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SHOULD YOU TAKE SUPPLEMENTS?

Published by Admin on September 30, 2014

SHOULD YOU TAKE SUPPLEMENTS?

“WHAT SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD I TAKE?”
I get this question asked a lot, and it’s mostly regarding sports nutrition in particular, and I always answer this question in 2 parts.

First of all, supplements need to be viewed and used exactly as such, a supplementation to your diet. When you eat a proper, balanced diet, you will get all the nutrients your body needs. Never should you depend on a supplement to replace the job of real food.

Taking a vitamin C tablet every day without ever eating real fruit, is not a good idea. Not only does fruit provide you with vitamin C, but it also contains other important micro-nutrients, like blueberries are high in folate, potassium & flavonoids for example.

Another example is salmon (wild caught) , an excellent source of not just omega 3, but also vitamin B12, selenium & potassium.

However, there are benefits to taking supplements, since they can help you achieve your goals, are more convenient and sometimes even cheaper. So which ones to recommend for an athlete in particular?

Protein

The most well-known and used type is whey protein. It’s a by-product from cheese production and comes in 3 forms: concentrate, isolate & hydrolysate. Whey protein is either sold on it’s own, or in a blend with other types of protein.

The reason why a protein supplement can be helpful, is because of convenience, taste and price. You can mix up a shake quick and easy after a work-out, they come in a big variety of flavors and looking at the protein per gram/per serving ratio, it’s cheaper than meat or fish.

Make sure you read the labels on the product, and pick a protein that has the least amount of ingredients like sugars, corn syrups or artificial flavorings. If you are lactose intolerant, the isolate & hydrolysate varieties usually cause less issues, but often do cost more.

Omega 3


Example of a good ration per tablet.

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for the body, and without going into too much detail of all the benefits, they are very important for suppressing inflammation in the body for example. Currently, most Western diets are deficient in omega 3, whereas the intake of omega 6 is too high. The ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 intake ideally should be 1:1, but actual ratios now go even over 1:20. You can compare with a hot and cold water tap (omega 6 being hot & omega 3 being cold) With the right amount of each, the water should be lukewarm, but when you open up the hot tap to full throttle, you’ll burn yourself.

Choose an omega 3 product that has a substantial amount of both EPA & DPA per tablet , not per serving, because sometimes a serving can be 3 tablets, and you end up paying a lot more for less value.

Vitamin D3

In some parts of the world, the exposure to sun is limited, especially when you live in say, The Netherlands. The tricky part about vitamin D is, that your body mostly acquires it through sunlight. It can also be obtained through food, but the recommended dosage per day (600 IU) is quite impossible through food only. Vitamin D is one of the most important micro-nutrients for the body. It helps with your immune system and reduces (again) inflammation to name a few.

Besides living in countries that aren’t as sunny, we also have lifestyles that prevent us from getting enough sun; working indoors, clothing, sunscreen or simply avoiding the sun as much as possible out of fear of skin cancer. So if you qualify as someone that might need a little vitamin D boost, taking a supplement certainly won’t harm you. If it’s not an oil-based capsule, take it with a bit of fatty food for optimal absorption. But if you have the chance to catch a few rays, then please do. About 20 mins in afternoon sun will get you 10,000 IU for free.

Creatine

Perhaps a bit of a jump from the vitamins, but this was a take on sports supplements after all. If there is one supplement I would recommend taking for athletes that regularly lift weights and want to increase their strength, it would be creatine.

Creatine is found in animal products, like beef & lamb. It helps to provide an important fuel for your muscles, called ATP. This allows the muscles to work for short bursts of speed and power. The more ATP you have in your muscles, the longer you can last. Those bursts don’t last for very long, more like a 100m sprint or a 1RM squat.

 

Essentially, you are able to push your muscles longer, so you create more muscle hypertrophy, aka. muscle growth.

The most common form is creatine monohydrate, which is perfectly fine to take for good results. Recommended dosage is 5 grams a day, which you can take throughout the day, or before or after your workout. For more elaborate information on creatine, check this website as well.

To wrap it up

These are the 4 supplements I’d suggest to use, but always treat them for what they are. They are not a substitute, but mere a tool to help you get better results. Make sure your diet is optimal, eat your meats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits & nuts and keep it constantly varied at all time.

Quelle: http://www.boxrox.com/nutrition/2014/02/should-you-take-supplements/