Top 10 Supplements for Athletes
If you’re looking for a supplement to improve your health, take note: No supplement can offer you the benefits of nutrient rich foods. That said, if you’re determined to add supplements to your diet, know how to choose those backed by science. Unfortunately, many of the 35,000 dietary supplements on the market are not. To help you, here are the top ten products you should consider.
#1: Multivitamin: According to recent research in the Journal of the American Medical Association, all adults should supplement with this staple. Don’t look for something fancy, your basic multi works just fine.
#2: Calcium: Most multivitamins don’t provide enough of this bone-building mineral. This is particularly important for women, who need it to prevent as osteoporosis as they get older.
#3: Folic Acid: This is important during childbearing years, as it reduces the risk of neural tube defects and as men and women age because it reduces levels of homocysteine, which when elevated has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Look for a multivitamin with the recommended daily allowance of (400 mcg) or consider taking a separate supplement.
#4: Meal Replacement Powder (MRP) and Meal Replacement Bars: Choose a healthy, low-fat MRP or bar over fast food. You can even find a few that taste great and offer an outstanding nutritional profile; look for both without hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (Labrada Lean Body Shakes and Clif and Luna Bars are personal favorites). Add some frozen fruit to the shakes and you’ve got a real powerhouse!
#5: Selenium: An essential mineral that may be a powerful antioxidant. Studies have demonstrated that a dose of 200 mcg per day may reduce total mortality from cancers.
#6: Fish oil: Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower lipid (blood fat) levels. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends eating fish a few times a week. You can also try having one to two grams of fish oil with food daily.
#7: Vitamin E: Since it is virtually impossible the higher doses recommended solely from food (unless you live on almonds and wheat germ). Look for pills that contain 200-400iu’s of mixed tocopherols (fancy word for vitamin E). Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant.
#8: Flax Oil: Like fish oil, this is an essential fat our body cannot produce by itself. Use it as salad dressing or in your favorite smoothie. Just remember, you can’t cook with flax oil or else your house will smell like the ocean and give your food a horrendous flavor.
#9: Whey Protein: Another potent antioxidant that subsequently may boost immunity. Since it’s quickly absorbed, it may help enhance recovery from a grueling workout.
#10:Vitamin C: While this is easy to consume because it is abundantly found in fruits, juices and some vegetables, many people do not eat enough of these (5-10 servings per day). In that case, it may help to take 250-500 mgs on a regular basis.
Finally, while these supplements can support a balanced diet, I recommend you speak with your physician before making them part of your daily regimen. There is always a risk of food, medication and supplement interactions.