So whats the scoop with supplements? Are they legit? Do they really work? Where does a person even start?
There are so many supplements on the market from just as many companies. Everything in the supplement isle at your local health foods store or even Walmart can be so confusing and overwhelming. As many of you know, if one random company "claims" to have a new supplement for weight loss, that supplements literally seems to spontaneously combust on the shelves. The problem within the vitamin and supplement industry is their regulation and lack of quality ingredients and even information/education for that matter. Vitamins and supplements are regulated as foods, not drugs. The FDA doesn't evaluate the quality of the supplements or assess their effects on the body. It's imperative to find a high quality and respectable company.
Supplements not Replacements
Carrying over from last week, I do support taking vitamins/minerals and supplements. I think it is extremely hard to incorporate a vastly rich diet that gives our bodies all of the necessary vitamins it needs. One has to be diligent on eating extremely clean, with a source of food from top organic growers of plants and animals. Our main stream diets today are hugely lacking in vitamin and mineral content, not to mention our lifestyles do a number on their convenience. Supplements are just as the word implies, they supplement our dietary needs, they DO NOT replace our diet. As a health care provider, I tell everyone including you, for the purpose of safety of your supplements, you should have a blood draw to see if you are in need of certain vitamins and minerals in your diet.
This post is NOT intended to sell you anything at all, please let me make that clear. I would like to share with you which supplements I personally take and why over the next few weeks. After that, I'll add information on different supplements that I find important for a variety of conditions. I will be honest, I strictly stick to 2 different companies for my supplement suppliers, OrthoMolecular Products and Standard Process. Both of these companies have shown me the most viable research to their products and hold the highest standard of quality for each supplement. The two companies are different in that OrthoMolecular produces products in a bio-molecular form for digestion, and Standard Process solely uses whole foods in their formulations. Both companies hold such high standards for their products that they can only be purchased with a health care license. They produce very specific formulas that are rich in quality, not full of fillers and junk. These products use carriers/specialized ingredients to assure that the body will absorb the supplement to its fullest. When you see a comparison to these products to those on the shelves at your local store, you'll be amazed by the fact that those companies at the local stores can even sell what they are attempting to get out to the consumer.
The SP Detox Protein shake is one of my favorites and a go-to for my protein shakes. I probably use this shake roughly 1-2x/week. It has whopping 17g of plant based protein from completely organic sources. The purpose of this shake is to help eliminate toxins. We face toxins all day everyday in all that we do. I like the peace of mind knowing that I'm doing all I can to help eliminate those unhealthy threats to my body. Side note, the Chai flavor is out of bounds good!
So besides being part of a Detox program, as I mentioned, I use the SP C Detox shake as a supplemental protein shake also. My 2 cents on protein shakes: not everyone needs a protein shake just because they are working out and trying to get into shape. If you are eating enough protein and getting your macoros and more importantly MICROS daily, there is not a need for extra in a shake. In regards to using this shake and other shakes for uses other than Detox, please evaluate if needed. For myself, I know I burn a lot of calories in my training. In order for me not to lose condition, keep my immune system strong, and support my dietary needs, I do incorporate shakes about 4-5 days out of the week or more dependent on activity level.
OrthoMolecular is spot on with their shakes also. This company has gone even further to formulate shakes for different needs. They are the following:
MitoCore: Stimulates mitochondria and recharges cellular energy, strengthens immune function, and increases detoxification.
Calories: 120, Fat 3g, Carbs 7g (fiber 1g/sugars 3g), PROTEIN 15g
InflammaCore: Enhanced G.I. barrier function, mucosal cell regeneration, supports a healthy inflammatory response
Calories: 200, Fat 6g, Carbs 12g (4g fiber/8g sugars), PROTEIN 19g
GlycemaCore: Supports healthy blood sugar levels, increases insulin sensitivity, and improves metabolism plus supports weight management.
Calories: 150, Fat 3.5g, Carbs 17g (12g fiber/sugars 2g), PROTEIN 10g
LifeCore Complete: Clean and diverse blend of plant based protein, supports healthy weight management, and promotes a feeling of fullness plus reduces cravings.
Calories: 210, Fat 7g, Carbs 12g (4g fiber/2g sugars), PROTEIN 20g
My two favorites include the MitrCore and the LifeCore. The fun factor to their supplements are the flavors. The MitoCore has 2 flavors: strawberry and lemon, both are amazingly tasty and a great change from your basic chocolate and vanilla. The LifeCore truly hits the mark when you are super hungry after a tough workout and need to grab a protein rich snack mid-day.
My personal arsenal for supplements. As a soon to be 40yr old athlete, I have spent some time digging to see what supplements can help me function day to day better along with helping me preform and recover on a fitness level. My two most important supplements include OrthoMoleculars OrthoMega and Orthobiotic.
The OrthoMega is the in the top two of the highest quality fish oil I have found. Each gelcap provides 820mg of EPA and DHA as natural triglycerides. Vitamin E and rosemary extract were added to their formula to ensure maximum purity and freshness. This supplement above all is the most important to have on your self. If you have been in the dark about the importance of fish oil in your diet and the many health benefits, I strongly encourage you to do your research.
Second on my list is the OrthoBiotic. I plan to devote another blog post to the massive importance of gut/intestinal health, so I'm not going to linger here for too long. This supplement is a very high quality probiotic. Gut health is directly proportional to health gut bacteria. Low good gut bacteria = lowered ability to absorb nutrients = lowered immune system. Another topic to spend some time researching if you are unfamiliar with gut health and probiotics.
Supplements for the Aging Athlete
As an athlete, the last thing I like to admit while rounding 40 is that I am aging and it hurts...literally. It's true, after our youthful peak in our twenties everything starts to slow down. Those delightful hormones that kept us youthful start to decline. It wasn't until this past couple of years that I really started to feel my age during workouts and especially during recovery. I believe I eat healthy, a lot of whole foods, and I workout regularly. These are sometimes just not enough in my personal opinion. So I will share with you what I like to take on a regular basis to help me feel better and function at where I want to be in my fitness.
My List of OrthoMolecular Supplements for myself, the aging athlete:
CoQ-10: Coenzyme Q-10 is a pro enzyme produced naturally in the body. It plays a critical role in energy (ATP) production, and is one of the most powerful lipid-soluable antioxidants that prevents lipid and mitochondrial DNA oxidation. CoQ10 naturally decreases with age.
DHEA: or dehydroepiandrosterone is a steroid hormone precursor that promotes healthy hormone levels and supports our bodies stress response system. DHEA is an important counterpart to the stress hormone cortisol. It helps provide an inflammatory balance and protection to brain tissues, along with supporting healthy aging, mood regulation, memory, and bone density.
Collogen: This supplement combines hyaluronic acid (HA), Type I collagen, Type II collagen bioactive peptides, mucopolysaccharides, and vitamin C to stimulate collagen regeneration and support joint health. Lifestyle factors and aging reduce the elasticity in tendons and ligaments, which leads to soft tissue and joint discomfort.
MSM: Helps to promote new cells and tissues, naturally supporting soft tissue health and regeneration. Significantly supports connective tissue health and maintains normal inflammatory balance. MSM is a natural compound that provides a high concentration of sulfur. This boosts the body's antioxidant mechanisms, supports detoxification pathways, and strengthens the immune system. MSM naturally decreases with age.
AminoComplex: A blend of all 9 essential amino acids (EAA's) plus the most commonly deficient conditionally essential amino acids that become essential during stress, disease, and poor diet. Optimal amino acid intake is essential for supporting muscle strength, immunity, gastrointestinal health, and neurotransmitter production in the body. Amino acids are simulators of protein synthesis , which is not only a key component of muscle recovery, but also important for muscle maintenance in all age groups. There is a natural and gradual decline of muscle mass beginning around our fourth decade of life.
Chondro-Flx: A combination of glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin C, and bromelain to promote healthy cartilage within our joints. These work together to decrease inflammation, re-hydrate, and increase joint integrity within our bodies.
You are probably looking at all of this wondering how on earth I take all of them in a day. Really, most of them are just once a day, so it really isn't over the top crazy. I will not tell you that I am super disciplined and never miss a supplement, because that would be lying. The two I rely on the most are the CoQ10 and the DHEA. I make the collegen a little easier and sometimes buy it in the powered form, which allows me to put it into my shakes. I do get a lot of my Amino acids in my shakes, so dependent upon my workout week and if I have had my shakes, the AminoComplex is not at the top of my list. The MSM and Chondro-Flx for me are interchangeable, and I base the need on them solely on my workout intensity and recovery.
None of the supplements above that I take are by any means "enhancers". These are all products specifically formulated to work with our bodies already existing chemicals. The supplements for me "fill the gaps" sort-a-speak that are forming with my aging. I'm not ready to slow down because I'm ageing. I am thinking that my 40's just might be my most active years yet!
Dr. MJ Wegmann,