A Girl's Guide to Supplements
Updated: Apr 13, 2018
The industry of Supplements is a BILLION dollar industry. BILLION.
If there are so many great products out there to help us lose weight, why is there still an obesity epidemic in America?
It could be because the industry is not regulated. Companies are not held to any standard of what actually goes IN these products OR what they claim they can do.
There is alot of false advertising going on. They're not just selling you some pills or shakes, but they're selling you a dream.
That's right. The majority of weight loss products are crap. A total waste of money. Yes, even those multi level marketing products your friends and family try to sell you constantly. Those especially!
Stay away from "wraps" and patches and pills that claim they will give you energy, boost your metabolism, and burn fat. WALK. AWAY. SLOWLY.
You do not need a product in order to get in shape. You're not missing any secret sauce or magic pill. What will get you to your goals is time, patience and consistency.
That being said, there are some worthwhile natural vitamins and products I recommend that will ASSIST you in reaching your goals. They will do NOTHING for you if you are not keeping a healthy diet and exercising daily. But if you are living a healthy, active lifestyle these products can give you a boost.
Some supplements can give you that extra edge to burn fat and gain lean muscle faster. These have been tested and studied over and over again, and have been shown to assist your body in running properly, like a well oiled machine!
You can get any of these from Target, Walmart or your local vitamin store. These are my favs, my recommendations to add to your nutrition plan to keep your body working optimally, all backed by real science.
Ok, I'm sorry, I just have to get this one out of the way real quick :)
Unless you're drinking enough water, your body cannot operate properly. It can't digest food well or transport nutrients where they need to be delivered.
Aim for a gallon a day and watch the endless benefits from shedding inches to smoothing wrinkles and cellulite. Before you do anything else, master your water intake first!
2. Whey or Plant Based Protein Powder
I recommend Dymatize iso 100 >>> CLICK HERE
I also recommend Orgain Plant Based Powder >>> CLICK HERE
This is top on my list of recommendations. Getting enough protein in every day is something so many women struggle with, and I always suggest getting at least 100 grams a day, especially if you're active or exercise regularly.
A good whey protein powder will have 25-30 grams of protein, no more than 2g sugar or so, no more than 4g carbs and no fat. Not only do I make shakes, but I'll toss a scoop of powder into my oatmeal or coffee when I need a quick 30 grams and don't have time to make food.
What is it: Whey is one of milk's 2 proteins (casein is the other, we will talk about that later) I prefer to buy the hydrolyzed whey, because it digests easier and I have some trouble with dairy in general.
What it does: Whey digests quickly, and it contains a lot of branched-chain amino acids which are critical to muscle growth. This is beneficial because it provides not only fuel for those muscles during workouts but also ensures that necessary aminos are present during and after workouts to begin to repair the damage caused by training. In short, it helps your body build lean muscle (which you want! The more you have, the higher your metabolism and the more tight and toned you look) and it also helps you recover from your workouts faster.
How to take it: Take one scoop of whey about 30min before a workout and within 30min after a workout. You can also take one scoop first thing in the morning or between meals as a snack. I like chocolate, but get vanilla if you want to be able to make any flavor by mixing it with fruit, yogurt, etc.
3. Green Tea Extract
I recommend Botanica >>>> CLICK HERE
What it is: The active ingredients in green tea, particularly the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate.
What it does: It blocks an enzyme that normally breaks down norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter/hormone related to adrenaline that increases metabolic rate and fat burning, keeping norepinephrine levels higher. Green tea extract also has been shown in studies to help support enhanced muscle recovery after intense workouts, as well as aid in supporting healthy joint function.
How to take it: Take about 500 mg of green tea extract 2-3 times daily before meals, with one dose about 30-60 minutes before workouts.
What it is: The world's most popular stimulant drug.
What it does: You already know it perks you up and improves focus, but it also has been found to support a boost in muscle strength, intensity and fat loss during workouts. And it works especially well when taken with green tea extract. Caffeine promotes an increase in the amount of fat that gets released from your fat cells. Meanwhile, green tea boosts metabolic rate, which is the way the body burns fat in the bloodstream. Taking these compounds together may just be the support necessary to ensure that the fat that caffeine has released will get burned up for energy.
How to take it: Take 100-300 milligrams of caffeine 1-2 times per day, with one dose 30-60 minutes before workouts.
5. Fish Oil
I recommend Optimum Nutrition >>> CLICK HERE
What it is: Fish oil contains two essential omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
What it does: Fish oil supports overall health, and (here's the big one) it also has been found to turn on genes that stimulate fat burning.
How to take it: Take 2g of fish oil three times daily, with breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What it does: A multivitamin/multimineral complex fills in all the nutritional gaps in your diet. And, although I suggest you supplement separately with calcium and vitamins B, C and D, you should still take a standard multi. Being deficient in many of these micronutrients can lead to low energy levels and restrict muscle growth, strength gains and fat loss.
How to take it: Look for a multi that provides a minimum of 100% of the daily value of C, D, E and most of the B-complex vitamins and at least 100% of zinc, copper and chromium. Take it once per day with a meal, such as breakfast.
I recommend Optimum Nutrition >>> CLICK HERE
What it is: An amino-acid-like compound that occurs naturally in muscle tissue.
What it does: Your muscles contain creatine, as do the meats you eat for dinner. Its job is, via some chemical exchanges, to create quick energy in cells. Taking supplemental creatine provides more potential energy, making your muscles work better for longer.
Whether you’re a runner, a cardio addict, a weightlifter… essentially no matter how you perform your workouts, creatine helps you perform them longer. The fact that you will be able to work out at an increased intensity also has implications for strength gains and fat burning. Creatine has also been linked with improved brain function and a reduction in LDL, or bad cholesterol, levels and homocysteine, which is a marker of inflammation.
How to take it: 2 to 5 grams before and after workouts, With pre and post workout shakes.
What it is: Calcium is an essential mineral.
What is does: Just about everyone knows that calcium is linked to bone health, but did you know that it's also required for muscle contraction? Without adequate calcium, muscles won't contract properly. And research suggests this mineral can also help spur fat loss. This may be because calcium decreases the amount of dietary fat that's absorbed by the intestines and suppresses a hormone called calcitriol, which is responsible for reducing fat burning.
Added benefit: Reduced PMS symptoms.
How to take it: Every woman should consume 1,000mg-1,200mg of calcium per day from food and supplements. Your best bet is to take it in at least two divided doses of no more than 400mg-600 mg each for enhanced absorption of calcium.
9. Vitamin D
What it is: The sunshine vitamin.
What it does: New research keeps coming; most of it supporting Vitamin D's ample health benefits. Vitamin D is associated with greater muscle strength - interacting with receptors on muscle fibers to activate genes that increase muscle strength and growth. As a plus, D may help support fat loss, especially when taken in conjunction with calcium.
How to take it: Take about 2,000 international units of vitamin D twice per day at the same time you take calcium.
10. Pre Workout Drink
I recommend Cellucor C4 >>> CLICK HERE
What it is: "Pre workout" drinks generally have things like caffeine and amino acids to give you energy, focus and a boost in strength before workouts.
What it does: The amino acids will support muscular endurance, so you are able to exercise longer before becoming fatigued. Green tea and caffeine is usually present to provide energy and focus, so you get that "mind muscle" connection when working out.
How to take it: I recommend C4 because I have tried many different pre workouts and this one doesn't make me feel weird or jittery. Many pre workouts can make your heart race, and make you question if there wasn't some crack cocaine in that powder! But C4 seems to give me, and my clients, a steady energy boost without the shakes. You can take it before every workout or, like me, just when you're not feeling like hitting the gym. On tired, lazy days this stuff gives me the boost I need.
I start with half a scoop, and if I don't feel anything I'll take a whole scoop. Pour it in a glass of water and mix, drink 15min before your workout.
I recommend Now Foods >>> CLICK HERE
What it is: L-Carnitine is involved in energy metabolism and mitochondrial protection. It is made in the body, but can also be consumed through food.
What it does: L-carnitine carries fatty acids from the blood into the mitochondria -- the energy producing "furnaces" in the cells -- so that they can be used as energy. If you want to use fat as a fuel as efficiently and effectively as possible, l-carnitine helps. L-carnitine also helps to improve endurance by inhibiting the build-up of lactic acid, one of the primary causes of fatigue.
In short, it makes sure the fatty acids in your blood are transported where they need to go so they can be burned as fuel, rather than stored. And it helps you workout longer, so you can burn more calories and build more muscle.
How to take it: Take 2-4g a day, preferably before and after workouts
12. Fruit and Greens Drink
I recommend Genuine Health >>> CLICK HERE
This one is easy. If you can't seem to get enough fruits and veggies in your diet, try mixing them up into a smoothie. If you can't seem to be consistent with that, get yourself a good fruit and veggie powder. I like Phytoform by Prime Nutrition. I just dump a scoop into a glass of water and chug it down quick to get my nutrients in for the day!
13. Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics
What they are and what they do: Digestive enzymes function like solvents that break foods down into the components that allow them to be absorbed and used by the body.
Probiotic bacteria are living organisms that live symbiotically with us. Their benefits mostly come from the byproducts they produce. These substances (e.g., lactic acid) favorably balance the digestive environment, inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, and promote overall health. We inherit probiotic gut bacteria from our mothers, and these microorganisms may be permanently lost as the result of antibiotic use or poor diet.
Which probiotic supplement should you take?
Check out this really great article >>>> HERE
How to take them: I recommend these as part of your daily vitamin routine because they're both essential for healthy digestion, and because both are involved in the breakdown of foods.... but I especially recommend them if you have trouble with bloating or digestive issues. Take a probiotic daily, and take your enzymes about 30min before a meal.