As a coach I work with so many different dietary lifestyle choices…..vegan/vegetarians, athletes, those with dietary intolerances, and sometimes, people who just genuinely ‘don’t do vegetables’ – so to potentially help ‘gap-fill’ their daily nutritional requirements I provide them with suggestions of recommended supplements that could help to support the extra physical demands placed on the body during physical training programs and/or during a fat loss phase.
Product links (in the boxes below each title) are provided and take you directly to what I consider to be some of the best recommended supplements available, from the most reputable sources and at a reasonable cost.
You may personally feel that there are specific recommended supplements included in this list that may support your own daily activities or current potential gaps in nutrition or perhaps you would be interested in a personalised health plan – please do not hesitate to contact me HERE if you would like further help or advice.
Disclaimer: Please consult a doctor before taking any of the following recommended supplements – especially if you have any allergies or food aversions:
SUPPLEMENTATION RECOMMENDED FOR EXERCISE RECOVERY AND/OR INFLAMMATORY REDUCTION
OMEGA 3’S – INFLAMMATION/BRAIN FUNCTION
Essential for inflammatory reduction, neurological function, and for maintaining heart health.
Omega 3’s can be found in fish oils (I recommend that you choose high-quality, from a sustainable source, and including vitamin D3), flaxseed oil, primrose oil, chia oil and from the algae that fish feed on (which is actually the source of a fish’s own stores).
Evening Primrose Oil in particular contains GLA, a fatty acid with high antioxidant capacity. This component may also have a positive effect on hair, skin, nails and also hair loss caused by hormonal factors.
ZINC & MAGNESIUM – SLEEP ENHANCING
Zinc supports your immune system and muscles. Magnesium plays a role in metabolism and muscle health and helps manage sleep. B6 may boost energy. ZMA makers claim that increasing these three nutrients in your system can build muscle strength and stamina, speed muscle recovery, and improve the quality of your sleep
ZMA (zinc/magnesium) for recovery and this particular recommended supplement combination also aids restless legs and helps promote sleep (I suggest you take this at night only – as it can have a mild sedative effect).
PROTEIN POWDERS – MUSCLE MAINTENANCE/GROWTH, AND FOR PHYSICAL RECOVERY
VEGAN PROTEIN POWDERS:
(For baking-lovers, I specifically recommend using soy and pumpkin powders to increase protein content)
Protein is required for cellular recovery throughout the body and helps to keep you fuller for longer.
Plant-based or whey protein powder is beneficial for those who struggle to meet their daily protein requirements and are fantastic for additional protein support when training, or perhaps if you are lactose intolerant and struggle to digest dairy products – they also help support muscle building and reduce muscle wastage (especially during a fat loss phase).
Protein powders can also be added to baking to enhance nutritional value. I personally suggest using Soya, Whey, Pumpkin or Brown Rice protein powder as it is the easiest to bake with and is easy to hide in smoothies etc, brown rice also has a really great fibre content (great for supporting digestion and keeping you fuller for longer) and is the closest amino acid profile to mothers milk of all the protein powders available.
It is important to choose a good brand – for example sprouted organic brown rice powder which is the highest in nutritional value. If you are not keen on the taste then you can try pumpkin protein, a vegan blend, or soya protein which is a ‘complete protein’ and all have a host of health benefits.
CREATINE – SUPPORTS MUSCLE ENERGY & LEAN MUSCLE GROWTH
Creatine is a fantastic and highly reputed supplement and is particularly important for elderly, children and vegetarians/vegans as muscle begins to reduce with age, children are growing fast, and vegans/vegetarians do not consume the animal products in which you can find this.
Creatine has been proven to improve strength, increase lean muscle mass, and help muscles recover more quickly during exercise. This muscular boost may help athletes achieve bursts of speed and energy, especially during short bouts of high-intensity activities such as weight lifting or sprinting.
BCAA’S – INTRAWORKOUT/FOR THOSE WHO DON’T EAT BEFORE TRAINING
BCAA’s (branch chain amino acids) – the only time these would really be needed would be during any training sessions that you attend without having had a meal that day. As they prevent muscle wastage by providing your body with the nutrients it needs to support training in order for your body to not produce hormones that will start to break down muscle fibres. Otherwise – you can just drink water!
RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT, GUT HEALTH & DIETARY SUPPORT
VITAMINS – IMMUNE SUPPORT AND GOOD HEALTH
Multivitamins. A great way to cover any potential gaps in nutrition. I recommend purchasing with one that has iron and calcium included and you can purchase these in an effervescent form if you prefer not to take capsules or tablets and like to jazz up water.
B vitamins play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. As the building blocks of a healthy body, they have a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism. A Vitamin B complex helps prevent infections and helps support or promote cell health.
B vitamins are found in highest abundance in meat – therefore deficiency of these vitamins is a legitimate concern for vegans and vegetarians. Some are also found in small quantities in whole unprocessed carbohydrate based foods.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. This recommended supplement can also be sourced in effervescent form.
PROBIOTICS – GUT HEALTH/REGULARITY/SEROTONIN PRODUCTION
Did you know that 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut? that makes your gut health incredibly important to overall happiness and wellbeing. Probiotics, (particularly if you have ever taken a course of antibiotics which kills off not only bacterial infections but ALSO the healthy bacteria that produce happy hormones and transport vital nutrients from your food into your system) would help to replace the gut bacteria killed during the antibiotic course – a reduction in friendly gut bacteria could be preventing lots of the nutrition in your food from being absorbed into your bloodstream and can affect everything from general health to mental health. For these reasons I rate probiotics very highly on my list of recommended supplements.
VITAMIN D3 & K2 – ESSENTIAL FOR MOOD REGULATION/THOSE WHO LIVE IN LESS SUNNY CLIMATES
Vitamin D3 10,000 IDU coupled with Vitamin K2 – this is for during winter months to support the lack of sunshine we get in the UK.
POTASSIUM – REDUCES CORTISOL LEVELS
Potassium – supports muscle recovery and also for helping to reduce cortisol (the stress hormones) levels.
PSYLLIUM HUSK – SUPPORTS STOOL SIZE FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE TO ‘GO’ OR TO EAT ENOUGH FIBRE
Psyllium is a bulk forming natural laxative. It works by increasing stool size and helping relieve constipation
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR – DIGESTION/ACID REFLUX/BLOATING
Apple cider vinegar:
- is a natural laxative and it can improve digestion;
- lowers blood sugar levels;
- improves insulin sensitivity;
- increases satiety and helps people to lose weight;
- reduces belly fat;
- lowers cholesterol;
- lowers blood pressure and improves heart health
……and on top of that can be used to treat acid reflux. Have one LARGE glass of water when you wake up, on an empty stomach, with a cap-full in it OR alternatively mix it with balsamic vinegar to create a great salad dressing (TIP: pop it in a spray bottle). Also, well known to help reduce bloating.
GREENS DRINK – FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE TO EAT ENOUGH VEGETABLES VARIETY
Greens powders may enhance overall wellness, support immune function and can help reduce chronic disease risk, increase energy and support detoxification.
The green’s drink I recommend has been actually used by mountaineers who take on the mighty Everest! They don’t have vegetables available to support their nutritional needs on their long hikes and so this product has been said to be invaluable to their mission.
BERRY POWDER – ANTIOXIDANT BOOST AND GREAT FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE TO EAT ENOUGH FRUIT
Berry powders are a perfect way to supplement any diet, especially for those who frequently travel or who have a busy lifestyle. Although dehydrated, powders contain the same vitamins and minerals as their fresh and frozen counterparts. They are convenient, versatile, and available all-year-round.
Berry powders are made from the skin of the fruit, which contains a large number of polyphenol compounds. These are excellent dietary antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables. Juice-pressed powders also include seeds, which are a good source of fatty acids.
MACA POWDER – HORMONE AND ENERGY BOOSTING
Fantastic in smoothies and on oats – This root powder may enhance libido in men and women, improve hormonal balance, and reduce menopausal symptoms.
B12 FLAKES – ESPECIALLY FOR VEGANS/VEGETARIANS
B12 Flakes are yummy on salads, vegetables and as a low fat cheese substitute on so many different delicious meals! And this makes for a fantastic way to meet your B12 requirements.
If you’re not keen on the flakes then you can grab B12 in supplement form.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.
STEVIA/SWEETENERS – GREAT SUGAR ALTERNATIVE FOR THOSE WITH A SWEET TOOTH
A fab way to add sweetness to your drinks, meals and bakes! I recommend stevia and erythritol-based natural sweeteners only.
GREEN COFFEE CAPSULES – ENERGY/FOR THOSE WHO ARE CAFFEINE SENSITIVE
Green coffee – a natural and clean source of energy.
Research also suggests that the high levels of chlorogenic acid in green coffee helps the body to burn glucose and stored body fat, reduces the absorption of carbohydrates (lowering blood sugar and insulin spikes), and improves cholesterol. It is also a vasodilator which means that it increases the flow of blood to your body and brain which in turn will receive more oxygen – which can improve energy and focus.
This is coffee in its most natural and health-benefitting state and doesn’t produce the ‘jitters’ or simulate anxiety unlike normal coffee.
Whether you choose to include recommended supplements in your fitness routine or weight loss journey, it is completely up to you… If you’re confident that you already cover your nutritional bases within your own current diet then it is perfectly fine to train without recommended supplements, but certainly for those pushing hard, at athlete level, in a fat-loss phase, or with extra dietary requirements (age, dietary lifestyle choice/limitations etc) it is very important to be careful to maintain joint and overall health levels due to those extra physical demands.
Much fitness love,
COACH LAURA X