Supplements: Do you need them?
Some people think that supplements are the be all or end all of training and fat loss. That they’re magic, that if we drink this powder or take that pill, all our problems will be solved. Save your money sis, and avoid those BCAAs and “Fat Burners”.
That’s why they’re called “supplements” in the first place, they are something “supplemented” to enhance something else. So, before we look at supplements, we should first look at getting the basics down. Focus on your diet, hydration, training, and recovery first, and then if you’re lacking in something (which is preferably indicated via a blood test and analysed by a doctor), you can consider supplementing it.
For example, some of my girls find it really hard to eat enough protein in their diet, and no one wants chicken and eggs for every meal. That’s where protein powder can come in handy, as you can add it to oats, smoothies and shakes to easily increase your protein intake. It’s convenient, keeps us satiated, and it was something we were previously lacking in our diet.
Some other supplements I recommend to my girls if they’re struggling with energy, recovery or overall health and wellbeing are:
- Magnesium: did you know that most women are deficient in Magnesium? There are so many benefits of it, including improving sleep, decreasing anxiety, recovery between sessions, and improving the symptoms of PMS.
- Fish oil: If you’re not a big fish fan, and not getting in your 1-2 serves of fish a week, I would highly recommend you supplement with a fish oil to support healthy heart, brain and eye function.
- Zinc: Our body doesn’t naturally produce zinc, so supplementing it with food is important. You can easily find zinc in many sources of food such as shellfish, meat, poultry, fish, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, dairy products, eggs and whole grains such as oats, quinoa and brown rice. Which are all included in your diet plan with Train With Soph. Remember- we want to eat the rainbow!
- Creatine: This is one of the most well-researched supplements. Creatine is a naturally-occurring substance that is found in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during resistance training and high intensity exercise. Supplementing creatine increases your body's phosphocreatine, which is a form of stored energy. This helps with better performance and energy output during training, improves muscle recovery, and increases muscle growth and strength.
Remember, none of these supplements are magic, and they should only be used as a supplement alongside a structured training program, adequate sleep, rest and recovery, and proper nutrition. Don’t forget to run any changes to your diet/ supplement regime by your doctor.