Dietary supplements are everywhere: protein powders, multivitamins, detox teas, pre-workout and recovery shakes, the list goes on for what seems like forever.
All supplements have a purpose, each utilized for various reasons and some more important than others.
So which ones are going to help you with your goal?
THE BENEFITS OF SUPPLEMENTS
We all strive for good health to some extent, and the bulk of that comes down to the food we eat and the way we choose to fuel our body. That means good, high quality nutritious food, hydration and a regular sleeping pattern amongst other things. Here we’re going to focus on what we can add to our diet to promote optimum health, recovery, energy and ultimately wellbeing.
It’s no secret that food these days is hugely inferior to food 30 years ago. Since then, processed food has taken over the shelves. The demand for organic produce has meant that the soil in which our fruit and veg grow is severely lacking in nutrients. In return, this leaves us with poor quality produce containing less of those vital vitamins and minerals needed for good health. The consequences of this means that even if we eat fruit and vegetables in abundance, it is likely that we are deficient in one or more vitamins and minerals. That’s were supplements come in.
So, let’s look at some elements to encouraging and maintaining optimum health and the supplements which can help along the way.
ENERGY AND VITALITY
- Vitamin B12 is more common amongst vegan and vegetarians, this supplement encourages energy release from foods and helps to prevent fatigue. Other benefits of B12 include healthy skin and hair, healthy heart, nervous system function, digestion and good energy levels.
- Iron helps fight fatigue. Particularly helpful for vegetarians, vegans and those suffering with anemia. Iron helps to metabolise protein and even contributes to the production of red blood cells. Another key benefit of this wonder-supplement is its role in strengthening the immune system, keeping you strong to fight off infections especially with those winter months drawing in!
- ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 that is specifically designed to aid a restful sleep. Although these minerals can be found in food, you may need a supplementary top-up if you’re training rigorously or aiming to build muscular strength. Hard work in the gym means burning more vitamins and minerals through perspiration and prolonged muscular contraction. Other benefits of ZMA can include increased muscle mass, strength and power, improved athletic performance through enhanced and more efficient sleep, and the maintenance of your key internal systems. This supplement keeps you looking and feeling great inside and out!
- Protein is useful if you don’t have a natural source readily available after a workout. Thanks to clever branding, it’s easy to go overboard on how much protein we consume. The truth is, protein deficiencies DO NOT EXIST, and we can survive on very little intake. That being said if your goal is to speed up recovery time and promote muscular gains then supplementing protein could be beneficial.
- Glucosamine is especially helpful for runners and weightlifters, this miracle supplement helps rebuild bones and prevent wear and tear. Over time, lifting heavy weights and doing impact sports like running could have a detrimental effect on the knee joints. Therefore, supplements like glucosamine are there to provide a little extra protection and keep you doing what you love, longer.
Those are just some of the supplements made available to help us toward a healthier life. They are intended to work hand-in-hand with a healthy and balanced diet, so don’t expect them to perform miracles unless you meet them halfway!
Written by Lauren Shuker
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