Let’s face it — life is full of surprises, weddings, birthdays, bachelor parties and nights out with the boys. Unless you roll with a crew of fitness competitors, you can almost guarantee that, in these events, you’ll most likely sneak in some extra calories, whether it’s from food or booze.
But hey, we’re human! It’s not easy to get all those nutrients from recommended dietary servings each and every single day — life happens. That’s why it’s important to know which supplements and vitamins best suit your needs, especially as we age since our bodies don’t recover from a night of drinking quite the way they used to.
ARE YOU TAKING THE RIGHT SUPPLEMENTS? CHECK OUT THIS LIST OF ESSENTIAL SUPPLEMENTS
Pretty straightforward. A good multivitamin helps to cover your bases. Keep it beside your alarm clock so it’s the first thing you see in the morning and you don’t miss your daily dose! But don’t just grab any bottle off the shelf.
While most multivitamins have a pretty complete profile, also keep an eye out for a brand that contains a good amount of zinc. The cells in our body use zinc to absorb nutrients and metabolize them. Zinc also allows your body to make the hormone testosterone. This helps with sperm production and helps to prevent erectile dysfunction.
Fish, in general, is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. These are hugely beneficial to the health of your brain and heart. Are your joints acting up? Fish oil is also an all-natural anti-inflammatory. When selecting a brand, keep an eye out on the ingredients list for EPA and DPA. These are two of the healthy fats you will find in fish.
There are those bad bacteria that you don’t want to go anywhere near, and then there are probiotics, a.k.a. good bacteria. You can find a lot of dairy products fortified with probiotics in most supermarkets, but if you’re lactose intolerant or not a fan of eating yoghurt on a daily basis, a good supplement should do the trick.
Fun Fact: The doses of probiotics are not measured in milligrams. They are measured in the actual number of live bacteria in each serving (amazing, I know). Aim for a brand that has a live bacteria count of at least 10 billion.
GLUCOSAMINE/CHONDROITIN AND MSM
Glucosamine and chondroitin often go hand in hand when made in supplements. They have been shown to strengthen joint tissue over time and help with painful joints.
MSM, another supplement with the same benefits, helps make sure your joints are feeling fine. Between 1500mg to 2000mg a day should suffice, but don’t expect to feel much of a difference until at least two months after you begin taking the supplements.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid and, probably, the most important one, especially when you’re coming down with the flu or trying to recover from those brutal training sessions.
Taking 5 to 10 grams of glutamine post workout has been shown to help speed up recovery and prevent muscle breakdown. When we get sick, and our appetites simply don’t allow us to eat the way we normally would. Supplementing with glutamine will help prevent your body from feeding off precious muscle tissue as energy.
Supplements are an awesome way to get more out of your workout and dieting routine.