It’s overwhelming when you first decide to commit to a health, wellness and fitness regimen. It’s almost scary enough to completely deter you. Some of you may be thinking that more is better – more cardio, more supplements, and the unfortunate part, less eating. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
What is true about supplements
Supplements can be a scary thing. As a female, there are many rumors that certain supplements & vitamins will cause you to turn your beautiful curves into a masculine frame – but that is not true. To the women who commit to the bodybuilding lifestyle, they didn’t gain their size from just a few supplements.
Supplements you should be taking
Supplements are a crucial part of this lifestyle change you are making. While they won’t make or break you, they will supplement all of the hard work you are putting into the gym. Whether you are new to this and haven’t taken any supplements since the Flintstone’s brands were the most popular, or you take 400 pills a day. Let’s break down the top 5 supplements that should ALWAYS be in your plan.
This one sounds simple to some and may seem useless to others. Some people don’t believe their supplements are working unless they feel them. Well, you won’t feel a multivitamin but it will be helping you in your physical activity and your day to day life. Being deficient in any essential vitamin or mineral is going to hinder your endurance, overall health and destroy your metabolism. Multi-Vitamins will likely contain a blend of Vitamins A, B-Complex, C, D, E K, Magnesium and Zinc.
- Vitamin A is great for your vision, skin, teeth, and bones.
- Vitamin B is crucial for nervous systems but also for cortisol levels and energy levels.
- Zinc is another powerful antioxidant and directly involved in maintaining ideal hormonal levels.
- Vitamin C is ideal for your immune system.
- Magnesium helps delay fatigue.
- Vitamin D helps you absorb calcium.
- Vitamin E is a great antioxidant (and oil if you use the topical).
An imbalance in hormones can because of excessive weight gain.
L-Carnitine is the world’s best fat burner! Don’t think jitters, cold sweats & the shakes. Instead, imagine your fat cells being dissolved. This isn’t done through some proprietary chemical compound, this is done through SCIENCE.
L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is responsible for transporting your fatty acids into the mitochondria to be burned away for energy. If you have deficiencies in this amino acid are associated with fatigue, loss of muscle, increased body fat, and overall sluggishness. You can take L-Carnitine at any time during the day, averaging anywhere from 1,000mg-2,000mg/daily.
Did you know over 60% of skeletal muscle is glutamine? When you train, your body becomes depleted of glutamine and that means your strength and stamina start to decline and the speed in which you recover also declines. Glutamine not only assists during the workout but it boosts cell volume and antioxidants providing support for the synthesis of RNA and DNA so cells can multiply. What does that mean, other than a good workout aid? It means it is VITAL for your digestive tract lining as there is a daily cell turnover. Digestive inflammation increases in times your body is glutamine deficient. If you can get your gut in check, your body can absorb nutrients better. Remember, the healthier your cells are, the easier losing weight will be.
There are so many types of protein. Some of them listed as Whey Protein. That usually means it’s a concentrate that contains lower levels of fat and carbs (in the form of lactose). Whey Protein Isolate is processed to remove all fats and lactose resulting in at least 90% protein. Hydrolysate is predigested as it already has undergone hydrolysis. This will not require as much digestion as the concentrate or Isolate.
While whey protein is an essential part of any bodybuilding regimen, it is also crucial in any fitness plan.
Whey protein is a convenient 100-150 calorie drink that can boost your metabolism mid-day while providing nutrients essential to burning fat. Whey protein is made up of essential and non-essential amino acids which are the building blocks for a healthy body. The more active you are the higher amounts of amino acids your body will require. Low levels of BCAA (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) contribute to fatigue and sluggishness.
The main active ingredient in milk thistle is Silymarin, a known anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. Known as a liver detoxifier, Milk Thistle also lowers cholesterol levels, reduces the growth of cancer cells, improves blood sugar, reduces cell damage, helps with indigestion and contains anti-aging properties.
Wrapping it up
There’s no need to break the bank with supplements, but you do need to replenish what you are depleting from your body before you think of fat burners or additional muscle building agents. Get your body, cells and systems in working order and you’ll be surprised by how few supplements you need!
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Original article was written by Angela Christine (updated October 27th, 2019)