best brand I know out there; the quality of their product is pharmaceutical grade.
1. Greens supplement. As time goes by this is increasingly becoming my favorite supplement. Even if we try hard, we rarely if ever get 12 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, which is the optimal amount we should eat. A greens supplement makes it much easier to reach that ideal 12 servings per day, and all you need is 1-2 scoops per day mixed in with some water. It might not be the best tasting supplement in the world, but it will help cover all your micronutrient needs and improve how you feel. I like the Greens+ company as they make a berry flavored product with additional antioxidants, but there are other companies out there that are just as good.
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