Monday, April 11, 2016

Do we need supplements?

Are Supplements needed in order to live a healthy lifestyle?
We are what we eat, so why live off processed items and so many supplements? Do we need them?

What are supplements?
Why and when should we take them?
The FDA states that a dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet. A "dietary ingredient" may be one, or any combination, of the following substances:
·      a vitamin
·      a mineral
·      an herb or other botanical
·      an amino acid
·      a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake
·      a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, or extract
Dietary supplements may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. Some dietary supplements can help ensure that you get an adequate dietary intake of essential nutrients. Others may help you reduce your risk of disease.
A dietary supplement is meant to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. This is the reason I am definitely not against supplements.  I feel they play a role in our hectic lifestyle. This does NOT mean you should over consume them! Your body is made to adapt. Over using a supplement will cause more problems than benefits. I recommend discussing the use of supplements with your doctor, especially if you have any health conditions.
Many are in search for a magic nutritional formula to help them perform better and control their weight. People often intake food supplements and drugs to help them achieve their goal. But people need to remember the supplement industry is very competitive. They sell products promising to build muscle, enhance performance, and help reach that perfect body. What's real and what is the hype? Money, money, money!
I think supplements are important for those who have a busy lifestyle. They also can play a crucial role when trying to make gains (add muscle), or for weight loss (to some extent). One very important macronutrient for both weight gain and loss is protein.  Most people do not consume enough. If I tell my clients to check their total daily intakes, protein is very low with carbs and fats being the highest.
This is where I think protein shakes would be a great supplement. If you’re just being lazy and want to drink all day then good luck on real gains and hopefully you won't be hungry throughout the day. Protein shakes are broken down and absorbed into your body a lot faster than solid foods. Yes they are important when you're in a rush, post workout to recover faster, or when your intake for protein is REALLY high.  Other than that I say EAT YOUR FOODS! Here are recipes for shakes, just make them work into your macro needs.
The number one supplement source I recommend is FOOD. It provides you with proper fuel. The best part is you know what you’re putting into your body! Exclude all these processed products if they're not needed. Before considering any supplements, make sure you have your lifestyle on check. What I mean by that is, are you eating a balanced meal? Have you learned how to eat properly for your body and needs?  Once you're accustomed to a healthy lifestyle, old habits will be less frequent to show up because you'll be aware of your needs.
Laziness should not be in your vocabulary if you care enough about yourself and health. You must want change and make these changes correctly to succeed long term.  Now after all that is in place, I recommend a few supplements.  In the end if you have the extra cash, and supplements will motivate you to get into the gym, then that’s great! First invest in food and the gym, then go down list and figure out what you need. Not all supplements are needed. Each one is unique and meant to be implemented for different reasons.
What I recommend depending on person and goals are:
Protein shakes:
They have many benefits the main effects of whey on muscle/strength are:
·      Building Blocks: It provides protein and amino acids, which serve as building blocks for increased muscle growth.
·      Hormones: It increases release of anabolic hormones that can stimulate muscle growth (with working out), such as Insulin.
·      Leucine: It is high in the amino acid Leucine, which is known to stimulate muscle protein synthesis at the molecular and genetic level.
·      Fast Absorption: Whey protein is absorbed and utilized very quickly compared to other types of protein.
They can help especially during workout to deliver energy and keep you anabolic. Dieting is catabolic, which means it can lead to muscle breakdown. I believe BCAAs are especially helpful for maintaining muscle mass while on a calorie-deficit diet. They're particularly useful for bodybuilding competitors who take their physiques to the lean extreme.
ZMA is a combination of zinc monomethionine/asparate and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin B6. It's strongly supported by clinical research to be an effective supplement for enhancing muscle recovery, boosting muscle size and strength, and even aiding fat loss.
This is a molecule produced in the body, where it stores high-energy phosphate groups in the form of phosphocreatine (creatine phosphate). During periods of stress (workout), phosphocreatine releases energy to aid cellular function. This is what causes strength increases after creatine supplementation, but this action can also aid the brain, bones, muscles, and liver.
Pre workout:
The right one can boost your strength, endurance, focus, and muscle pump. Too much information and all ingredients play a role, so check it out here.
Multi Vitamin:
They are designed to protect against micronutrient deficiencies resulting from inadequate dietary intake. Look at it as a micronutrient insurance.
Fish oil:
It benefits us by preventing many health issues including: heart disease, ADHD, anxiety, depression, high cholesterol, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, alzheimer’s disease, eczema, diabetes, cancer, weakened immunity, autoimmune disease and macular degeneration. Also, it’s been proven to aid the body in weight loss, fertility, healthy pregnancy, healthy skin and increased energy.
It helps the body form bones and teeth and is required for blood clotting, transmitting signals in nerve cells, and muscle contraction.
Vitamin C:
It has a range of functions. It is needed to make collagen, a substance that strengthens many parts of the body, such as muscles and blood vessels, and plays important roles in healing and as an antihistamine.
Electrolytes are made up of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphate. They carry electrical charges that are responsible for stimulating muscles and nerves. They also regulate the amount of fluids throughout your body, which affects cellular function, blood volume and blood pressure. Sodium plays the primary role in water regulation, but they all help keep body fluids balanced.
Cinnamon extract:
A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way, and its antioxidant abilities are what makes it especially beneficial to include in your diet. As little as 1/2 of one teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity, and more. Check out this site to see list of benefits.
Fat burners:
The problem with fat burners and other similar supplements is that it will not get you anywhere if you are completely dependent on them. Regular daily diet and exercise is the biggest part of the battle. Decreasing the daily calorie intake along with regular exercise is the biggest part of fighting fat. Fat burner can enhance the results as a supplement. So once diet and routine is in check, and you’re at a plateau, that’s when I would recommend including fat burners for energy booster. 
Where to start... which one should I use?

There's so many to pick from but doesn't mean you must get all. Try one at a time, see what you like and what works for you. This list is only including supplements I use or recommend, there are many more out there. I personally love Protizyme PB protein shake and Tag glutamine supplements. I intake my vitamin, fish oil, chromium, vitamin C, Calcium, Aminos, and when I need that energy boost I go to pre-workout that has creatine.  These work for me and keep me motivated. Caffeine is definitely in my diet as well as is my stimulant and a natural fat burner.  Unless I am on comp mode, I don’t intake any fat burners to aid my performance. Food is my big player and what I invest mostly into. I hope this article helps a little. If you go to a supplement store, the one I currently go more frequently to is NXT on Steinway.  They price match all products and are very informative. If you live closer to Crossbay then check out Natural Body, they are amazing as well with great customer service, been going there since I started competing. Take it one day at a time and stay focused on your goals. Use supplements to keep you on track not as a magic resource.


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