In the world of healthy, the topic of supplements will come up. And the info on them is like a rabbit hole – never ending. Seriously, you can get lost and overwhelmed with the info out there. The why, how, when & more. I want to take this post to talk to you about healthy supplements 101 based off of what I use & why.
** Just a heads up, there will be outbound links to products, some do provide a commission back to me if you choose to purchase**
Healthy Supplements 101
I used to think supplements were for those big, hairy muscle dudes who kissed their biceps more then anything. And there was no way I ever wanted to look like that so I stayed clear of them. And maybe once upon a time that was the case. But today, the options are endless. But let’s break this down first.
A supplement is something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
Now, I am a HUGE believer that 95% of your nutrition should come from whole, clean foods. Not a powder or gelatin capsule. A supplement should fill in the nutritional gaps of the food you are eating due to the fact that you can’t find those foods, those foods taste gross ( hello kale) or would increase your monthly budget 10fold just trying to get the real food intake from those ingredients.
Yes, I am against meal replacement shakes, diet pills & fat burners. Those products do not help you one bit. If all you take is meal replacement shakes, what do you do when you hit your goal weight? You have not learned how to eat proper real food & most likely will gain all & more of the weight you lost back.
And when you are looking at adding a supplement to your eating plan, ingredients should be your focus, not a carb/protein count. Let me explain. Here is my healthy supplements 101.
When I first began to take a pre-workout supplement all I cared about what was the carb count. But then I learned to look at the ingredients and the brand I was using was filled with fillers, artificial everything & nothing natural. Why would I put garbage into my body? I began to make a shift and look at ingredients and the source of those ingredients before I would purchase any supplement.
My daily food plan puts me about 1800 calories ( & that is in losing fat mode). The bulk of my calories come from whole foods: loads of veggies, quality meat sources & topped off with healthy fats.
But we live in an age of mass produced food ( veggies & fruits included) and the soil in which many of our plants grow are not as nutrient dense as they once were. If you follow me on Instagram for any amount of time you will go grocery shopping a few times with me & learn how I pick my veggies & fruit for their nutrients. ALWAYS READ YOUR LABELS, & look up the farms online to see what is really going on. You truly are what you eat and also what you are eating ate.
My Stack of Supplements
On the days I work out, I book end my workouts with a pre & post workout supplement.
My pre workout ( I like the lemon best as the other flavors have beet flour & that irritates my IBS) is formulated with key ingredients to help:*
• Boost energy and endurance
• Improve exercise performance
• Sharpen focus and reaction time
• Increase muscle power output
• Delay exercise-induced muscle fatigue
It contains Beta- Alanine, low dose caffeine from green tea & Quercetin ( a phytonutrient found in many fruits and vegetables. A strong yellow color indicates higher levels and higher purity)
I just wish I knew about this product when I ran track. Oh that would have been a game changer for me!
15 calories and taken within 30 minutes of me starting my workout for optimum performance.
Then after my workout is a post protein smoothie. When you’re too sore from your workouts, it’s much harder to be consistent with your program. Recover takes advantage of the critical post-workout window to help combat exercise-induced muscle soreness, speed muscle recovery, support muscle growth, and improve strength recovery.
The brand I take helps:
• Speed muscle recovery
• Combat exercise-induced muscle soreness
• Reduce muscle breakdown
• Promote lean-muscle growth
• Improve adaptation to exercise
• Improve muscle strength recovery
• Support muscle glycogen recovery
Key ingredients are Pomegranate extract, 20 grams of time-released protein & Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). Tastes like a chocolate milk shake.
I hate when I run out and it’s a weight lifting day. This stuff is gold!
Now I am a HUGE coffee drinker. I like the taste & the warm feeling it brings. And I figured if I was going to drink coffee all day long I might as well make it healthier for me. I generally drink my coffee black. It took me years to go from a double double to black. But once a day I add some collagen, MCT oil & protein to my mug to give me a little extra help.
Collagen – the one I take is flavorless and works with your skin, hair & nails.
Collagen is the main structural protein in the body. It makes up 25 to 35 percent of our total protein content in the form of connective tissue like tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, and about 75 percent of your skin. Collagen works side by side with another protein called elastin: Collagen fills out your skin, while elastin helps your skin “snap back” when stretched.
It’s flavorless and mixes well in my hot coffee. #winwin
MCT Oil. I actually get mine from Costco. Medium Chain Triglycerides. Again it’s flavorless and a squirt into my mug is all I need. It helps with fat burning, but also provides a healthy fat for my brain and I experience less brain fog during my day as a result.
And I do add a flavorless protein to my coffee. I am in the process of building muscle which means I need a bit more protein in my diet and this powder once a day helps boost the amount of protein in keeping my calorie count in check. I like this one for a few reasons:
- Canadian company
- Grass fed
- Flavorless as I like the taste of my actual coffee
- & available on Amazon so it’s door delivery when I need it
What about a Multi Vitamin?
It’s a hard balance between getting all the nutrients you need & keeping your calories in check. I aim to get most of my nutrients from veggies & animal products but with depleted soils most of our food just does not have the nutrient base it once did.
I used to take upwards of 30+ vitamins & minerals all in capsule form every day. The additional monthly cost was HUGE, I had no idea if I was taking the right combination, if they were being digested or peed out, if what i was taking was actually what I needed and then the confusion of brand, quality & nutritional value came into play. The gelatin most came in was actually upsetting my stomach A LOT, I was feeling oogie after that many pills, and I can’t take pills without liquid and water mixed with all those was a recipe for disaster in my digestive system. I am thankful I have found a top up of dense nutrition that literally tops up my food and keeps my calories in balance. You can use it as a shake, I like it with coconut oil and makes for a pudding like dessert, or put it in my coffee too! And on days where time is not in my favor, it can substitute for lunch. It’s not a protein shake, or a weight loss shake or a meal replacement. It’s my daily dose of dense nutrition. And I can’t complain when I get it 25% off too!!
- Superfruits and Antioxidants
- Supergreens and Phytonutrients
- Prebiotics, Probiotics, Fibre, and Digestive Enzymes
- Vitamins and Minerals
Way more good stuff then a handful of guessing which vitamin is right.
Healthy Supplements 101
It may seem like a lot, but really it’s not. It’s 100% health and I have built these supplements into my daily calorie bracket and they supplement what I can not get from real, clean, whole foods. I call it healthy supplements 101.
Need help in if you should be adding supplements or what kind? Just ask, I am only a message away & would love to chat with you.