Let me just call attention to the title of this post. MY routine and recommendations. Just as there is no one best workout to fit everyone’s goals, and there is no nutrition plan that will satisfy every human, there is certainly no supplement routine that will be one size fits all. It is super important to do the following before you go cramming your body full of this, that and the other thing:
- Define your goals. What is it your training for? To lose weight? Increase muscle mass? Lean out? There are all different reasons for training and each goal requires a unique supplement plan.
- Do your research! I mean for real. Don’t let someone convince you you NEED something based on “bro science.” What works for one doesn’t work for all.
- Understand. By that I mean, these are supplements to a healthy and nutritious diet. There is no magic pill, wrap or even shake that can cancel out eating crap all the time. A healthy diet is square one. If you aren’t there yet, spend some time establishing a solid nutrition plan, then consider supplements.
So, that said…I think there are some things that can benefit most everyone as they train. I am going to recommend the products that I personally find helpful, but also let you know what the ingredients are in case you want to do some more research!
1.) Probiotics Perhaps not your standard supplement, but I have come to learn that throughout our lives, through antibiotics and just general lifestyle, our gut flora (whoa, who brought the scientist) can get really OFF. I mean out of balance and just whacky. You might not be feeling it like crazy, but I’m willing to bet taking a daily probiotic will improve your general health no matter what your current state is. Plus side? From what I understand, it is safe for basically everyone to take these. Obviously, I have a degree in hospitality management, NOT medicine, so check with your doctor. I’m way into taking natural things so that when I decide to start a family I don’t have to throw my whole body out of whack because I’ve been pumping it with weird stuff. I’m currently using these.
2.) Seeds Another natural and super affordable way to supplement your diet and your results is to incorporate seeds. If I’m getting too crunchy for you, move on, the next few recommendations are a bit more ‘normal,” haha. I am currently using flax seed, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds at different times and in different applications. Seeds supply essential fatty acids and tons of nutrients that you don’t necessary see in lots of other foods. Lately, my favorite way to eat them is ground in my oatmeal or over some plain Greek yogurt. I am going to try out this recipe tomorrow!
3.) Shakes It honestly took me a long time to hop on the shake bandwagon. I’m a foodie and I friggin’ like to EAT my food so sipping my calories through a straw was pretty unappetizing to me. Plus, I always thought of SlimFast when I thought of shakes and that seemed kind of comical to me? But now that I’m super focused on the whole science of eating healthy, I understand that there are some nutrients that I’m just never going to get in my diet while eating like a normal human. Honestly, when I saw this ad for Shakeology recently I was like, OMG that actually makes sense. The more I read about natural remedies and supplements, the more I believe in the power of food to promote our best bodies….but I definitely don’t want to spend the time and money buying each and every berry and seed that has a unique benefit.
So, I turn to Shakeology more as a nutrient source than a protein shake, even though it is high in protein. I actually take a regular protein shake too, but for two reasons. 1) I wanted to focus on eating less meat while still having a high protein diet 2) I found one that literally tastes like vanilla cake batter AND is all natural without a ton of sugar, so it’s more like a treat than a protein shake! Again, this is obviously a market that has a TON of options, so do your research to make sure you’re spending your money on a product that will really help you, because these things ain’t cheap. I’m currently drinking chocolate Shakeology and Vanilla Lean Body Protein. Both super yum! I don’t have a Whole Foods near me anymore, but their Whey Protein Shake in Chocolate was also really good and pretty affordable.
(Just a side note, I get asked about Shakeology probably the most of ANY Beachbody product because well…it’s friggin expensive. If it is something you have considered but would rather keep most of your paycheck, you can buy a sample pack here for much less…just to see how it is!)
4.) Recovery Formula I do a ton of different workouts, so recovery formula is NOT an every day for me. On days when I go all out, something like an hour of Insanity or lifting heavy, I drink a recovery formula during my workout. Just like with shakes, there are a lot of options for a recovery drink. A lot of experts even say you can get recovery benefits from drinking chocolate milk post workout. Um, yes please? Chocolate milk has the right ratio of carbs, protein and sugar to support your muscle growth and recovery. If you’re looking for something that packs a bit more of a punch, there are lots of drinks formulated specifically for recovery available. If you are doing intense workouts like Insanity, CrossFit, or hitting the weights hard, I highly recommend using one. It will help reduce soreness and build lean muscle faster. I’m currently using the P90X Results and Recovery formula but have also heard that BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) are super for recovery so I’ll be looking into more info on that.
So there you have it, my thoughts on how to supplement for your best results. It has taken me a long time to even get into supplementing and I hope that you do your due diligence as well. Choose products that maximize your results and your health. Cheers!