Talk to your doctor if you’re taking any of these
- anti seizure and migraine medication
- anti fungal medications
- Nefazodone (with antidepressants it depends a lot on the kind and brand)
- HIV medications
- Respiratory medications
- 13 hours ago
- 13 hours ago
- 13 hours ago
A handy guide to some common and very useful supplements! Remember that supplements will not replace a balanced diet and moderate, healthy lifestyle - they only serve to boost potential in lifestyle habits that are already in place. As always, please exercise caution and common sense when considering use of any of these!
- Whey protein. Whey is a quick-absorbing, low carb protein that’s best used after a workout. Drinking a simple whey protein shake provides quick nutrients to the muscles for optimal recovery and strength gains. However, whey does not provide complete post-workout nutrition - be sure to eat a balanced meal within two hours! Pro tip: No need to get too fancy or expensive. A tub of basic 100% whey - just regular old protein - is highly effective and relatively affordable. It comes in a wide variety of flavors and can also be used in recipes.
- Casein protein. Casein is a type of protein that takes much longer for the body to digest, so it is best used before a recovery period when not much food will be consumed, such as before sleep. Pro tip: If you’re aiming to make strength and muscle gains, drink a casein shake before bedtime so your muscles have something to chew on while you rest.
- Soy protein. It’s fairly easy to find soy protein powder in nutrition shops and grocery stores these days. Soy protein powder is an adequate substitute for vegetarians, vegans, and people with dairy allergies. It also naturally contains more vitamins and minerals than dairy proteins, and studies suggest it may have a greater anti-catabolic effect than whey.
- Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s). BCAA’s are comprised of essential amino’s, the “building blocks” of protein. The more BCAA’s that are present in muscles, the more resistant the muscles are to breaking down (catabolizing) during exercise and daily life. Although all proteins contain BCAA’s, supplementing with isolated BCAA’s can have a huge effect on muscle retention/gain, body composition, and muscle recovery time. Pro tip: All BCAA supplements taste terrible. The best ones taste strongly bitter; the worst ones taste like cat pee. Invest in decent-quality unflavored BCAA’s for minimal disgustingness and add your own flavoring, like lemonade powder or those Powerade squeezy flavor bottles.
- Creatine monohydrate. Creatine is an amino acid that increases the body’s ability to generate energy and promotes gains of muscle tissue by allowing the body to quickly handle more and more weight. Creatine monohydrate is the most commonly used type of creatine supplement, as it is very cheap and has been proven to be the most effective in terms of fitness gains. Pro tip: Creatine monohydrate tends to be gritty and somewhat insoluble. It is most palatable mixed with thicker liquid like milk or a protein shake.
- Creatine HCL. HCL and other “modified” forms of creatine have not been proven to be more effective than monohydrate, and many forms appear to be far less effective. However, creatine HCL is highly water-soluble and mixes well with no grittiness for a more pleasant experience. Pro tip: I prefer to use monohydrate in my protein shake on lifting days, and a lemonade flavored HCL on my cardio or rest days.
- Pre-workout supplements. Pre-workouts come in a wide range of flavors, and the active ingredient varies widely between products. Some of the most common active ingredients are beta-alanine, l-arginine, glycerol, taurine, and caffeine. Pre-workout supplements work to boost energy levels, prime muscles for hard work, increase mental alertness, and help muscles get a full, effective contraction on each rep. Pro tip: For use in strength workouts only; do not take immediately before cardio. Try to get samples before investing in a larger quantity as different products affect people in different ways. Start with a low dosage.
- CLA (omega-6). Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is an omega-6 fatty acid (“good fat”) that can gradually improve body composition in healthy and active people. CLA improves the body’s calorie partitioning abilities, meaning that a greater percentage of a dietary caloric surplus will be turned into muscle vs. turned into fat. Over time, this effect translates to more lean mass and less stored fat. CLA is found in foods such as grass-fed beef, lean turkey, and some dairy, but higher doses are generally needed to alter body composition.
- CoQ10 and ubiquinol. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an antioxidant made by the body that is used in energy production. Levels of CoQ10 in the body can be raised by taking supplements, and many active people and athletes see an improvement in performance and energy levels after supplementing with CoQ10. It is also beneficial to the immune system and in treating high blood pressure. Ubiquinol is a form of CoQ10 thought to be “more biologically viable” (better absorption in the body). Pro tip: CoQ10 is expensive, so be wary of dosage recommendations. 100-200mg daily should be more than sufficient. Multiple smaller doses tend to be more effective than one large dose (i.e. 50mg three times daily).
- Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. These are all compounds commonly found in OTC arthritis medications, but they can have a highly beneficial effect on active people, particularly runners. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM work to strengthen and alleviate inflammation in cartilage/connective tissue and can work very well in relieving joint pain/swelling due to high-impact activity.
General health supplements:
- Multivitamins. A good multivitamin is a cost-effective way to fill in small nutritional gaps where vitamins and minerals are lacking a bit - particularly iron, calcium, and Vitamin A. Again, no need to get fancy. The basic ones like Centrum or the economy-size generic bottles work just as well. Pro tip: Many of the nutrients in a multivitamin are not water soluble, meaning they must be consumed with food and healthy fats to be absorbed into the body. Make a habit of taking your multivitamin after dinner, instead of in the morning washed down with coffee.
- Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s are beneficial fatty acids that promote heart health by lowering blood triglyceride levels. Taking omega-3 also improves metabolism, decreases effects of aging, and improves nutrient absorption. The two most common types available OTC are fish oil and flaxseed oil.
- B-12 or B complex. Most people get enough B-12 from their diet. Animal foods contain high levels of B-12. However, vegetarians and vegans often experience B-12 deficiencies simply due to the lack or decreased amount of animal products in their diets. A B-12 deficiency can cause mood swings, low energy, weight fluctuation, irregular appetite, and can contribute to clinical depression. Taking a B-12 supplement or a B complex (contains other B vitamins for good measure) can help improve energy levels and stabilize the mood. Pro tip: You will pee a crazy neon yellow color. This is normal.
- Vitamin D3. Our bodies naturally produce Vitamin D3, but require natural sunlight to effectively do so. Low levels of D3 in the body cause depression, moodiness, and a lack of energy. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs seasonally due to the sunlight changing angles, therefore causing lower and lower D3 levels in the body. If you feel a strange and persistent depression at the same time every year, you may be experiencing SAD. Vitamin D3 supplements may alleviate some of these symptoms. Pro tip: D3 is fat soluble, NOT water soluble. Take D3 after a balanced meal, and/or with an omega-3 supplement to ensure absorption. Increase dosage slowly.
- Fiber. Fiber is the part of food that the body can’t break down and absorb as nutrients. It affects the way your body processes nutrients and regulates the digestive system. If you have trouble pooping, you probably need more fiber. Most people can get adequate amounts of fiber through a healthy diet containing whole grains, nuts, beans, fruits and veggies. But for those who need a little extra, fiber supplements can be a big help.
- Green tea. Green tea contains tons of powerful antioxidants that fight cancer, reduce the effects of aging, promote fat loss, raise energy levels, improve neural function, and remove toxins from the body. Pro tip: You can buy green tea extract, but a box of green tea bags is obviously going to be a fraction of the price and less processed besides. Might as well just hydrate yourself with a mug of tea.
- Caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that improves mental alertness and memory function. It has also been shown to promote fat loss and mood stability; lower risk of cancer, stroke, diabetes, and dementia; and slightly increase longevity. Caffeine is best taken in low to moderate doses (such as, a cup of coffee), as too much caffeine will cause jitters, nausea, heartburn, restlessness, and will quickly develop a chemical dependency. Pro tip: Energy drinks are full of chemicals, artificial sweeteners, and non-food ingredients. When considering caffeine for health benefits, stick to coffee and tea.
- Zinc. Zinc turns your immune system into Superman by boosting your T cell function and antibody production.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C is extremely important for nutrient absorption and bolstering the immune system. Most people easily get enough Vitamin C in their daily diets, but often take C supplements during winter and cold season. Pro tip: Take Vitamin C and zinc together to fortify yourself against nasty travel and crowd-related illnesses, such as the dreaded Con Flu.
- Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates sleep cycles. Low dosages of melatonin may help people who experience irregular sleep. It is a natural substance, not a traditional sleep aid, and it does not work for everyone. Pro tip: If you are going to take melatonin, make sure you have adequate time to sleep fully. If you take melatonin when you have to be up in 4 hours, you are probably going to feel kind of gross and out of sorts.
If you’ve got any more that you think should be added, drop me an ask and we’ll talk!
(via alittlebitofpcos)Source: thedragonflywarrior
- 13 hours ago
- 14 hours ago
Source: celiacandthecitySince a lot of people I love have been experiencing gut problems recently, I’ve begun compiling a list of some things that help me during times of intense gastrointestinal pain and discomfort, such as accidental “glutenings.” Be sure to check brand-specific ingredients…
- 14 hours ago
- 14 hours ago
"The bracelet is infused with elements sourced from the highest and lowest points on Earth. The white ball, carrying water from Mt. Everest, and the black ball, holding mud from the Dead Sea, exist on opposite ends. A string of clear beads link the two, signifying that throughout life’s circular journey, your path is your own."
(via alittlebitofpcos)Source: trentaicedcoffee
- 14 hours ago
FitsMe is a new website to completely customize your meal plan, and find recipes that fit your specific diet, restrictions and allergies, all the while sharing with you some of your favorite cuisines. It records your food preferences and finds you recipes that you can eat and enjoy. It’s free, you just sign up with your email to make a profile, and get started! FitsMe is all about discovering recipes that fit you.
The company has stated on their blog:
Our mission is to encourage people to be more conscious of what they eat. We believe that health — especially preventative health — is becoming a huge concern for nearly every demographic and that the food we ingest on a daily basis is the most significant factor.
By making the process of finding recipes and planning out meals as convenient as possible, we hope to be at the forefront of recommended tools for leading a healthier life.
As always, when it comes to allergies and restrictions, just be sure to double check the ingredients, and you can always alter the recipe to your dietary needs.