A common question I hear, whether it’s from clients or my social media fam, is knowing what supplements are actually worth taking. There are so many options, not just what supplements, but from different brands, and even for me, it can be really overwhelming to know what’s right.
The honest, yet equally frustrating response is: it depends.
It depends on what you’re actually in need of. You could find this out from bloodwork or simply trial and error if you have a decent amount of self awareness and are willing to track data.
Generally speaking, for my audience who’s reading this, these are the top 4 supplements I would likely encourage people to take, in no specific order. I’ve simplified this info, so we’re getting right to the point.
At the end, I include a link to save when you purchase these supplements.
Vita D can promote more sustainable long-term health, optimize body composition, supports a good immune system, reduce injury because it can support muscle strength and even ward off the likelihood of depression or other brain/mood disorders.
We can get the best quality (absorbable) vita D from the sun, but then we’re left wondering about UV ray protection, right? Regular SPF 15 use reduces vitamin D synthesis by 98 percent. You’re pretty much guaranteed to have low D unless you actively seek out daily sun exposure without sunglasses or sunscreen, again which we kind of don’t really want to do too much.
But first… Omega 3s or fish oil, what’s the difference? Omega 3 is a nutrient, where fish oil is one source of that nutrient. Omega 3 refers to omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). The three primary omega 3 fatty acids include alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Fish oil contains the essential fatty acids EPA and DHA, and these fatty acids can encourage better ‘cellular signaling.’ In a simple way that likely makes sense for you, think of it like it can signal your body to use its energy stores better (fats vs carbs.)
It can help inflammation, which can support stress control and better hormone balance. Fish oil has a very high thermic effect, triggering the body to burn more calories following digestion. And it’s good for your brain health too!
Zinc is in every tissue in the body and is directly involved with our hormones. High performance athletes can really benefit from zinc support. It’s in plenty of foods we consume like beef and fortified cereals. Adequate zinc in our bodies can help with more regulated HDL and LDL cholesterol, which is like the ‘main hormone’ that can flow into all other hormones.
Creatine is super popular with gym’ers because it helps encourage muscle development. In a super simple term (and kind of fun) it’s like it prevents the ‘muscle-building potential door’ from being jammed. It’s not a floodgate to getting swole, but it can supplement alongside a good diet and appropriate muscle-building training program.
The body makes its own creatine, but not at levels that maximize muscle growth, so using a supplement makes sense. You can get creatine from meat, but it’s difficult to get as much through food as you would from a supplement. And if you don’t much/any meat, creatine can be even more beneficial. More recent research actually shows benefits to cognition and depression.
Important mention: multivitamin
I know there’s a lot of wonder around multivitamins as they seem to ‘cover all the bases’ and I can agree with that. The issue is that there are so many varieties and a lot of the ingredient doses aren’t anywhere near beneficial. I find more often than not, the multis are a waste of money.
You can get all these from Canadian Protein. Use my superstar athlete affiliate link to support me (thank you!) and to snag an added discount to your order. Link here: https://canadianprotein.com?ref=454
Supplementation is going to beneficial when you have your nutrition and training locked in and consistent. Let our coaches at Courtney For Life Coaching evaluate your lifestyle and create your map for success. Connect with our team > courtneyforlife.com/coaching. Let us meet you where you are, regardless of your lifestyle, and develop systems that truly work for your goals and sustainable success.