First- what are supplements? The most technical definition: A dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a "dietary ingredient" intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet. A "dietary ingredient" may be one, or any combination, of the following substances: vitamin, mineral, herb, amino acid, and/or concentrate. Supplements come in many forms such as: tablets, capsules, liquids, or powders.
BASICALLY, supplements SHOULD be bridging the gap between what you are eating and what your body actually needs to perform and hit your goals.
Something else that is very important to note, it is not required for the FDA to approve dietary supplements before they are sold in the marketplace. There are some horror stories that I have personally witnessed at different conventions as well as hundreds of clients over the past few years who have bought into gimmicks online... only to be scammed. I have even had a few clients who have been hospitalized due to supplements they ordered from shady places online. So please- do your research on the companies you are trusting and buying from!
Most Important Supplements
In my opinion, the following would be recommendation to someone who is 10 years old all the way up to 110. Lifting or not, weight loss goal or not, the following supplements are things I personally believe all humans should be implementing:
- High Quality Multi Vitamin
- Lets be honest, the "food" that is available at the grocery store in 2017 is vastly different from the food that people ate in the 1800s. The amount of pesticides, chemicals, and preservatives that are covering our fruits and vegetables is disgusting. And that's not even mentioning all of the processed, boxed, and frozen food that takes up 95% of the grocery store. Most of the American population is malnourished. We might not look it because 60% of people are overweight and most people think only starving children can be malnourished by that couldn't be further from the truth. A HIGH QUALITY multi vitamin will help supplement your body get the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that you are not getting through diet alone. You get what you pay for when it comes to a multi vitamin.
- We personally use a very expensive one because we know the benefits first hand. In 2014 before we started using the multi we do now, we did a carotenoid scan and our baseline was 44,000 (most Americans test at 6,000). After 2 months on the multi we take now, we increased our scores up to 68,000 and 75,000 (Sarah and Josh, respectively).
- Multi we take (comes with fish oil): http://bit.ly/bowmar_
- Greens Supplement
- To piggy back off of the above, a greens supplement is a great way to condense roughly 5lbs of vegetables into a 1tsp serving size. This is also a great way to trick kids into getting their nutrients for the day (mix it with a sugar free packet of fruit punch and you are all set)! We are launching our new line of greens in several weeks so stay tuned! In the meantime, look for one with high MSM energy levels
- Oh fiber. The magical poop supplement. Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diets because they don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. On average, you should be eating 14g of fiber for every 1,000 calories you eat. The only way to know how much you are intaking is by logging your food and adding up the total at the end of the day.
- Fish Oil
- If you order the multi above that I suggested, it will come with a fish oil so you can just keep on scrolling. Fish oil is extremely beneficial for overall brain and joint health. The problem with a lot of cheap fish oils on the market is that companies extract oils from large fish. Large fish eat small fish who eat smaller fish aka a ton of mercury and fish poop is in your cheap fish oil pills. If you burp a fish oil up and it tastes like fish, chances are- it's rotten. I highly recommend using a fish oil that is made from a very small fish like krill or anchovies.
- Another gut friendly supplement, these will help with digestive issues as well as immune support. The problem with cheap probiotics is that many will die in the production process and/or in your stomach lining before they can be absorbed in the small intestine as required
Now that you are taking the above recommend supplements :) the next list is what I would recommend (not all) for someone who is weight lifting and/or wanting to lose weight. Please, let me reiterate this again- I DO NOT THINK EVERY SINGLE PERSON NEEDS TO BE TAKING EVERY SINGLE SUPPLEMENT LISTED BELOW. My intentions with this are not to alarm anyone with this list. Pick and choose what you think you need!
Also, the BEST way to hit your goals is to have a solid meal and training program. That will get you 95% of the way to your goals without the supplements listed below. These supplements are for those who feel that they want just a little bit more out of the work they are already doing. Supplements will only work as hard as you do so if you aren't dieting or training, these will be a complete waste of money. Kind of like buying granite countertops for a home that doesn't even have a foundation- that makes no sense!
- Protein Powder
- Probably the most used fitness supplement on the planet. Protein powder is a great way to supplement additional protein in one's diet. And no- it can't make you fat unless you are eating more calories than you burn. You also do not need to supplement with protein if you get enough protein through your diet. In a perfect world- whole foods is always the best and most effective way to get protein. We don't live in a perfect world and drinking protein is quick and often times very delicious. Protein can be used for a meal replacement as well as to be consumed after your workout
- Our protein powder: https://bowmarnutrition.com/collections/protein
- Will protein powder make me fat YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVvNYCfLpHM
- Branched Chain Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein. There are 2 different types of BCAAs: essential and non-essential. Your body makes several different types of BCAAs naturally so they are non-essential to get through diet. You do, however, need to consume essential BCAAs to aid in muscle growth and recovery. You can get BCAAs in protein-rich foods or you can supplement with them. These are meant to be taken intra (during) your workout
- The most basic idea of preworkout is to enhance your training session. There are many 2 different types (stimulant based and stimulant free). A stimulant based preworkout will provide you with a very high amount of energy (caffeine) and usually has other stimulants such as beta alanine (to prevent lactic acid build up) and niacin (to open blood flow). With stimulants will come some negative side effects (such as a racing heart, itchy skin and lips, and a flushed face). Stimulant free pre workouts vary in benefits but usually contain nutrient partitioning which allow for more blood flow and nutrients to be delivered to the muscle being worked which results in larger pumps in the gym and faster muscle recovery
- Our stimulant free pre workout: https://bowmarnutrition.com/products/pre-workout-stimulant-free
- Stimulant based pre workout: https://bowmarnutrition.com/products/pre-workout