Essential supplements, what exactly are they? To some people, walking into a supplement store is like walking into a sweet shop. They get blinded by the fancy names and colourful labels. But how much of what’s on the shelves do you really need?
In this article we look at what are the most essential supplements with a brief insight as to why you need them. If you fall into the anti-supplement camp, this one may be an eye opener for you.
Essential Supplements – Daily
Fish oil comes highest on list because it has so many health benefits. From increased cognitive function, improving insulin sensitivity and protecting the joints, fish oil is a great all rounder. For a small relative cost, fish oil can increase your life expectancy, decrease risk or heart disease and metabolic disorders all while keeping your supple.
Dose: 3-5g of combined EPA/DHA per day. If you don’t want to spend all day taking capsules, I recommend you get the highest dose per capsule possible.
Multi – Vitamin
In last weeks article, we touched on why a good multi-vitamin would be considered a part of the essential supplements stack in the modern world. If you missed that article, you can find it here. Multi-vitamins are a great way just to cover your bases. While we’d love it if you could get all of your vitamins and minerals from natural food sources – its just not possible. You’d have to eat several kilos of fruit and veg a day just to come close.
Dose: Follow label instructions. Not all multi-vitamins are created equal. Some may be 1 a day, some may be 4 a day. Both of the best profile multi-vitamins I’ve ever come across were 6 a day. The best of the bunch will also have different capsules for the morning and evening. Something to keep an eye out for.
D3 is actually classed as a hormone – because it is used by every cell in the body. This essential hormone is something that our bodies can make naturally providing we get enough sunshine on a daily basis. However, from experience, we know that most people aren’t getting anywhere near enough. Vitamin D3 has been shown to increase protein synthesis, protect against stress and also is a potent mood enhancer.
Dose: A research recommended dose is 5,000iu a day, whereas most supplement labels will list 400iu as the RDA. Make sure you get D3 that comes in a liquid capsule form along with a fat such as coconut oil or olive oil. As D3 is fat soluble, it will need a fat carrier for it to be absorbed efficiently.
Did you know that Magnesium is involved in over 300 different functions in the human body? It is definitely an essential supplement. Magnesium is also one of the most rapidly depleted minerals in the body, with anything from, exercise, stress, too much sugar/glucose all being responsible for draining this key mineral.
Dose: Magnesium, like many other supplements come in various forms, so it’s key your go for a supplement that comes from a trusted brand. A good starting dose is 400mg after training and another 400mg with dinner, everyday without fail. You may have to pay a little more for a quality supplement and pay attention to reviews to see that other reviewers are saying.
This list isn’t extensive by any means, nor is it complete. Depending on your own individual health and ailments, you may need a lot more things, but it’s very likely that you’d need less.