Updated: Oct 25, 2019
The traditional reason for use of dietary supplements is to provide the body with nutrients that might not be supplied adequately by a person’s typical diet.
People take supplements for a variety of reasons. Some take them to help prevent or treat a specific health problem. Others take dietary supplements in hopes of enhancing physical or mental performance, altering body composition, stimulating metabolism, controlling appetite, or slowing or reversing age-related changes in body structure and function.
The use of dietary supplements that contain a broad spectrum of micronutrients (in low to moderate doses) can be especially beneficial for individuals consuming diets that do not meet their needs for all nutrients.
Primary reasons for taking dietary supplements:
Low-energy weight loss diet
Low-energy diet in elderly
Chronic disease prevention
Special needs such as pregnancy and lactation
Extreme activity demands
Enhance recovery from exercise
Maintain normal immune function
Before or after surgery
Therapeutic nutrition for specific health problems
Post bariatric surgery nutrition
Drug-induced increase in nutrient need (e.g., ibuprofen increases folate need)
Do I have to take supplements when I’m working out?
Taking supplements can be helpful especially if you are working really hard and have a regimented diet. There are times when you cannot achieve all your nutrients and a good enriched supplement will ensure your body is receiving all it needs to function properly.
Which supplements should I take?
It would be very important to see your physician for supplement advice. Most likely your physician will order blood work to make sure you don’t have any deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, and if you do, recommend the proper amount for your needs. Many times we are unaware of why we are lethargic, slow, feel run down, or don’t have the energy, you could have something going on internally that can only be determined through blood work.
What if I can’t afford supplements should I still work out?
Yes! You can get amazing benefits from working out. When you include eating balanced nutritious foods, getting good rest, allowing for personal time and taking a break from stress, you will bring significant improvements to your overall health and fitness goals.
I want to build muscles and my physician says I have the OK to get started, what's next?
The most common and essential stack of supplements for those who are interested in weight training are:
Provides essential vitamins or mineral to supplement for what could be lost during workouts and or diet restrictions. Make sure you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Protein (100% Whey Hydrolyzed Isolate post work-out)
Choose the highest quality isolated protein designed for the hardest working athletes. 100% Whey ISO-100 Hydrolyzed will repair torn muscle fibers and has everything your body needs to build and maintain muscles effectively.
BCAA (Branch chain amino acids)
BCAA supplements are great for anyone who works out in the gym almost every day and wants to preserve lean muscle while preventing catabolism. Protein is what supplies the building blocks necessary to repair and build muscle tissue after your workout is complete.
Creatine is a natural substance that turns into creatine phosphate in the body. Creatinephosphate helps make a substance called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP provides the energy for muscle contractions.
Omega 3 oil There are many benefits of fish oil. Compared to omega-3s, omega-6s are more strongly associated with inflammation. Fish oil supplementation consistently results in lower levels of inflammation. High levels of inflammation can counteract some of exercise’s positive effects on insulin sensitivity and other metabolic benefits. If inflammation remains elevated after exercise, this can negatively impact muscle soreness, tissue repair and other aspects of recovery. Omega-3 fats have also been shown to augment blood flow to muscles during exercise, decrease muscle soreness by 35%, reduce swelling, and increase range of motion after damaging exercise.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. Besides promoting muscle growth and inhibiting muscle breakdown, it provides a host of health benefits that include improved cardiovascular, immune and eye health, as well as cancer prevention.
Pre-workout (contains high percentage of caffeine)
Whatever form it comes in, drink, spray, gum or pill, all pre-workout supplements are designed to enhance performance. The benefits can include increased energy, buffering of lactic acid in the blood, improved endurance and an overall better work output.