There are hundreds if not thousands of supplements available these days. And if you eat a balanced, healthy diet you probably don’t need most of them. However, it is very difficult to get everything you need from food. For example, magnesium is depleted from soil due to current agricultural practises, or if you are weight training then it can be very expensive to take in the required amounts of protein. So supplements have their place but remember, they are to SUPPLEMENT a healthy diet, not replace one. So here are my top three essential recommended supplements that everyone should be taking (plus a few extras).
Fish Oil – Omega 3 rich fish oils help improve cardiac function, inflammatory response, immune system, neural function and fat loss.
Aim for 1000mg of DHA/EPA a day.
Get a good quality fish oil (Eskimo 3 or Genetics are good). Avoid cod liver oil due to low quality and high toxins.
Vitamin D – Most people are deficient in Vit D. It can help with recover, body composition, athletic performance and prevent many diseases (cancer, depression, diabetes etc).
Aim for 2000 IU a day in winter and 1000 IU in summer.
Take in D3 form as this is best absorbed by the body.
Whey protein powder – most people struggle to eat enough protein. A whey shake is a simple way of increasing your daily protein intake (which helps preserve muscle and repair after training).
Aim for 1-2 scoops a day, 2-4 on intense training days. Good for breakfast and post resistance training.
Look for good quality whey, with as little added sucralose and flavourings as possible. There are plenty of suppliers e.g. Genetics UMF Whey.
Bonus recommended supplements
Magnesium – current farming practises mean that soil is depleted of Magnesium, which means that it is missing from most of our food. Magnesium helps with sleep and recovery, which is vital for athletes but it also helps with brain health, depression, insomnia, muscle soreness and building, stress, bone health and a host of other things. You can get it from salmon, halibut, spinach, almonds, cashews, potatoes, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and yogurt but to get all of these from organic suppliers will cost a lot and as athletes you still might not get enough.
Aim for 450mg (men) or 300mg (women) before bed.
Often sold as ZMA.
Greens supplement – if you eat a lot of green veg then this is not essential but most people struggle to get enough in their diet. They can help with almost everything relating to general health. But do not think they are a substitute for real food. Think of them as more of an insurance policy than a replacement.
Anecdotally, I have not had a cold since I have been taking greens for the last 2 years!
Most taste disgusting. Either add to a smoothy (with your whey protein?) or try buying capsules. Or just mix with water and down it quickly.
Multivitamin – everyone should be taking multivitamins. Like with greens supplements above, its just incase you are missing some nutrients.
Don’t just take my word for it, research them yourself and you’ll see that they are too good to be missing out on.