Let’s face it; we live in a society of shortcuts. We want our food fast and our diets even faster. Who has the time anymore to consume the proper number of fruits and vegetables every single day? It is for this reason that we turn to dietary supplements to quickly whip our bodies into a healthier shape. Whether you are looking to fill the nutritional void in your diet, beef up your muscles faster, or counteract your family history of heart disease, there are literally thousands of choices to choose from when considering which supplements to take. Therefore this article will help to narrow down the list to the top five most beneficial and widely used supplements.
It is no surprise that multivitamins, such as Centrum, are the most widely used supplements due to their large coverage of various nutritional vitamins, “from A to Zinc”. When used in conjunction with a proper healthy diet, multivitamins supply extra benefits to the nutritional value of the food ingested. However, taking multivitamins when it is not necessary can lead to toxicities in the bloodstream. Furthermore, beware of multivitamins that exceed over 100%, as they are essentially just a waste; and keep a keen eye out for large amounts of iron, as too much iron in your diet can lead to hemachromatosis.
If your aim is to gain muscle mass as fast as possible then protein powder has just what you need – amino acids. The proteins whey and casein are the most widely used. Whey absorbs quickly into the body allowing for quicker muscular growth after a workout, while casein takes longer to absorb but remains in the system for a longer period of time. This allows for a high amount of amino acids to be released into the blood over time. Protein shakes are a popular supplement that many use for this reason after exercising.
Sports Nutrition Supplements
Similar to protein powdered supplements are sports nutrition supplements such as creatine. Creatine is naturally produced by the body for use in the muscles when they are most active; hence why practitioners of high intensity sports, like weight lifting, love taking the supplement so much. Sports nutrition supplements can even be added to your protein powdered supplements to add an extra boost to a workout. However, muscle mass will not increase solely by use of this supplement, as a proper diet and workout regimen must be appropriated accordingly.
Made in Asia from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, green tea is hailed as a natural way to lower cholesterol and lose weight. The polyphenols in green tea are said to improve health by reducing cardiovascular disease and cancer, and by improving bone density and thought processing. There have been an inconsistent rate in the human studies with green tea, but many scientific studies have proven that subjects given green tea oxidize fat at a higher rate than those given a placebo. Furthermore, one case-control study linked eating mushrooms and green tea to a 90% lower rate of breast cancer. Thus in order to reap the benefits of this magical tea it is recommended that one drinks at least eight cups per day and maintain healthy eating habits. Eight cups too much tea for you to drink? No worries, just take the 90 mg supplement three times a day.
I know, it sounds nasty right? But in order to make the list then it must be doing something right; and that is helping to fight heart disease. Fish oil contains the cardio-protective, AHA recommended, omega-3 fatty acids. This can also be obtained by eating fatty fish such as salmon or canned tuna twice weekly. When choosing a fish oil to take it is important to think expensively or run the risk of smelling strongly of fish all day. This is because cheaper fish oils generally have a stronger fish taste than fish oils of higher quality. Contrary to popular belief fish oil does not lower cholesterol levels, and should not be taken by those who do not have a history of heart disease in their family.
With these top five supplements and the knowledge of their ingredients at your disposal, you will be armed with greater dietary advantages to a stronger, healthier, and happier lifestyle than ever before. However, be sure to choose the supplements that are right for you from a respected and reputable brand that is free from heavy metals that can lead to toxicity. Also beware of products with ridiculous claims such as “lose 50 lbs in a week”, as no product can stand by that claim. And more importantly, contact your doctor before taking any supplement that you are unsure of. Remember, health is safety first.