Recently, I've been receiving more questions regarding supplements. What works? What do I take? So on and so forth.
Before I delve into my daily supplement regiment, I want to drop some words of wisdom from my friends over at A Balanced Life RX. Jenny Littau is a registered dietician and a long time friend. She's incredibly knowledgable, experienced and not to mention, she has the creds to back it up. I asked her two of the most common questions.
LLAM: Does the general exercise goer really need to add supplements to their diet? If so, what do you recommend?
Jenny Littau: It depends. The need for supplementation is always individualized and should be treated as such.
My nutrition philosophy is based around wholesome, nutrients dense foods FIRST and supplements second. If a client is not getting enough of a certain macro or micro nutrient in their diet whether that be based upon lab results, physical symptoms, or performance based outcomes then perhaps supplementation may be our next step.
For some people I might suggest adding in a probiotic or extra fiber to help support digestion.
For that active individual who requires a higher need for protein when compared to the average person, I may suggest a protein supplement but importantly one that is third party tested.
For others I might suggest adding in Omega-3 fatty acids simply due to their dislike of fish or perhaps an allergy to nuts.
And for others I might suggest a multivitamin simply due to some nutritional deficiencies found in their most recent blood test results.
There is no need to invest in a fancy supplement kit just because Jonny at the gym is doing it. Do your research, talk with your primary care physician, and seek out a licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) to help you navigate the best solution for your unique nutritional needs.
LLAM: What is your take on the ever popular cleanses that promise a 5lb weight loss in 5 days, etc?
Jenny Littau: I will start by saying that there is no magic pill, cleanse drink, or detox supplement out there that will provide you with longterm success so please save your time & money!
Your body already comes equipped with a detoxification system! Detoxification is a process that the body performs on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; utilizing important nutrients from the diet and then removing toxins from the body. The body uses 6 different organ systems to help with detoxification; the liver, the intestines, the kidneys, the lungs, the lymph, and the skin. There are two main categories of toxins: those that are made in the body during regular metabolism and those that come from the environment through food, beverages, medications/supplements, breathing, or absorbed through the skin.
It is important that we support our bodies with the nutrients and lifestyle factors it needs in order to support these detoxification pathways to work efficiently. Fill your body with supporting foods and activities that will allow your body to thrive.
Wholesome foods like colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein (chicken, fish, eggs), healthy fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olives)
Lots of fluid like water, tea, mineral-rich bone broths
Glass or stainless steal containers instead of plastic
Regular exercise (yoga, weightlifting, swimming) and other positive ways to encourage sweating (shower, sauna, hot bath)
Rest, sleep, and meditation
I will leave you with this, your body is perfectly designed to detoxify on its own however it can always use all the support it can get through the choices you make with your food and your lifestyle decisions.
My Take on Supplements
Here is my daily supplement regiment down on paper for a day where I workout in the afternoon. Don’t be disappointed.
So there you have it. I don’t take pre-workout. I don’t take a special pill. I don’t use apple cider vinegar outside of my salads. I don’t subscribe to some cleanse. I eat real food. I take a protein shake here or there when I don’t have time for a full meal and I follow Renaissance Periodization. I have used their diet app for almost a year. It works for me. If you're interested in trying it, use ALICIA25 for a discount.
Bottom line: eat real food.
In closing, here are a couple more questions that I wanted to address.
What protein is best for breastfeeding or during pregnancy?
First off, I am not a doctor, nutritionist or RD. When I was pregnant with my boys, I used SFH or Progenex. Once I gave birth and started breastfeeding, I could no longer use either because they had sensitivities to it. This is going to be trial and error with some collaboration from your OB.
Do you take collagen peptides? No. I take a biotin supplement before bed. My hair naturally grows fast so I don’t know if it actually works but why rock the boat?
I hope you found this helpful. If you have any other questions, feel free to drop them in the comments! Happy Friday.