At Always Growing, we recommend supplements to client to do just what they are intended for... SUPPLEMENT a balance and healthy nutrition plan. We don't have a long list of supplements to take to get results fast, fat burners lose 10 pounds in a few days, or even excessive natural supplements. We do, however, recommend a few key vitamins to most clients.
- Fish oil - Fish oil contains omega-3 fats, which are beneficial not only for heart health, but brain health due to their anti-inflammatory effects. While most people know that they should be taking a fish oil, not all products on the market are created equally. When buying a fish oil, check the label to see how much EPA and DHA is in each serving. We recommend a daily dose of 2-4 grams. Labels will typically list EPA and DHA levels in milligrams (mg) and there are therefore 1,000 milligrams in each gram. Many popular fish oil pills contain very little EPA/DHA, which is the stuff that benefits you, so make sure to get fish oil that is highly concentrated. Our favorite it SFH Fish Oil - it's a liquid that you refrigerate after opening and doesn't have a fishy taste. In fact, their fish oils come in a variety of flavors (orange, lemon, chocolate, berry).
- Vitamin D - Vitamin D is important for absorption of calcium to our bones. Typically we get Vitamin D as it is synthesized through our skin from sun exposure, but we don't always get out 30 minutes of exposure per day. If you've ever felt a little down on cloudy days, you're lacking your Vitamin D! This vitamin is also linked to depression and mood, so adding it to your supplement regimen benefits most people.
- Post-workout Shake - Some sort of protein shake is important if you are active. Most people aren't dying for a meal after their workout, so a shake is the perfect way to get nutrient quickly into your bloodstream post-workout to recover properly. Look for a protein shake that contains both protein and carbohydrates, or be prepared to add a carbohydrate to your post-workout routine.
- Magnesium/ZMA (only if you have trouble sleeping) - For those who have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, there are two options. First, try taking magnesium 30 minutes prior to bed. Studies have shown that magnesium decreases cortisol (your fight or flight hormone) and can help relieve insomnia. If this doesn't seem to do the trick, the next option is ZMA (Zinc Magnesium Aspartate). This all-natural supplements also contains magnesium to help you fall asleep and achieve REM state longer. Fair warning here, when taking this supplement you will likely experience very vivid dreams.
That's it. Eat well to get lots of nutrient-rich foods into your diet and mix up the sources of your food often (aka don't only resort to chicken and broccoli), and you'll be getting everything you need.