Supplements support your hard work in and out of the gym. While no supplement will work if you don’t, they can certainly bolster your health and fitness efforts. Here are my top eight supplements for living healthy & lean:
1. Vitamin C: It helps boost your immune system, is a powerful antioxidant and helps with muscle recovery. Lauren Jacobsen explains in 10 Recovery Supplements, “Vitamin C helps protect muscle cells from free radical damage brought on by a workout by acting as an antioxidant itself and by helping generate other antioxidants.” Recommended dosage is 500 milligams to 1,000 milligrams per day. Foods that are especially rich in vitamin C are parsley, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, lemon juice, papaya, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts.
2. Calcium: This mineral helps to strengthen bones, prevents muscles cramps and maximizes muscle contraction during training. Calcium may even help alleviate the symptoms of PMS. The recommended daily intake of calcium for a healthy adult is 1,000 milligrams. Good food sources of calcium are sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables, cheese, and yogurt.
3. Vitamin D: It’s an important coadjutant in calcium absorption, supports metabolism and helps protect against cancer, diabetes, strokes, flu and multiple sclerosis. When your body is exposed to sun, you naturally produce vitamin D. Ten – twenty minutes of sunlight a day is recommended, depending on your skin type. It is also recommended to supplement with 500 IU – 1000 IU per day.
4. Omega 3: Omegas are important for reducing inflammation, maintaining healthy joint function, increasing the body’s fat-burning ability and mood support. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with many health benefits, including protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. While there is not a consistent recommended daily dose, sources recommend 500 milligrams – 3 grams daily. Fatty and oily fish like salmon and mackerel and flaxseeds are good food sources of Omega 3s.
5. Zinc: This mineral boosts your immune system, supports hormonal system and is a powerful antioxidant. Ten milligrams to 20 milligrams is recommended daily. Some foods that have zinc are pumpkin, oysters, poultry and red meat.
6. Glutamine: It’s an anti-catabolic agent that helps to prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue. It also supports the immune system, is essential for the synthesis of glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) and helps to reduce inflammation and speed muscle recovery. For active individuals, 5-10 grams daily is recommended.
8. Magnesium: Magnesium is an essential mineral to the human body. It is needed for countless functions in the body including energy production. It is plays a critical role in forming ATP (the energy currency of the body). Women need about 300 milligrams to 500 milligrams of magnesium daily, from a supplement or food. Good sources of this mineral include whole grains and green, leafy veggies. Magnesium is often supplied in most calcium supplements as well.
A balance diet is the answer and the clue for a healthy life. These supplements and many others can help you to reach goals, but they won’t work you if don’t. Always consult your doctor before using a new supplement.
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