In my humble opinion, anyone who knows anything about health, fitness and nutrition will tell you that you should be getting EVERY nutrient you need from your daily FOOD intake.
The 3 macronutrients your body needs to function at optimum levels are:
Within those 3 categories, you’re going to get your:
- Essential amino acids from complete proteins in the form of red meat, white meat, fish and eggs.
- Fibre, vitamins and minerals from carbs in the form of fruit and veg.
- Essential fatty acids from fats in the form of nuts, seeds, and oils.
The most popular supplements on the market are:
- Protein powders (complete protein source to repair muscle)
- BCAA workout drinks/tablets (amino acids to feed muscle)
- Creatine (amino acids to saturate muscle and fuel energy systems)
- Fat burners and pre workout drinks/tablets (caffeine to fuel energy systems)
- Omega oils (essential fatty acids for heart health, brain health, joint health)
- Multivitamins (vitamins and minerals for overall health)
As you can see, all of the above SHOULD be coming from your daily food intake.
However, the reason a lot of fitness professionals take supplements is because they can help enhance training, encourage recovery and produce aesthetic results.
I personally will tell clients to avoid supplements if they aren’t THAT serious about their training.
I frequently get emails from people who do little to no training and are downing protein shakes every day…this is totally unnecessary! You only need protein shakes if you lift weights and tear muscle habitually. Even then, having one or two max a day is more than enough, and they should NEVER be used as a solo protein source.
Another fan favourite is the pre workout / fat burner. Again, if your diet and training isn’t 100% on point, why on earth are you popping fat burners? These supplements are usually taken pre training to add an extra surge of energy to your workout and increase the fat burning effects of said workout. Fat burners are not for the sedentary.
BCAAs and Creatine are great supplements for those trying to gain or maintain muscle mass. If this isn’t a goal of yours, definitely don’t bother.
Omega oils and multivitamins are the ONLY popular supplements that have a place in everyone’s diet. There’s actually no proof that multivits even work, but I take them when I’m feeling a bit run down and since I started doing so, I get ill a lot less. However, there is an argument that this is totally psychosomatic.
So, baring all the above in mind, I’m now going to talk about the 2 supplements I take:
Pre workout / fat burner
Before I start talking about Hella, I should probably flag that this IS my boyfriend’s product (which is how I came across it in the first place), but I am by no means pimping it for him. I started taking it a few months ago and it’s one of the best pre workout / fat burners I have come across.
The reason I like Hella is because it doesn’t make me feel shaky or sick like a lot of pre workouts do, it just focuses my training and makes it feel very energetic while I workout. This is probably because it’s 100% natural ingredients.
The fat burning effects are visible after a few weeks, which again is a rarity, and it’s tested to athletic standards which means it’s a supplement athletes are totally fine to take.
Have a look here if you’re interested: http://www.jhbodyfire.com/products.html
iSupp Whey Protein Powder
I’ve tried almost every protein out there and while there have been some great ones, iSupp has been my favourite for a long time now.
The quality, taste and range of their products ticks all the boxes for me, and their whey protein powder hits my sweet tooth when I’m struggling with the clean eats.
I take their standard Whey Protein Powder, making milkshakes or pancakes out of it on an almost daily basis.
Check them out here: http://www.i-supp.co.uk/collections/lean-muscle/products/whey-protein-shake