I try to incorporate a variety of foods into my diet, but sometimes its just not feasible. So what I do to make sure I am giving my body all the necessary nutrients it needs to sustain my training schedule is, I take supplements.
I do not take very many supplements as I do prefer to eat most of my vitamins straight from its source, whole real food. Plus, supplements can get really expensive and as a college student it is not feasible for me to spend $150.00 each month.
So, what I have done is narrowed it down to the only 3 supplements I believe you need.
1. Multi Vitamin: Because we cook are food and sometimes don’t eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should, we lack essential vitamins found in these whole foods. This is why we need a multivitamin. The brand does not really matter, just make sure it contains B12’s, folic acid, Amino Acids, Vitamin C/D and calcium.
2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: This is your essential fat which is normally found in nuts and fish. Omega 3’s come in the form of flax seed and fish oil pills. I used to take the fish oil pill, but I found a liquid version made by Barlean’s that comes in a variety of flavors from strawberry banana smoothie to my personal favorite, pina colada. Barlean’s also makes this with flax seeds.
3. Protein Powder: Protein is the building blocks of all cells. If you are working out and tearing down your muscles you need protein to help rebuild the muscle. It is also very convenient to carry around making it easier to get in a quick protein packed meal.
I use protein shakes as a breakfast meal but most often as my post work out meal. Protein powders come in many different forms from whey, to casein, and even plant based. The only difference is the source and the rate at which they are absorbed.
When it comes to choosing a protein powder, try to make sure it has less than 3g of fat, 3-25g of carbohydrates and that it contains at least 15-25g of protein per scoop.