So you’re a couple of weeks into the LIV Health and Fitness challenge or maybe you’re someone who is just looking to further dial in your nutrition? On top of all the other things you’re working on; prepping meals, drinking all your water, and getting enough sleep there’s the supplementation game.
A good supplement regimen can help to augment all of the other things you’ve been working on. The world of supplements can be confusing. . .
What supplements should I take?
How much should I take?
When should I take what?
The health and fitness challenge guide does a great job of listing a few key supplements you may want to be utilizing based on your goals. (See chart below) What I hope to clear up for you is when and how to take your supplements to optimize the benefits of each. I’ll give you a quick rundown of some of the supplements listed, followed by an example of what a typical day might look like. To wrap it all up I’ll throw out a few tips that might make getting all your supplements in throughout your day a little easier.
Fish Oil: Fish oil is a great way to supplement omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are a healthy fat that most of don’t consume enough of in our diet. It is best to take fish oil with full meal to aid in absorption and to avoid any digestive stress.
Protein: A protein shake is often the most convenient way to make sure your body is getting the necessary nutrients to start the recovery process immediately post workout. A good goal is to get a protein shake in within 30 minutes of your workout if you won’t be able to fit in a whole meal.
Zinc and Magnesium: Together Zinc and Magnesium are an awesome combination that can help improve the quality of your sleep and recovery. As someone who often has trouble sleeping taking a Zinc and Magnesium supplement before bed has drastically improved my sleep.
B-Vitamins: B-Vitamins as a whole play key roles in the metabolism processes of the body. Benefits of B-Vitamins can include increased energy, fat burning, and mood support. B-Vitamins, like many other vitamins should be taken with a full meal.
Vitamin-D: Vitamin-D can widely be considered one of the most important vitamins our bodies use. Vitamin-D plays a role in countless processes that we need to survive including hormone production, bone formation, and fat burning to name a few. Vitamin-D should also be consumed with a full meal whenever possible.
Creatine: Creatine is a widely used supplement that can help promote explosive strength as well as lean muscle mass. Most research shows that there is no key timing involved when taking a creatine supplement.
BCAAs: Branch chain amino acids commonly known as BCAAs are a group of amino acids that help promote muscle building in the body. BCAA’s can be taken pre-workout, intra-workout or between meals to help facilitate muscle building when we aren’t consuming whole foods.
Beta Alanine: Beta Alanine is an amino acid that can help increase muscle contractions as well as regulate Ph within the muscle. As with creatine, most research shows that there is no specific time in which you need to take beta alanine. However many people like to take it preworkout as it is a vasodilator (opens blood vessels) and increases blood flow and therefore oxygen while training. This is the one that may give you a slight tingling sensation.
Caffeine: As we all know caffeine is likely the world’s favorite stimulant. It comes as no surprise that many people utilize the energy boost effects as the primary ingredient of many pre-workout formulas. As a sports performance supplement caffeine has been shown to increase overall performance.
Now that we have an idea of all of the supplements and when they should be taken individually we have a new question. What does it look like all put together on a day to day basis? Below i’ve listed out a hypothetical supplement schedule based on all the descriptions above. Remember not everyone would/should be taking all of these supplements, it all comes down to each individual’s goals.
Fish Oil, Vitamin-D, B-Vitamins
Beta Alanine, Caffeine, BCAAs
With or After Dinner:
Fish Oil, Magnesium, Zinc
We’re all human and can be forgetful and maybe even a little lazy sometimes. Let’s be honest none of us want to devote any more time than we have to for our supplement regiment. In closing i’ll leave you with a few tips to hopefully help make your life a little easier when it comes to getting in your supplements everyday.
1)Get some form of a pill box. When it comes to vitamins, minerals, and fish oil you can end up with a lot of pills. Having all your pills prepped and organized for the week in one box can save a lot of time and help you remember to take them.
2)Prepare any pre or post workout shakes you plan on taking prior to getting to your workout just as you would prep meals for the day. Not fumbling around with scoops of various powders immediately before or after your workout can free up valuable time for a proper warm-up or cool down.
3)Don’t stress it. It’s not the end of the world if you miss taking one serving of fish oil or you take your protein shake at the 32 minute mark. Just like with eating healthy meals or doing skill work in the gym, the value of supplements is the sum of tiny benefits that build up over time through consistency, which then become the bigger changes we’re striving for.
4)Refer back to the more detailed section on supplements in the Health and Fitness Challenge guide. If you have any further questions feel free to ask your primary coach or any of the other great coaches around the gym.