Today, there are so many different powders, pills, drinks, and gummies that are available on the market all claiming to boost performance or do something to help you feel better. There is also a plethora of information online, some good and some not so good about these products so selecting the correct supplements to fuel your workouts and recovery can be very challenging and financially overwhelming. Here are my general recommendations for supplementation for functional fitness purposes.
Before consuming any new products consult your physician and always read the label and do your own research. To start things simply, I would first recommend athletes take a daily Multivitamin. This may not seem like a groundbreaking idea but even athletes who have a diverse diet of whole foods may be missing some key nutrients that can be provided by a Multivitamin that will help fend off disease and aid in all other bodily functions like muscle repair or proper sleep.
The next supplement that I recommend is Whey Protein. This supplement has been around for decades and simply acts as a dietary supplement to help add additional protein to your diet. Additional protein can help with muscle recovery and muscle gain so for athletes trying to get more weight on the bar or meat on their bones, this is something to consider.
Now that we have our protein and vitamins covered, let’s talk about Fish Oil. Fish Oil can be found in either pill or liquid form: liquid form is generally purer, but the pills are a little easier to get down. Fish Oil supplementation is designed to help boost your omega 3 fatty acids to help balance out omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acid ratios in your body. Basically, omega 6 is inflammatory and these are found in most western diet dishes such as beef and chicken while omega 3 is anti-inflammatory and is typically found in fish. While this supplement would not be necessary for anyone eating large amounts of seafood and limited amounts of beef, most of us tend to lean on the other side of the fence which causes a high omega 6 to omega 3 ratios resulting in an inflammatory diet --- possibly leading to excessive soreness or a host of other issues. Taking Fish Oil supplements daily helps to even out this ratio and keep your body happy and healthy with limited inflammation.
The last supplement I would like to discuss is Creatine. Creatine comes in a couple of different forms and has been around for decades which also makes it one of the most highly researched supplements on the market today. Generally, creatine has been seen to cause a slight increase in power output as well as muscle size and tone. This old-school supplement can be good for anyone trying to gain a competitive advantage in their sport or at the gym.
So, there it is. Multivitamins, Whey Protein, Fish Oil, and Creatine are the four supplements that I recommend if you are trying to step up your game. Keep in mind: supplementation will not fix a poor diet nor will it replace hard work inside the gym. These products are merely that extra 1% that can help you go a little further when you are already crushing the WODs and eating whole foods. Remember to always consult your doctor and do your own research before taking any supplements.
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