Sports Supplements We Recommend
Let’s get one thing straight: supplements are not necessary for fitness success. However, dietary supplements have become extremely popular, and many have proven benefits for certain goals. With this in mind, we at Bend Personal Trainers decided to help guide you in your journey into the supplement world. The supplement market is saturated, which can make deciding on one brand or another a daunting task. All of the supplements that we recommend are those that we have taken or currently take, and each has been selected with safety in mind, as well as proven effects.
Protein is an essential ingredient to all fitness programs. Supplementing with protein powder is a popular tool to help maximize muscle gains. Unfortunately, not all proteins are created equal. The following protein powders have been vetted for their safety, quality, and ability to help you toward your goals. The first is a plant protein that has high bioavailability and a pro-biotic to help digest it. This brand, in particular, does not cause any bloat, tastes great, and can actually improve your digestion. Next is another protein powder from the same brand, but with a big addition: lots of dietary fiber. It’s actually a meal replacement and contains all manner of micronutrients to support your body’s needs. Lastly, we’ve included a whey protein powder because (sigh) it’s the most popular form of protein powder. If you’re determined to take whey protein, Optimum Nutrition’s product is very high quality.
Sometimes we just need a little boost to get to the gym and get through a workout. However, we do not recommend reaching for a pre-workout supplement because those formulas often have a wide breadth of ingredients that you either don’t need or can be harmful. That’s why we recommend more basic energy boosting products. First is Yerba Maté. It’s a tea with around the same caffeine content as coffee. But maté is more than just caffeine. It contains polyphenols that boost your mood and get you more pumped for a workout. Next is plain old black coffee. Caffeine is the most effective supplement out there, and the healthiest way to take it is through a traditional cup of joe. We like the Swedish brand Gevalia, but if you like another brand drink that one. Lastly, we have a non-caffeine related energy boost called Zip Fiz. It’s a mixture of vitamins and minerals that can help give you a little extra pep during your workouts.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Each amino acid has a different use. Carnitine, for example, can help you burn more fat during a workout. Branch chain amino acids (bcaa’s), when taken before and during a workout, can help prevent muscle breakdown and help you build more muscle. Below you will find those products we have found are most effective. Scivation’s BCAA’s and citrulline is a great choice for those seeking to increase their workout intensity and promote faster recovery. L-Glutamine is one of the best-researched supplements out there and can help speed up recovery after a workout. Finally, L-Carnitine helps you to burn more fat during exercise and can help improve your muscle endurance.
One of the benefits of healthy eating and exercise is that it can help realign your hormones in a positive way. There are key nutrients that can help with this and support a better hormone balance. The first supplement below is ZMA. It’s a mix of Zinc, Magnesium, and vitamin B6, which have been shown to promote better testosterone levels in healthy adults. Next is Calcium D-Glucarate, which is a great supplement to take if you have a lot of inflammation. Calcium D-Glucarate helps your liver eliminate excess estrogen and cortisol, which both contribute to inflammation. Lastly, we’ve included an iodine supplement. Nearly two-thirds of Americans suffer from an iodine deficiency, which can slow down your thyroid glands and affect metabolism. An iodine supplement helps support thyroid function and contributes to better testosterone levels.
Fruits and veggies are the best sources of anti-oxidants you can consume. Anti-oxidants help the body repair damage from stress and prevent further damage. They are associated with reduced risk of cancer, vascular disease, and many other health conditions. If you’re in a pinch, here are a few supplements that can give you anti-oxidant support on the go. Emergen-C is a popular supplement during cold and flu season, but the high levels of vitamin C and B vitamins are an excellent source of anti-oxidants any time of the year. Next is R-ALA, which is considered a universal anti-oxidant. It is both water and fat soluble and helps the body recycle vitamin C. To boot, it mimics insulin in the bloodstream, which has shown to help regulate blood sugar and even help some people lose weight. Lastly, we’ve added Kombucha, which is rich in micronutrients, anti-oxidants, and contains a pro-biotic to aid digestion and colon health.