Friday, January 22, 2010

Saturday - Supplements


For time:

100 Burpee pull-ups

Ideally, the pull-up bar is one foot above your reach.

Post time to comments.


FISH OIL - Fish oil is a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. The modern diet, and even a well kept paleo diet will be higher in omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3’s. The balance in our ancestral diets ranged from around a 1:1 to a 1:2 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6, whereas the typical ratio in today‘s diet is 1:20 or 1:30.This is an important imbalance to fix because these two kinds of essential fatty acids regulate a large part of inflammation within the body. Fish oil is relatively cheap, safe (even the lower quality brands), and a necessary supplement to a healthy diet.  A 5 g/day dose of omega-3’s will work for most people, though the amount needed will increase/decrease based on quality of diet and levels of inflammation (omega-3 concentrations vary with each brand). More information on the topic of omega-3/omega-6 balance can be found here. (Note: omega-3’s in flax products are ALA, which is very inefficiently converted to EPA/DHA)

VITAMIN D - Vitamin D is a rather benign, healthful addition to ANYONE’S DIET. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease, and there are few dietary sources of this nutrient. Those of us in the Northwest are at an even higher risk for deficiency because Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin with sun exposure; less sun = less vitamin D produced. Visit for some more info.

MULTIVITAMIN - A good multivitamin will contain a complete range of micronutrients and quality ingredients. A multivitamin is not truly necessary, but many choose to take one as an insurance policy to prevent any possible deficiencies. A good diet can provide all necessary micronutrients, but a multivitamin is a cheap easy way to ensure you are getting everything you need. Here is a link for finding a good multivitamin,

PROBIOTICS - Our ancestors didn’t have access to hand sanitizer or soap, and thus, likely consumed quite a bit of bacteria along with their food. Then again, they didn’t have to deal with antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria as well. Beneficial bacteria in our gut act as part of our immune system, as well as helping us digest and absorb our food. Keeping the numbers of beneficial bacteria strong in our gut helps to combat dangerous bacteria that can cause food borne illnesses. Thus, probiotics are a good addition to most peoples' diet, reinforcing gut health, which in turn may result in less inflammation and a stronger immune system. You don’t need to take probiotics every day, because the whole point is simply to give the good bacteria in your gut a boost, twice a week will likely work well. Under times of increased stress or right after taking antibiotics, this can be increased to every other day or so.

CREATINE -  Creatine is a naturally occurring substance used by vertebrates in energy production. Red meat is a good source of dietary creatine, but additional supplementation may be beneficial for some people. Supplementation can help improve performance in short, all-out activities (0-10 seconds) in some people, whereas others are non-responders. Some potential side effects include water retention, cramps, and slight dehydration. Creatine may also be a potent antioxidant, and 5g a day may be of benefit to non-responders as well. Creatine is one of the cheapest supplements out there, and is worth giving a try to see whether it helps you. Add it in for 30 days, see how you look/feel/perform, and decide whether you want to keep it in.

PROTEIN POWDER - Liquid meals should generally be avoided because they are absorbed so quickly and can cause higher insulin spikes. However, for those trying to gain weight, a good low-carb protein powder used post workout can be quite useful. Whey protein causes an increase in insulin and insulin-like growth factor, both of which are anabolic. It is also a high quality, very bioavailable protein. For those with dairy intolerance or those trying to lose weight, dairy should be avoided.  Casein protein should be avoided by everyone as well.

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