Man cannot live by protein powder alone. In addition to all those key performance products you’re using, you should absolutely be taking these five basic health-oriented supplements, no matter what your level of development.
People who follow reduced-calorie or low-carb diets risk not getting sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals from their diet, so taking a multivitamin is essentially an insurance policy that you’re getting the nutrition you need. Vitamins and minerals also have antioxidant properties — antioxidants are key because they clean up damaged tissue, including within muscles after workouts.
Look for: a multi that provides at least 100 percent of the daily value of vitamins B (there are a lot of them), C, D and E and zinc, copper and chromium.
2. Essential Fatty Acids
The average American gets more than sufficient omega-6 just by eating American food (it’s primarily found in corn and vegetable oils), but it’s especially critical that you take an omega-3 supplement.
Take: 1 to 3 grams of fish oil twice a day with food.
3. Vitamin D
Because it protects against some nasty diseases (everything from colds to cancer and multiple sclerosis) and is linked to muscle growth and higher testosterone levels, you need to take more D than is found in your multi.
Take: 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 one or two times a day with food, in addition to what you get from your multi.
You surely know calcium helps bone strength, but it is also deeply involved in creating muscle contractions and fat burning.
Take: 1,000 milligrams with food.
Restocking what is euphemistically referred to as your “gut flora” (really the bacteria living in your intestines) with these beneficial bacteria can improve intestinal function, helping your body to absorb all the protein your muscles need.
Look for: products with 10 billion colony-forming units (CFU) of Lactobacillus and Bifidus bacteria, take daily for two weeks, then cut to 1 billion to 2 billion CFU indefinitely.