Essential Supplements to Improve Performance
The fitness industry is saturated with supplements. From Pre-workout, to Intra-Workout, to Post-Workout, take this one when you wake up, this one when you sleep, and this one to cure all your ailments. In this labyrinth of information we have access to in our age of information; it is hard to narrow down what is needed to enhance your physical and mental performance, and what is filler and fluff. YouTube gurus, Superhuman Powerlifters, Crossfit Fanatics, and Chiseled Bodybuilders all swear that their chosen (sponsor’s) supplement is what is behind their great success. It is not my place to debunk any products, or dismiss anyone’s claims. In the end, if you choose to use a certain brand or supplement, and it works for you, and doesn’t negatively affect you, then by all means, use it and promote it.
My intentions in this article are to outline basic supplements that have been scientifically proven to produce results in countless studies. I do not claim that these will work 100% of the time for 100% of people. It is merely a guide. Also, it is worth mentioning that NO supplement can fix a bad diet and exercise regimen. That is the “magic pill” that simply does not exist. The word supplement has been thrown around the fitness industry for so long that its original meaning has almost been forgotten.
noun: supplement; plural noun: supplements
- 1. something that completes or enhances something else when added to it.
- a substance taken to remedy the deficiencies in a person’s diet.
So, my first recommendation for essential supplements for performance? Better food choices. Your body needs the right fuel to work optimally. If you eat like garbage all the time, your performance will be garbage. If you eat the proper amounts of the right foods, everything else is supplemental.
So, after proper nutrition, the essential supplement recommendations outlined here are for general physical performance. Depending on your goals, you may want to take additional ones that are not listed here.
Multivitamins: First on the list, because they are the most often overlooked and forgotten supplement. Adequate vitamin intake can boost immunity, sleep quality, recovery, and a long list of other benefits. I personally prefer the capsule (powder in gel casing) over the caplet (compressed pill form) for its bioavailability benefits.
Whether you prefer whey protein, rice protein, whey isolate protein, rice protein, pea protein, isolate, New Zealand grass-fed-raised-by-Maori -goat-milk protein, or grabbing chocolate milk from the convenience store. Protein Supplementation is and has been a staple for a very long time. It increases satiety to curb hunger and it helps rebuild muscle after resistance training. For those who are in a caloric deficit for fat loss, it can prevent muscle catabolism (muscle wasting) during prolonged training and diet. Whatever your goals, the recommended intake is at least 0.8 grams of protein per KGM of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound.
Fish Oil : Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, EPA, and Omega-6 fatty acid ALA; fish oil is important for maintaining cardiovascular health, brain and nervous system development and function, and boosting immunity. It helps with cellular regeneration and helps the body divert more nutrients to muscle tissue. Our body cannot manufacture Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids internally, so we must get them from our food sources. The best source of fish oil is from smaller fish, like mackerel or herring, or alternatively, krill oil or algae oil. The recommended dosage is around 3-9 grams of total fish oil daily which equals around 1-3 grams of EPA and DHA per day.
Greens Supplements : From the time we are children, we are taught to always eat our vegetables. And most of the time was spent finding ways to avoid doing so. This unfortunate truth continues into adulthood, and we simply don’t consume enough in our daily diet. So what if there was a convenient powder that could serve as a serving of fruits and vegetables that could help you get those extra servings of nutrient rich veggies? Good news. It exists. Made with things like barley grass, wheat grass, herbs, vegetables, and fruit; this smoothie friendly supplement can pack a nutritional wallop. It can balance your dietary acids from consuming a lot more protein than vegetables, and can give you more energy, improve recovery, improve and preserve bone health, and has antioxidant properties. Keep in mind that this, like all the other recommendations, is a SUPPLEMENT to your actual diet. Not a replacement. But, you can use this to fill in the gaps your daily nutrient intake may have.
These are the basic supplements recommended for someone wanting to improve or maintain performance. There are thousands out there, and the best advice I can give is to try it out for 3 to 6 months. If you see a marked improvement, continue taking them. If you find the only thing changing is your bank account balance dropping, maybe what you’re taking isn’t working and it’s best to move on.
The last thing I want to touch on is a great resource for those wanting to use supplements. It has been a great resource when researching supplements and their effectiveness, side effects, and ingredients. The site is http://www.examine.com .
The Kombat Arts Training Academy will be having a product demo with Nature’s Source Natural Dispensery on Saturday, January 30th from 10am to 12pm. Please see this article for more dates and information.
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