There are hundreds of tablets lining the walls of local health shops all claiming to have magical properties for our fitness and performance. But do these products actually do what they say on the tin, and when it comes to getting fit, are they worth the investment?
The truth is that we don’t need supplements to get into shape, and while there can be benefits, they are marginal.
For most of us, supplements and vitamins will not make a big difference, unless we’re taking them in medicinal doses, under supervision for a specific deficiency or condition. Any expert will tell you that the only way to truly know what we absolutely require, and how much we need of any supplement, is by way of a comprehensive medical consultation.
That said there are three staples that I tell anyone in training to keep topped up – probiotics, greens and omega 3 fish oil. My prescriptive trio however is as much about good health as it is about promoting tip-top performance, and this is why:
Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria, and often referred to as ‘good bacteria’.
Especially good for the digestive system, I tell all my clients to keep levels topped up given the link between a good digestive health and a robust immune system. They are found naturally in the body, but the modern lifestyle places a fair amount of stress in the gut, so supplementing with probiotics for additional support to bring the body back into balance can be useful. There are different types of probiotics, which will help with different digestive processes, but many of us would benefit from taking a good quality, broad-based product.
This is the one that we tell everyone about:
Probiotic Gut Health Formula by Phil Richards Performance.
While a lot of the benefits around green juices and powders is just a load of marketing hype, the good ones (with quality powders and veg, without added sugar) do actually serve a good purpose for anyone too busy working or in the gym, to count and consume their five-a-day. Many of the best also contain digestive enzymes and probiotics. For most of us, especially those of us who ‘can’t do’ breakfast, stirring a serving of green powder into water first thing provides a vitamin and mineral powered kick-start to the day.
Our favourite greens drink on the market is Goodness Greens.
Omega 3 fish oil:
New research suggests that we would all benefit from supplementing with omega 3, particularly the type found in fish oil. Omega 3, an essential fatty acid which we cannot make ourselves, has been linked to a host of health benefits, including improved brain function, reduced inflammation, improved circulation and improved insulin sensitivity. As with any supplements, the quality of the product is important, as is choosing one that includes anti-oxidants which act to protect the fish oil and stop it from going rancid, something that many products do not include.
We recommend this advanced Omega 3 from Phil Richards Performance.
We help our members with a nutritional programme that works for them, if you’re struggling, give us a shout at our gym or try out our personal training and we’ll help you work out a plan that suits you.
You may also find our nutritional e-books helpful to eating healthier.