My boot camp and personal training clients have inspired me to write this article today. I get lots of questions asking about supplements – which ones to take, when to take them, what brand to buy etc etc.
The world of supplements is a mine field, but I’m hoping by the time you have read through the content I will have cleared up all of your questions.
At the end of the article I will show and tell you which supplements I personally take and why I take them. Plus I will show you a picture of inside my knee!!! (sounds a bit random I know haha, but keep reading)
If you make every effort to eat the right things, it’s certainly possible to maintain a healthy diet through food alone, but sometimes supplements can help. If you’re taking on a serious training programme or find yourself short of cooking time – or both – supplements are a simple and convenient way to get all the nutrients you need to build a strong, lean body.
Like I said earlier, buying supplements can be baffling because there are so many to choose from. I have added my top 8 below. That’s not to say you need to go out and buy all 8 supplements though! Read through each one and work out which ones you may benefit from.
1. Whey Protein – When taken in conjunction with a good nutrition and exercise programme whey protein helps you gain lean
muscle mass. Here is a simple equation to why it works…
More lean muscle mass = Increased metabolism = More fat burned!
Ladies, don’t worry, you’re not going to look like Jodie Marsh after a couple of protein shakes. Over time it will make you look leaner but it will never make you look like a body builder!!!
Plus, whey protein helps speed up recovery after those tough sessions. To get the best results, drink a protein shake as soon as possible after a workout to start the recovery process straight away.
Whey protein comes in a powder form and can be mixed with water or milk to make a protein shake. It can also be added to smoothies and juices if you want extra flavour.
I recommend Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein.
I could go into a lot more detail about protein but Im trying to keep this short and to the point. However, if you want to learn more you can download my free e-book ‘Your Guide To Buying The Right Protein Supplement’. http://eastcoast-fitness.com/e-books/
2. Matcha Green Tea
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1999) found that green tea can increase thermogenesis by 35-43% and thermogenesis is one way of raising your daily energy expenditure. So, drinking green tea can increase thermogenesis, which in turn can increase your daily energy expenditure (i.e. burning more calories).
Also, a study in 2008 found that green tea ingestion ‘can increase fat oxidation during moderate intensity exercise’ So, if you are planning a little workout, why not try taking a shot of matcha half an hour before.
I recommend Teapigs Matcha Green Tea.
G-Low Fitness Academy is an official stockist of Teapigs. I have a couple of these left in stock. If you would like some drop me an email and I will get it sent out to you asap.
3. Krill Oil
Krill oil is oil from a tiny, shrimp-like animal. Baleen whales, mantas, and whale sharks eat primarily krill. In Norwegian, the word “krill” means “whale food.” People extract the oil from krill, place it in capsules, and use it for medicine.
Krill oil is packed full of omega 3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s sourced from krill are more effective than fish oil in combating some metabolic symptoms, including raised fat levels in the heart and liver and violent mood swings.
In a recent study researchers found that both fish-sourced and krill-sourced omega-3 fats are effective in reducing fat levels, but krill is more effective.
The researchers found that, when parameters associated with obesity were considered, krill oil reduced rat heart fat levels by 42 percent, compared to 2 percent for fish oils.
In the liver, a 60 percent reduction was observed for krill, 38 percent for fish oil. Fat build up in the liver can lead to insulin insensitivity and cause type 2 diabetes.
4. Multi Vitamin
I always recommend taking a multivitamin with added minerals for extra nutrient support. Specific minerals such as iron, selenium and zinc help to facilitate weight loss by waking up and nourishing the thyroid gland.
You could also consider CoQ10, a vitamin-like compound that aids in the production of 95 percent of the body’s energy, and is also a thermogenic, meaning it increases metabolism causing the body to burn fat faster. Thermogenic supplements are intended (and taken) specifically to increase your metabolism, which helps you burn fat and sugar. CoQ10 has been clinically proven in studies to help burn calories faster.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a natural hormone produced by the body when exposed to sunlight or acquired through diet and supplementation. Its shown to play a critical role in increasing the metabolic energy of fat cells faster weight loss benefits.
New scientific research on Vitamin D revealed its natural ability to make fat cells become more metabolically active for quicker weight loss and better toxic waste elimination.
As well as its weight loss benefits, its also known to help support a healthy bone structure and aid in several health challenges like
- targets belly fat first
- turns body into fat burning mode instead of fat storing mode
- high blood pressure
- helps form stronger bones to fight osteoporosis
- helps protect against different cancers
- boosts natural immune system
- reduces inflammation & joint stiffness
- effects the ‘i’m full to brain’ leptin hormone
Found in meats, nuts and seafood, zinc is a mineral that is required for enzymatic reactions and proper immune function in the body. Zinc is a mineral that is required for enzymatic reactions and proper immune function in the body.
Research suggests that zinc boosts fat-burning hormones leptin and thyroid, which help induce fat loss.
Magnesium and the B-complex vitamins are energy nutrients: they activate enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Lack of these necessary energy nutrients causes improper utilization of food, leading to such far-ranging symptoms as hypoglycemia, anxiety, and obesity.
Food craving and overeating can be simply a desire to continue eating past fullness because the body is, in fact, craving nutrients that are missing from processed food. You continue to eat empty calories that pack on the pounds but get you no further ahead in your nutrient requirements.
Magnesium is also necessary in the chemical reaction that allows insulin to usher glucose into cells, where glucose is involved in making energy for the body. If there is not enough magnesium to do this job, both insulin and glucose become elevated. The excess glucose gets stored as fat and contributes to obesity. Having excess insulin puts you on the road toward diabetes.
The connection between stress and obesity cannot be overlooked. The stress chemical cortisol signals a metabolic shutdown that makes losing weight almost impossible. It’s as if the body feels it is under an attack such that it must hoard all its resources, including fat stores, and won’t let go of them under any inducement. Magnesium can effectively neutralize the effects of stress.
8. Flaxseed Oil
A high content of good Omega 3 fatty acids is the important fact related to weight loss and flax.
Flaxseed contains 42 percent of oil, out of which 70 percent is polyunsaturated fat that is essential for your health –our body cannot make it on it’s own and needs a nutritious source in order to be healthy.
It is the healthy Omega 3 fats found in what we eat, ie Flax Omega 3, that tell our brain we are full and that we don’t need to eat for a while.
You could eat low fat foods all day long on a special diet and STILL not feel full! How frustrating! (for you and for your body!)
Flax is essential as it contains Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats that help you REALLY feel full!
Ok, so they are my top 8 supplements for weight loss. Some of them may not be for you, so it’s important that you do more research into each of them before you decide on which ones you take.
Here are the 5 supplements I take
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100 % Whey Protein.
I have 1 protein shake every day after a workout, It helps me gain lean muscle mass and it helps speed up my recovery after those hard sessions.
Omega 3 Krill Oil (Holland & Barrett)
I take my krill oil every morining to get the essential omega 3 fatty acids my body needs.
Glucosamine Sulphate (Boots)
This one isn’t on the list above because it doesn’t really affect weight loss. I take it because it helps strengthen my joints.
In 2005 my football career was cut short due to a knee injury. I shattered my knee cap playing football and I had to have reconstructive surgery on my knee. In short detail, they had to detach my quadriceps muscles from below my knee cap and peel the muscle back so they could remove the shattered pieces of bone. The surgeon said that a quarter of my knee cap was shattered into little bits like rice crispies. Once they removed the shattered bit they then had reattach my muscle using pins. Nice eh?
Anyway, after the operation I was told that it was highly likely that I would get arthritis in my knee when I was older. So in order to combat that I have taken Glucosamine Sulphate ever since. Here’s why…
Glucosamine is used to help the body to repair damaged joints and this process can be slowed down by a lack of glucosamine in the joints.
Many scientific studies have shown that glucosamine improves joint pain and medically-approved measures of severity of osteoarthritis. The results of studies conducted between 1980 and 2002 were pooled, standardised and reviewed in 2003. The conclusion drawn was that glucosamine is effective for the relief of osteoarthritic symptoms both in terms of symptom relief e.g. pain and in improving the structure of joints.
If you have joint aches and pains this supplement could help.
Oh, and here’s the picture I promised you of inside my knee. This is when they were removing the rice crispies 🙂
Energise Effervescent – (Asda)
This is a multivitamin like berocca. I get Asda’s own brand because it is cheaper and you get more in the packet, and the ingredients are EXACTLY the same!
Energise effervescent contains vitamin B and C and essential minerals. The magnesium and B vitamins help you release your energy and offer a healthy way to stay on top form. Its free from caffeine, sugar and artificial stimulants.
Matcha Green Tea
I have matcha with my mid morning smoothie. I mix together some frozen berries, fresh fruit, natural yougurt and one serving of Matcha. It gives me a great boost when I most need it.
I hope this has given you a little more of an insight into supplements. If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask. Head over to my facebook page to ask any questions.