90% of people don't get the recommended amount of important nutrients from food alone. Most of us fail to meet dietary recommendations due to strict dieting, poor appetite, or changing nutritional needs. Supplementation is intended to bridge the nutritional gap, so that we maintain the proper balance of nutrients from food and supplementation. This will enhance the nutrient density of your diet and make sure you are obtaining the right amount of nutrients tailored to your dietary needs.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION
As you probably know, the body gets its energy first and foremost from the food you eat. If you have ever binge-ate a bunch of junk food, you have probably noticed that you do not exactly feel like getting up and going for a run – your body needs quality fats, carbohydrates, and protein to help give you energy.
B-complex vitamins play a key role in transforming the food you eat into the energy that powers your workouts. B-vitamins help convert dietary energy into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the form of energy your body uses.
OTHER WAYS TO MAINTAIN YOUR ENERGY
Make sure you are getting enough natural sunlight: Natural sunlight is the strongest factor that affects the circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle. Found in the brain, the pineal gland processes information regarding natural light and darkness, then relays that information to the body through melatonin. Melatonin – the hormone that promotes sleep – is released naturally as sunlight lessens later in the day.
Limit your caffeine intake: Although it is tempting to reach for that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon, the jolt of energy caffeine gives you could lead to a crash once it wears off leaving you feeling more tired than before. Try drinking a glass of water instead.
Start the day with protein: Protein-rich foods in the morning can help to keep you energized throughout the day. Start your day with eggs, oatmeal, or a protein shake.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR JOINTS
Often, people do not think about their joints until they are experiencing discomfort. But being proactive in caring for your joints will ensure that you can continue doing the activities you love and enjoy.
Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, is well-known for its antioxidant properties that could help support joints. Paying attention to the absorption and bioavailability of curcumin – the ease with which the ingredient can reach the bloodstream and circulate in the body – is especially important, as curcumin typically has limited absorption and bioavailability because of low solubility in water. Limited bioavailability makes it more difficult for your body to make use of the good stuff.
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUR JOINTS
Warm-up before exercise: Warming up before exercising gets your blood pumping and warms up your joints, which helps prevent injury. Dynamic stretches or low-impact exercises like cycling are a great way to warm-up.
Eat a balanced diet: Maintaining a healthy diet is key to maintaining happy joints. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, flaxseed, salmon or other fatty fish, can help to regulate the production of signaling molecules that can affect your joints.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR MUSCLES
Even if your main fitness goal is not to gain a lot of muscle, it is still important to look after the health of your muscles. You have more than 600 muscles in your body, and proper care prevents them from tearing or getting strained. Strong muscles also help keep your joints in place.
Protein is one of the most important supplements for muscle growth. Increased protein intake contributes to greater strength and muscle mass gain when coupled with resistance training and allows for greater muscle mass preservation when you are not working out and a nutritious diet.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP YOUR MUSCLES
Stretching after your workout: Although it can be tempting to just flop onto the couch after exercising, stretching is one of the most important parts of physical activity. Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Without stretching, muscles become short and tight, inhibiting your range of motion.
Stay hydrated: Water provides essential electrolytes that are necessary for muscle growth and strength. When you exercise, your body uses more water than usual, so be sure to keep the H2O flowing.
Mindful breathing: When doing resistance exercises or strenuous physical activity, do not forget to focus on breathing. A rule of thumb is to exhale during the most challenging part of the movement and inhale during the easier portion. For example, if you are doing a push up, you inhale as you go down and exhale as you go up. Mindful breathing helps to ensure that your muscles are getting the oxygen they need to work optimally.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR BONE HEALTH
Building strong bones is extremely important. In addition to help building strong bones, it becomes equally as important to maintain their health over time. Thankfully, there are supplements that can help maintain bone strength and keep you doing the physical activity you enjoy.
CALCIUM & MAGNESIUM
Calcium is a mineral found in many foods. Almost all the body’s calcium is contained in bones and teeth, where it supports their structure and hardness. As you age, the efficiency of your calcium absorption from your digestive tract may decrease. You will usually find magnesium in calcium supplements because magnesium plays a role in the regulation of calcium transport and is essential for bone mineralization.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP BUILD AND MAINTAIN STRONG BONES
Get enough vitamin D: Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, plays a key role in helping your body absorb calcium. The sun is the primary source of vitamin D, but taking a vitamin D supplement is also a great option – especially during the colder winter months.
Eat lots of vegetables: Vegetables provide many of the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain strong bones. They are also a great source of vitamin C, which may help support collagen formation that contributes to joint and bone flexibility.