By Frank Hoyle, CPT, EIM Ambassador. Frank is currently performing his internship with Conca Sport and Fitness.

In part 1 of Should You Take Supplements  I made sure you’re going to have to have the following in order:

1.) Eating the right amount of macronutrients (fats, protein, carbs) to reach your goals, whether that be fat loss, strength gains, return to play etc. This will coincide with

2.) Making sure you are training correctly.

3.) Addressed what we call Tier 1 supplements and core nutrition

In part 2 we are going to address Tier 2 supplements and how they can assist in your recovery and performance.

Tier 2 supplements consist of Protein, Greens supplementation and Pro-biotics.

  1. Protein Powder – Now most of us have heard of protein powder before. It’s that stuff in big tubs that gets you strong and sexy, right?  Maybe maybe not.

I consider protein powder a valuable product to supplement with, however, let’s see if it’s right for you. Protein supplements are typically used in conjunction with a proper diet. Using protein powder when you are under eating or deficient in overall protein intake will help. A lot of people tend to lean towards supplements for simple things that they could just get from an adjustment or increase their diet alone. However, life gets busy and whole food consumption isn’t always necessary and practical.

Protein powder by itself will not create muscle or make you look better. That comes with effort and a great workout program . All the protein supplement is doing is helping you get closer or to the right amount of amino acids your body (muscles) need to help recovery.  Protein consumption also helps sustain your appetite and increases the thermic effect from food.  This is when your body has to use a good deal of energy (calories) to breakdown the molecular structure of food.

How much do you need?  Most nutritionists will agree that between 1-1.5 grams of protein / kg of body weight would be adequate for someone who is actively exercising.  Obviously less if you were sedentary.

Now there are two different types of protein powder

Whey: faster releasing protein – ideal for post workout nutrition

Casein: slower releasing protein – ideal for nighttime or middle of the day

If you are someone who trains and goes right to work, school etc. and have little time to sit and eat a meal, let alone make one, then protein powder can be a great helper to have in your gym bag. make sure it’s a post workout mix for better absorption and not just straight whey.  If you only have access to regular whey, then have a banana or an apple for some carbohydrates.

2.) Greens Product – these are veggies, fruits, algaes and/or grasses that have been distilled and compacted into a powder form. Some nutrient rich foods that tend to be in a greens product can include barley grass, wheat grass, spirulina, chlorella, alfalfa, herbs, vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

These supplements can function as a serving of fruits and vegetables and will contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients. This can help augment a diet that is low in fruits & veggies.

Greens help you hit those nutrient needs that you would usually get from fruits & veggies. You still want to eat plenty of raw fruits and veggies but if you they are not in season or you simply don’t like the texture and taste, this product is for you.

3.) Probiotic – Here are some highlights on why probiotics should be a stable in anyones diet:

Healthy cholesterol. Researchers are working on several theories to uncover the mechanisms behind the ability of probiotics to reduce cholesterol and as a result, help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fight off depression and anxiety. Two probiotic strains, L. helveticus and B. longum, have been effective in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression in people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression.

Combat diabetes.  Some studies suggest the intestinal environment has a significant impact on key factors of diabetes, including insulin resistance, inflammation, and body weight. The healthier you can make your gut and maintain a positive bacterial balance the better.  A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition, for example, found that probiotic supplementation was effective in preventing diet-induced insulin resistance in adults.

Stronger immune system function. Some probiotic strains have been shown to boost immune function and help prevent and ward off common colds, flu and infections, . Research  reviews and meta-analysis, the reported that children and adults with acute respiratory tract infections, use of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, compared with placebo, was associated with fewer days of sickness, fewer number of days of illness per person, and fewer days missed from school or work. 

A lean, healthy body. Some strains of probiotics have been associated with shedding excess fat. Specifically, use of Lactobacillus gasseri resulted in a loss of 8.5 percent of belly fat mass over a three-month period in one study of more than 200 individuals.

Combined with the correct diet, sleep and exercise routine, proper supplementation can help take your fitness and health to a whole new level.

If you need some guidance or a jumpstart in your nutrition and exercise program you can lean on us.

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