Everyone knows that a proper diet along with exercise will help you lose weight and reach your personal fitness goals. Eating whole foods is the preferred way of getting essential vitamins and minerals, but not everyone is able to eat a perfect diet all the time. Plus, hectic work schedules and food allergies may hamper a person’s ability to eat certain foods. If you’re concerned about getting adequate nutrition, here are six supplements to add to your routine for the ultimate level of fitness.
- Collagen Powder
Unless you’ve been living on a deserted island, you’ve probably heard a lot about collagen powders. Collagen supplements have been increasing in popularity over the past couple of years, and for good reasons. Adding a collagen supplement to your diet doesn’t just strengthen your hair and nails, but also helps relieve joint pain, especially if you experience discomfort while exercising. As an added bonus, collagen has also been found to improve your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It’s readily available in powder form and makes an excellent addition to your morning coffee.
Electrolytes are minerals you need every day to regulate muscle function, nerves and fluids within the body. These minerals include potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium, to name just a few. Electrolytes are depleted rapidly any time the body loses fluids through sweating, diarrhea or vomiting. You’ll know you’re low in electrolytes if you experience muscle cramps, twitches, excess thirst or even a craving for salt. To replace these minerals fast, choose the best electrolyte powder available and mix it with your favorite beverage.
- A High-Quality Multivitamin
If the last time you took a vitamin was when you were a kid, it might be time to look for an adult version. Ideally, you should get most of your vitamins through a diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, but how many people can do this every single day? The beauty of taking a multivitamin supplement is that it fills nutritional gaps in the daily recommended amounts of necessary vitamins. It also helps you consume hard-to-get vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, K, calcium and B12.
- Protein Powder
If you’ve been feeling hungry, irritable and more fatigue than usual, it may be more than a case of the grumpies. You may not be getting enough protein. Other signs of low protein levels include swollen ankles and muscle loss. Protein deficiencies are rare, but you need to ensure you’re getting enough for healthy bones and muscles. Protein is found in red meat, chicken, eggs and dairy sources, making it a particularly tough challenge for vegetarians and vegans. In this instance, a protein powder is a smart addition to your diet.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Another supplement you should strongly consider adding to your diet is an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s are healthy fats that reduce triglyceride levels, aid in brain health, lower blood pressure and keep your eyes lubricated. However, unless you’re eating salmon, tuna, walnuts and flaxseed several times per week, your best bet is to take a supplement. One of the most popular omega-3 supplements is fish oil capsules, but if you’re worried about a fishy aftertaste, flaxseed capsules have no flavor and are a suitable alternative.
What happens if you’re sticking to a nutritious diet, but for some reason, you still don’t feel well? When your gut bacteria are out of whack, you could experience excess bloat, gas, diarrhea or strange cravings for sugar. To get your friendly bacteria back where they belong, try adding fermented foods to your diet, such as yogurt, pickles, sauerkraut or kimchi. The problem may also be solved by simply taking a daily probiotic supplement and avoiding sugar.
If you’re exercising and following a healthy diet, you’ve done most of the hard work. When you add an electrolyte, protein or collagen supplement to your routine, you’ll take your health to the highest level possible.