Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nutrition Education: Quality Supplements for Health and Recovery

*Print outs of all my Nutrition Education articles are available at Tough Country CrossFit for gym members.

It is recommended that you get most of your nutrients from Whole food sources.  That will be the base of your good nutrition. Supplementation is not only convenient, but good quality supplements can get you vital nutrients quickly to your muscle to promote faster recovery, increase strength and build lean muscle mass. Quality Supplements can fill in the gaps of your Whole Food Nutrition. 
Training puts wear and tear on your muscles, joints and bones and your body “uses up” nutrients during exercise.  It’s important to replenish those stores within 30 minutes after exercise.  Ideally Post Workout should include a lean protein source for muscle repair, a good carb source to replete glycogen (the carbohydrate stored in muscle tissue, which serves as a primary fuel source during exercise), a healthy fat source (for healing and circulation) and of course more fluid (to rehydrate). Drink a lot of water before, during and after exercise.   A pretty convenient way to get all these nutrients is with a Post Workout Protein Smoothie using a quality Whey Protein Supplement.

The Perfect Post Workout Smoothie
*1 or 2 frozen bananas
*1 Scoop Whey Protein Powder
*1 ½ cups Almond Milk (or other milk of your choice) or Water
*1 Tbs Nut butter of your choice (I prefer all natural Almond butter)
(Optional add-ins- Chia seeds, Cinnamon, gluten free oats, Greek yogurt, Avacado, Flaxseed, Spinach, berries, etc)
Blend until rich and creamy and then you will have an all-natural, protein rich smoothie that will optimally nourish your body quickly after a workout.
Look for a quality Whey Protein that is free from Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners and filler ingredients.  Stevia is the safe choice for a sweetened ingredient.
Listed are some other Supplements that will aide in recovery and your health.

 I personally use Vitamin Code raw (there is a men’s and women’s option)
*Why- This is a whole foods vitamin. All the ingredients are organic and from foods. Other vitamins have synthetic ingredients and this one is whole.

I like AST4500 pills. I just take the recommended doses for 30 minutes before and immediately after a work out. BCAA’s help with recovery.
*Why- I am not a fan of powdered drinks because of the added artificial sweeteners and possible other junk. Also BCAA's help prevent muscle breakdown or catabolism of the tissues. They also aid in recovery when sore.

Glutamine Powder
I like Allmax glutamine powder because it is pharmacy grade and it isn't flavored. I just add 5 grams post workout with my whey shake and that is all. 
*Why- Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and this one is huge in repairing damaged muscle tissues from resistance training. This one, I would say is more important than BCAA's and will aid much more in recovery.

EFA (Essential Fatty Acid)
I like Udo's 3-6-9 flaxseed oil OR New Chapter Wholemega fish pills. I usually take my Omega supplement 45 minutes before bed.
*Why- Fish pills and flaxseed oil have many heart health benefits. May lower blood pressure and may aid in better fat loss. These fats also help regulate proper hormone health and help keep you skin and hair nice and healthy.

Other Supplements include Vitamin D3 (most people are low on Vit. D), Vitamin C, etc. Probiotics are also great, they will help with digestion. There are many other supplements out there.  Start small and find what works for you using natural, quality supplements.
If you don’t take any supplements you will still get great results being consistent with Exercise and your Nutrition. You want to get the bulk of your nutrients from Whole food sources. Supplements can help you a long and also add convenience.

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