When I meet people who don’t I’m a trainer and nutrition coach the first question they generally ask is what the best exercise or what do I think of (fill in the blank diet or workout plan.)
My answer is always the same: “Depends, what is the end result you are trying to achieve?” If someone is trying to put on muscle and get bigger, their workout and nutrition plan is going to look VERY different then someone who is trying to lose 50 pounds in the next 4-6 months!
Supplementing is the same way. Depending on what your goals are, and the end result you want, supplement plans should be as customized as your workout and nutrition plan.
Our goal at Fuse Fitness Coaching is to give you one area of nutritional focus each week in hopes that you can slowly start to change behaviors that will lead to you hitting your health and fitness goals. Last week we talked about the importance of getting 9-11 servings of vegetables a day. So, what if you didn’t master that in one week? Unless you have unbelievable self-control, tons of time to plan and are quick to adapt, you’re probably like most of us and changing habits takes time!
If you are not getting all the vegetables (9-11) and getting all the different colors of vegetables, all the servings of protein (like fish) you should be, and the variety of healthy fats in your diet chances are you have some nutritional gaps. Gaps that could be leading to you not feeling like you have a ton of energy, or leading to weight gain or are leading to plateaus in your fat loss and muscle building efforts.
I get asked all the time “should I use supplements” and nutritional gaps is one of the reasons I take and recommend supplements.
Supplementation with a high quality multi-vitamin and omega-3 fish oil is your insurance or back up plan for when you don’t eat perfectly every day.
Our bodies’ cells perform thousands of reactions every day. For these reactions to take place correctly, we need sufficient vitamins and minerals. While foods provide many of these nutrients, especially vegetables, fruit, animal proteins, nuts and seeds, some of us simply don’t get enough in their diet. Even those who do get the recommended servings of vegetables and fruit may not achieve the levels of vitamins and minerals they once would have. Conventional and commercial farming methods and the chemical changes to food production in the last few decades have significantly changed the nutrient value of the produce we eat.
Because of current farming methods several studies have shown that an orange today has about 90% less vitamin C then 20 years ago. The following is a quote from a US Senate Document from 1936!
“The alarming fact is that foods – fruits, vegetables and grains – now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed nutrients, are starving us – no matter how much we eat of them.”
Unfortunately, the nutrients in our foods are nowhere near what they used to be. Look at this quote from a Senate document all the way back in 1936! Even then, the government knew there was an issue with how we were stripping the land of its nutrients. That’s why a multivitamin is so important and one the few core supplements every person in the population should be taking.
A high-quality supplement like Advocare’s MNS includes the vitamins and mineral your body needs and omega 3 fish oil.
The reason omega 3 fish oils are so important is that low-level chronic inflammation is a significant contributor to heart disease. Inflammation can also make it VERY hard to lose weight. One way we increase the level of inflammation in our bodies is through our diet. Many of the oils we consume, such as vegetables oils and fat from conventionally farmed animal proteins contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, some of which contribute to inflammation. Because omega-3 fatty acids found in fish reduce inflammation and are harder to come by, their supplementation is recommended to maintain a healthy balance. Omega-3 fatty acids have been in the news for the past several years, and the evidence shows that these are also critical for a properly-functioning metabolism.
The other reason I supplement is convenience. If you’ve been training at Fuse Fitness Coaching you know that protein is essential to build lean body mass and the more LBM you have the more fat you burn when you are NOT working out! Foods like eggs, chicken, beef, lean pork, fish, bison, venison, etc. are all great sources of protein.
However, like many of you I work (yes, I love doing it!) and sometimes training individuals and groups for up to 8 to 10 hours straight. Eating a chicken breast and broccoli while I spot you doing a deep squat (is there any other kind?) is not only dangerous it’s also pretty rude on my part. That’s where a meal replacement shake can help bridge the gap until I have a break in my day.
I wanted to also highlight a couple of my personal favorites when it comes to supplements I take and recommend beyond MNS and Omega Plex:
One of my favorite supplements is Catalyst which is a Brach Chain Amino Acid (BCAA). BCAA’s not only help prevent muscle breakdown they help increase the rate of protein absorption which helps us build muscle which helps us burn more fat! Even if we are eating lots of protein and veggies (or should be) there are other factors that affect absorption including water and fiber intake, sleep, stress, timing, gut health, etc. BCAA’s help to prevent muscle breakdown, help us build muscle and help us burn fat and that’s a good thing!
My other favorite is Mass Impact which is a creatine-based pre-workout supplement that helps increase endurance and aids in building muscle. With creatine as a key ingredient, Mass Impact helps maintain ATP levels for cellular energy and promotes muscle mass, volume and strength. The powerful ingredient Sustamine supports re-hydration, energy replenishment and muscle recovery. Other amino acids help to optimize fat cell and muscle tissue interactions to support lean body mass.
I take and recommend Mass Impact with Spark (an amino acid supplement with caffeine equivalent to one cup of cup) before each workout.
Supplementation can be a touchy subject for some but I wanted to explain why I recommend some supplementation for all my friends, family and clients and depending on YOUR goals and dietary habits there could be some gaps that are preventing you from maximizing your workouts.
Here at Fuse Fitness Coaching we carry all of these great Advocare products on hand. However, if you’d like to receive 20% click here.