Most people know that supplements can definitely help our lifestyles, regardless to how active or stressful they are. The Modern world is running faster and faster, and our biological abilities could always use some rest and recuperation time (I mean hey, we sleep about 1/3 of our lives, while computers and programs run 24/7... we are already outclassed).
But where to start? Either because of budget or lack of information, I had the hardest times trying to figure out which supplements I should be taking or prioritizing. Thankfully, I have gone through all the hard work and schooling so none of us ever have to do it again! lol unless you want to of course, its pretty cool stuff.
ANYWAY I have 3 basic set ups that I like to mention to people when it comes to supplements. These are meant to make it easy to go out and get what you need and keep a steady supply without blowing the bank. The more and more you add however, will give you more top up boosts of various things your body needs to feel great!
Bundle #1 - Everyday Wellness
This is meant to be an easy, everyone should take this set. You'll see with each of them, But they function primarily to keep our major functions or moods in the best place for being present with new information.
Vitamin D3 - This is something you can through the vitamin D you naturally create from the sun. It helps you absorb calcium to keep your bones healthy as we age to ensure we don't feel those aches and pains until we are supposed to. Unfortunately, women tend to suffer from calcium deficiencies more often than men, due to their natural menstrual cycle. So especially during the winter and cloudy months, I recommend D3.
Omega 3 - this is an "essential fatty acid". It is what our brain uses as the best fuel possible (as it has over twice the amount of energy as carbohydrates!) These Have been shown to help provide a healthy life style to avoid heart disease! These have shown to also have mild effects of helping with certain types of arthritis. Once again. This is a daily boost for your brain in the healthier type of energy that keeps young ones learning and the rest of us sharp during the day.
General Multivitamin - Unless you eat perfectly (and I know you are out there! Good for you) you should probably be taking this as your main piece if comfort level or budget gets in the way. As we eat fast food, or heavily seasoned foods with salt, and the like, our bodies will eat through some of our stores faster than others. We do not live in a perfect world that will allow our bodies to function 100% of the time. SO a general multivitamin will help keep all your basic essentials in place! this way you know you are getting the iron, magnesium, potassium, etc. that your muscles and nerves need to fire, your heart needs to regulate, and so on and so on.
Bundle #2 - Destress & Unwind
This Bundle is looking toward helping replenish your body so it can continue to to handle itself when your life, or time in your life even, often has you in the higher limits of your stress levels. Things like the chemical Cortisol, which is released by your body to tell the body to get ready for stress, for increased blood pressure, for increased nutrient consumption, things like this. When we run out of cortisol, Our body doesn't know to be read, and thats when damage occurs, and stress starts affecting our health.
Vitamin C - is fantastic for immune boosting. When you are experiencing adrenal fatigue (generalized tiredness, depression, emotionally stunted) Your body will not have the sufficient sources for keeping your immune system operational (and in this day and age, that's pretty important!) I think we all understand that we need this! =D
Zinc - this is helpful in athletic performance as well, so It will receive an honourable later too. For stress related reasons, zinc can be taken daily in a low dose to help with immunity. Our White blood cells, (macrophages to be exact) actually need zinc to function properly to protect us from foreign invaders!
One piece of advice for you though, if you are taking it over the long term in amounts of about 50mg a day or more, you might consider taking a copper supplement as well as it will deplete it over time with high use.
B Complex - there are 8 different B vitamins (numbered B1 - B12), they all support the body from Blood to DNA. Specifically, Numbers 1,2,3,6 & 12 all have a support role in the nervous system. Being that the nervous system has a large effect on our response to stress, this is where we want our focus of any B complex to be on B1, B2, B3, B6, & B12
Chlorophyll - I picked up this awesome tip while I worked at a Chiropractic office! I drank this in my water, But you can also get in pill form if you choose. Chlorophyll primarily acts as a detoxification and energy boost. It helps pull toxins of our everyday diets and stress that builds up "free-radicals" (another topic for another time) in our body. While we have the natural ability to get rid of some of these free radicals over time, powerful antioxidants like Chlorophyll help take up the mantel and let our body replenish its natural stores to rebalance itself.
Bundle # 3 - Athletic Performance
This Bundle is aimed towards not just helping you build mass and strength etc. It is also set up to help keep you body strong and resilient to training and everyday wear and tear. So While I would love to talk about BCAA's, we will save that for another time) Right now we are focused on keeping our body fully fuelled and prepared for what we will do with it.
Collagen - Collagen is a natural substance in our body, found in our tendons and ligaments. It is the tough half of these structures (the stretchy half is called elastin), and when it comes to athleticism, it is what we stress with every life, sprint, pull. In order to strengthen ourselves, we need to put stress on these structures. Now to get fascial strength and body tension, you will need to injure these structures to encourage mass, but if you do want mass and raw power, then you will want to supplement this in to ensure that your tendons are strong enough to hold up against your muscles!
Arginine - Arginine is more focused on keep your blood circulation tiptop both during and outside of performance activities. Outside of a workout, Arginine is used to promote generalized cardiac health, and promote blood flow. This in turn helps makes sure that your body is saturated with all the nutrients it needs because there is constantly a big fresh batch flowing by! Inside out a workout, It functions to relax the blood vessels to optimize oxygen flow through the blood to your muscles, as well as reduce overall blood pressure to keep your system safe while you push yourself.
Magnesium - This has a few uses throughout the body. It is also used to help produce a calm feeling during rest and sleep, but we will be talking about its properties towards muscles. I promotes healing for muscles tissues post work out, as well as get used up in a work out to produce energy! It is a very important aspect of athletic health. There is also some research out there about its ability to reduce the amount of lactic acid build up in muscles!
And lastly, Don't forget that Zinc! it will be an aid in cell growth and reproduction to help the healing process post workout!
Remember that all these supplements and bundles are just ways to categorize and makes sense of them. You will know your life better than anyone who hasn't spent five years with you. I encourage you to figure out works best for you, and if you have any questions about what you should be taking, feel free to ask me in the comments!