The 3rd Secret in our 7 part series – “7 Secrets To A New Body” is the secret of supplementation. A nutritional supplement is something that is often taken by individuals to enhance their diets. It can include vitamins, minerals, fiber and/or protein among other additives. It is important to remember that “supplement” means in addition to and not in lieu of. Therefore, if you are sitting around all day not moving and eating poorly and you expect a supplement to be your saving grace, you would surely be fooling yourself!
Secret #3 Supplementation On the other hand, if you’re doing all the right things, exercising, eating right, a supplement could make a significant difference in your life. If and when we do choose to supplement for our health, it is extremely important that we research and talk with our Dr. to understand exactly what we are putting into our bodies and how it might be affecting our bodies. Just as supplements can have tremendous benefits for individuals, if taken in the wrong quantities or form, they can also be toxic.
The following is a list of a few talked about supplements on the market. If any of them strike an interest, I encourage you to get curious and do more research in addition to speaking with your health care professional to see if any of these supplements might be right for you.
1) BCAA’s: If you take whey protein which contains BCAA’s after you workout, it will actually help you recover more easily. BCAA’s the essential branch chained amino acid are of special importance for fitness enthusiasts because they are metabolized in the muscle rather than in the liver. After digestion, once protein is broken down into individual amino acids, the amino acids can either be used to build new proteins or be burned as fuel to produce energy.
2) Basic Multivitamin/Mineral: Some Dr’s say that it only makes expensive urine, but I like to think of it as an insurance policy. If we all lived in a perfect world with no stress and no Twinkies or fast food then we wouldn’t need this little extra insurance. But the sad fact is that I don’t know even one person who lives in this perfect world. We are all exposed to stress and sweets and all of us are susceptible at some point. For normal adults taking a multivitamin for general health purposes, conventional medicine and government authorities recommend that a multivitamin should contain 100% DRI – Dietary Reference Intake or less for each ingredient. You can find the DRI chart at USDA.gov 3) Flax and Omega 3: Omega 3 is of particular importance because we already get a lot of omega 6 and 9 in many of the foods we eat in our daily diet. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of cardiovascular disease in addition to a number of other health benefits such as joint pain relief. If you don’t already eat a variety of (preferably fatty) fish at least twice a week or include oils and foods rich in alpha-linolenic acid (flaxseed, canola and soybean oils; flaxseed and walnuts) then Omega 3 supplementation might be something to look into. 4) Arnica Montana : Arnica is a homeopathic medicine and is often used for sprains, bruises, muscle aches, physical and emotional shock and for long term consequences of trauma . It is often used for reducing bruising after surgery or muscle soreness after a workout. A topical preparation of A. montana has been shown to be as effective as the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the hands. 5) Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): CLA has been the subject of a variety of research in the past several years, in regards to the news that the natural dietary supplement reduces body fat in people who are overweight. Findings also suggest that some of the other benefits of CLA include: increased metabolic rate, decreased abdominal fat, enhanced muscle growth, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, reduced food-induced allergic reactions, enhanced immune system. If you're interested in taking CLA to help with weight loss, keep in mind that it's not a magic pill, and you will need to start a program of diet and exercise in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off. 6) Glutamine: Glutamine is an amino acid that can help reduce muscle wasting after a very strenuous workout. In catabolic states of injury and illness, GLN becomes conditionally-essential (requiring intake from food or supplements). Glutamine has been studied extensively over the past 10-15 years and has been shown to be useful in treatment of serious illnesses, injury, trauma, burns, cancer and its treatment related side-effects as well as in wound healing for postoperative patients. That is why it is now also classified as a "nutraceutical". Glutamine is also marketed as a supplement used for muscle growth in weightlifting, body building, endurance and other spots.
7) Milk thistle: Milk thistle is an herb that has been reported to have protective effects on the liver and to improve its function. It is typically used to treat liver cirrhosis, hepatitis (liver inflammation), and gall bladder disorders. Besides benefits for liver disease, treatment claims include: Lower cholesterol levels, reduced insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes. Reduced growth of certain cancer cells. Milk thistle can also be found as an ingredient in some energy drinks.
8) Spirulina: Spirulina is the common name for human and animal food supplements produced primarily from two species of cyanobacteria (also known as blue-green algae). Spirulina is cultivated around the world, and is used as a human dietary supplement, available in tablet, flake, and powder form. Spirulina contains unusually high amounts of protein, between 55 and 77% by dry weight. Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, vitamin C and E. In clinical trials, Spirulina is effective for the clinical improvement of melanosis and keratosis due to chronic arsenic poisoning. It’s also been shown to improve weight-gain and correct anemia in both HIV-infected and HIV-negative undernourished children.
9) Acidophilus: Acidophilus is a general name for a group of probiotics, which occurs naturally in some yogurts and other traditional foods can also be taken as a supplement if you don’t like yogurt. When you fast or cleanse, you get rid of bad bacteria but you also get rid of good bacteria. If you don’t replace it back with the good bacteria/flora you could experience poor health. Make sure to keep Acidophilus supplements refrigerated.