I am frequently asked “what supplements do you recommend?” or “what supplements do you take?”. There are 4 supplements I use consistently everyday. I have used each for at least 3 years. Before we get into what they are, and why I use them, let’s get some caveats out of the way.
First, a supplement should be considered just that, supplemental to your already solid daily nutrition. They’re bonuses. Supplements may absolutely be a part of a nutrition plan. The strong preference is to get as much fuel as possible from real food though. We don’t want to major in the minors, spending more time choosing powders and pills, than meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Next, sort of piggybacking off the first point, supplements are not magic. They will not alone resolve energy, recovery, or other performance issues. Anything that seems too good to be true probably is. The magic is in good nutrition habits, exercise, and sleep.
By the way, if you need a hand with your nutrition routine, click here to schedule a consult with us.
Third, I am not a doctor. Consult with a physician if you have any questions whatsoever before taking a new supplement.
Finally, this is not an advertisement for any of the brands linked below. The products are linked, so you can see exactly what I take, and what I’m talking about.
Alright, now that that’s taken care of, onto the 4 supplements I use everyday, and why I use them!
1. Fish Oil
I’ve been using fish oil to help with recovery since 2009, and currently take 2 per day. Although I’ve tried higher quality brands, I stick with this one due to the high amount of EPA and DHA (omega-3s) in each pill. The higher quality fish oils are usually more expensive, and require more pills per day to get a similar level of omega-3s. When trying the pricier options with fewer omega-3s I usually notice my joints (elbows, wrists, knees) are achy between workouts. The bottom line is I feel fish oil helps me recover more quickly, and therefore train harder to get the most out of each workout.
2. Vitamin D
I’ve been taking supplemental vitamin D since 2014. I originally began using it to help with seasonal affective disorder, and still take 2 pills each day during the darker, colder months. If you’ve seen me, you know I’m probably not going to spend a lot of time in the sun. At least not without some serious sunblock, or being well covered. So I continue to take 1 vitamin D pill in the warm, sunny months too. I later learned vitamin D is beneficial for recovery, as well as immune system function. More good reasons to supplement with this micronutrient.
This is the brand name for an immune system support supplement produced by Onnit. I was long looking for something like this to keep me going with no days off, especially with a couple of kiddos in school. Well, since 2018 this has done the trick. I’ve taken 2 capsules of this blend of mushrooms and herbs almost daily. When we’re out of cold and flu season I usually cut back to 1 capsule, or don’t take it at all. I’ve been legitimately sick twice in the last 3 plus years!
I’ve been using creatine since 2017 or ’18. Nothing fancy, just a teaspoon of unflavored powder in my morning coffee. Like most, I use it to help my weightlifting performance. Creatine works within the phosphagen energy system, the one primarily responsible for short, explosive movements, like a broad jump, or a power clean. While supplementing with creatine I feel like I am able to better maintain my power output throughout a training session. It apparently has cognitive benefits as well. I do feel pretty sharp after I take it, but that could be the coffee (caffeine) talking.
This list is only what I use. A one-of-one study, if you will. Use it as a jumping off point to build a plan to reach your goals. If you need a hand, please book an appointment, and let us know how we can help you.