This is quite a commonly asked question in the clinic. There is a lot of information out
there about nutrition and supplements…And lots of marketing with a tonne of false promises
What works for me is giving simple honest advice and making sure my patients are consistent with application
Get sleep, water, nutrition and exercise sorted first before you think supplement
It is consistency over anything that gets results.
Supplements are sometimes needed. But as always it depends on your specific situation
I personally believe in getting the basics right. I have helped a lot of people with their health diet and lifestyle in my time
What works are the simple things done right over time
How do I know that I need to take supplements?
I see supplements as an “insurance policy” once you’ve got the basics right
Sometimes they are needed at the beginning of treatment in certain circumstances and this would likely warrant a referral to a naturopath/nutritionist
Which supplements do you recommend?
These are probably my top picks for supplements to assist health and performance. And as you can see there is some cross over.
You can’t have performance without health
This is not to say that you need the performance supplements either.
But the research is there for positive results for all of the performance supplements
Adds more nutritional value to your diet
Helps when your not getting your 5 plus a day
Helps reduce risk of chronic diseases
Reduces risk of osteoporosis
Potent inhibitor of cancer cell growth
Sunlight being the easiest and most effective way of getting vitamin D comes with its risks.
Really important for immune system function
Lowers risk of heart disease
Reduces blood pressure
Increases levels of “good” cholesterol
(Omega 3 Fatty acids) Essential for brain function
May reduce inflammation
Supports Healthy skin
Supports pregnancy and early life
Involved in more than 600 reactions in the body
Lowers blood pressure
Boost exercise performance by moving blood sugar to the muscles and disposing of lactate
Helps to chemically fight depression by helping brain function and mood
Important for your immune system
Protein synthesis, helps promote cell regeneration
Increase energy level
Reduces stress and anxiety
Helps muscle cells produce more energy
Improvs high intensity exercise performance
Helps repair damage after injury
Important role in intestinal health
Serves as a building block for protein
Can be naturally taken through animal products like beef/eggs
Important for the immune system
Can help decrease soreness and improve recovery
BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids)
Increase muscle growth stimulates the process in which the body creates muscle
Decreases muscle damage during exercise which can decrease the soreness from DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)
Helps to prevent muscle wastage
Should I take a pre-workout?
Pre-workout is something that is widely used in the fitness industry, however is commonly misused and/or misunderstood.
Through the use of marketing and misinterpreted information pre-workout has almost become an essential in everyone’s gym bag regardless of age, experience and goal.
Having a great workout is not dependent on whether you have had pre-workout or not.
Pre-workout is a stimulus that is designed to make you feel more energised and increase blood flow by increasing heart rate.
Typical pre-workouts contain anywhere from 100-300 milligrams of caffeine which is up to 3 times a cup of coffee.
Short term the side effects aren’t known to be dangerous, as you continue to use it more long term it can have more serious effects on the cardiovascular system.
The body has a natural response to anticipating intense physical activities, very similar to nerves where the heart rate increases and blood begins to rush around the body faster. Because this is a natural response already there isn’t anything different and magical that the product does, it only amplifies the response through the use of caffeine.
This becomes more of a risk with as mentioned earlier long term use, incorrect use and use at a young age.
Everyone’s responses are slightly different, especially depending on your usual caffeine intake.
If you are thinking of trying it and you don’t usually have caffeine, start with a coffee before training or an energy drink, that will have the same effect and will be a way to ease into the body’s response.
An overload of caffeine that the body is not used to will not help your training. It will start to overpower your nervous system and you won’t be able to focus. It will also effect your sleep and is likely to make you irritable
Last note when looking into using pre-workout, the recommended dosage isn’t a starting point you can start however small you like and it will most likely be enough of a dose to see a difference especially for those that don’t intake caffeine regularly.
Use sometime or occasionally with caution. Monitor how it effects your sleep.