Health & Nutrition

Nutritional supplements: What you need to know

Nutritional supplements are still one of the hot topics of conversation between fitness and health enthusiasts. As one myself, I’ve tried and tested a lot of different brands over the years. The one thing I can start off with, is that it is NOT one-size-fits-all and if you decide to start using a supplement, also make sure you have done some research on it. Make sure you’ve defined your goals before your start using anything. This will help you to choose the right supplement for you.

What is nutritional supplements

Nutritional supplements are any dietary supplement that is intended to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities, for example, vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids or other nutritional substances. Products are usually ingested in capsule, tablet or liquid form. 

How and why to use nutritional supplements

Some supplements you can use as a complete meal, others as a way of getting more protein and micro vitamins, then you have your supplements for energy and fat loss. Personally, I like to use a combination of this. I like the fact that you can have a meal in a liquid form. I use this as a pre-and-post workout and snack in the afternoon. As a mom, I’m always on the go and can be difficult to eat ALL my meals in a day. I still have my breakfast, lunch and dinner as food and stick to it as far as possible. With my meal-plan I make sure to target my macros each day. Here is my take on supplements I use an why:

Energy supplements

I use an energy supplement before training but be aware that some energy supplements may make you feel bad and you will end up not finishing your workout or even worse, not starting it. Always use half a dose if it is your first time using such a supplement. This will help your body to get used to it and you will also notice whether it is for you or not. 

Pre-workout supplements

It’s also important to take the right supplements at the right time. For instance, my pre-workout shake contains milk protein that helps to boost muscle growth (muscle synthesis), along with a ton of other benefits. I would blend my pre-workout shake with a banana for added potassium. Bananas also helps in optimal nerve and muscle function during workout.

Post-workout supplements

My post workout supplement contains BCAA’s, protein and l-glutamine to recover my muscles after an intense workout. Make sure to take your post workout within 20 minutes after a workout as this is the time when muscles are more receptive to nutrition. A post workout is not a meal replacement; therefore, I will have my breakfast an hour after training. Just a note, I train in the mornings at 7, if you train in the evening, you will have your dinner an hour after training.

Multivitamin

Adding a multivitamin to your supplement range can improve health, compensate for poor eating habits, and even reduce your risk of chronic diseases according to Healthline.

Omega 3 and Glucosamine

If you train, you will also find it beneficial to take an Omega 3 and Glucosamine supplement. “Omega3 fatty acids inhibit the inflammation process in osteoarthritis, whereas glucosamine sulfate further supports the rebuilding of lost cartilage substance.”

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Research, research, RESEARCH

Ok great, by now you probable asked yourself: “Ok great, but what brand nutritional supplements should I use”. The first thing you do is to research on known brands in your area. Let’s take an example of a car. You will not purchase a car before doing research on it. Talking to reputable people, test driving it. Now, why would you just rush to the shop and purchase any brand supplement without knowing a bit of its background?

Questions you can ask

       Where is it made?
Surely you would like to know if the product you are using is made in a clean and controllable facility. This will make it less likely that the product will be contaminated and what you read on the label is in the product.

       What is the science behind the product?
A product with a science history behind it will be more trustable than a product with no science, true? A bonus if the product has Nutritional doctors to back their science. 

       Is it safe to use?
FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. The manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements are responsible for making sure their products are safe BEFORE they go to the market. Some supplements follow the regulations and standards in manufacturing its products and is subject to FDA investigations.

       Is it banned substance free? 
Banned substances and techniques fall into the following categories: androgens, blood doping, peptide hormones, stimulants, diuretics, narcotics, and cannabinoids. (www.wikipedia.org). You can find out on 
https://www.informed-choice.org/ whether the brand is tested for banned substances. You can also look on the product for their logo:nutrition

Conclusion

If you have read through this article and need guidance as to what brand to use, head over to my personalised nutrition page, complete the short questionnaire and I will send you more info on to how I can help you not only with a product, but also help you reach your goals.

Thank you for reading!

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