I’ve briefly touched on the vitamins and supplements I take daily, and they’ve become just as important to my fitness routine as the nutrition. There’s no secret or something you can take that’s going to magically get you to your fitness goals. It really comes down to your hard work and determination. Know your goals, work towards them, and you’ll get there. Nutrition is so important to fitness goals, and some would say even more important that your workouts. I consider my vitamins and supplements as a part of my nutrition plan which is why I believe they’re important to look into and consider a part of the nutrition side of fitness goals.
Before getting into this, I’d like to kindly note that I’m not a doctor, and it’s recommended to consult a doctor before taking any vitamins and supplements. Also, be aware of what you’re taking in conjunction with other regular medications. Do research, consult a physical, and take what works for your lifestyle.
Getting on regime to take vitamins regularly can be difficult at first, but once it becomes normal you’ll never forget. I take mine in the morning with my breakfast while I’m downing my first 20 ounces of water for the day. I know some people like to take vitamins before bed or even keep the bottles are their desk at work. To get the best benefits from taking vitamins, keep on a consistent schedule.
Multivitamin | This is pretty basic and most people take a multivitamin already. I’m not a big fan of pills so I’ve opted for the adult gummy vitamins. Probably not the best for me in terms of the added calories and absorption rate, but it’s the way to get me to take one. I buy my multivitamins from Costco and get the Kirkland Adult Gummies which come in a two-pack with 160 in each bottle for less than $12. There’s ton of options on the market and you may want to consider one based on your age, gender, or even prenatals.
Calcium + Vitamin D | A calcium supplement usually works best when paired with vitamin D. Vitamin D is also good for us Minnesota folk who don’t see a lot of the sun during the winter months. Again for this I take a gummy version, a kids version actually. I take the L’il Critters Calcium + Vitamin D which I buy from Costco for around $12 for 200 bears. At my doctor’s recommendation, I only take a half dose of this a day, one bear instead of two, since I get calcium from almond milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Fish Oil | I started taking fish oil even while I was still a vegetarian (though technically it made me not one) in hopes that it would help my knees feel better when running. Aside from it helping my knees, fish oil is a good vitamin (supplement) for it’s omega-3 fatty acids, which may have many benefits including for the heart, joints, and skin. Again, I buy the Kirkland brand from Costco, which is 1000mg and comes with 400 capsules for less than $12.
If you don’t have a Costco or Sam’s Club membership, CVS runs deals for BOGO free on their brand of vitamins pretty often. I’d say that’s the next best deal.
Protein | Protein is probably the most widely known supplement in the weight lifting world. If you’re doing any kind of weight training, you probably have a tub of this in your house. Protein powder isn’t just for bodybuilders and power lifters though. It’s a great supplement to have on hand if you’re doing weight training, even resistance, or trying to lose weight.
My favorite protein powder so far is the Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein – Vanilla Ice Cream. I’ve tried a few different protein powders and this one has been my favorite for its nutritional content, price, and flavor so don’t worry if vanilla ice cream isn’t your first choice – there’s a TON of flavors to choose from. I buy the five pound tub on Amazon for around $50 to $55, or you can get it from BodyBuilding.com. I keep this on hand in my lunch bag to put on top of rice cakes at work or to mix in with Greek yogurt for a snack.
Preworkout | I’m new to the world of preworkouts, and once I started doing some research they kind of scared me. Preworkouts are meant to give you a boost to help get you through your workouts and perform at your best. A lot of preworkouts contain stimulants for the boost, most of the time caffeine. My preworkout of choice is the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy in the Peach Lemonade flavor. Side note: this flavor is AMAZING. I’m thinking it’s a seasonal flavor (so I’m going to buy a bunch soon) and it’s also exclusive to BodyBuilding.com. Previously, I bought the Fruit Fusion flavor which I didn’t mind, but I’m way happier with this Peach Lemonade flavor I like this supplement not only for the caffeine factor, but also because of the amino acid blend it contains to help with recovery after my workout. I don’t always take this before my workouts because I usually go to the gym in the late afternoon and drinking caffeine late in the day can throw off my sleep schedule. Sometimes, I’ll take it in the morning in place of a cup of coffee and to help with recovery if I had a hard workout the night before.
BCAAs | Branched Chained Amino Acids. I’m also new to this supplement, but I’ve quickly jumped on the bandwagon. BCAAs are meant to help the body and muscles recover more quickly, so if you want, you can get in some extra workouts. The amino acids that make up BCAA are found in the foods we eat and are naturally occurring in our bodies. This spring I switched to a four-day split for my workouts and also added BCAAs to the mix. I’ve gone through a few different brands, but I’m currently taking the BPI Sports Best Amino Acids. I’m not crazy about the flavor of this, which I’m sad about because I usually like tropical flavors. The product itself so far is good. It mixes in my Blender Bottle fairly easily so I can drink it on the go or at the gym.
There’s a ton of different brands of supplements and types of vitamins you can add into a fitness routine. Just like different workout plans work better for some, vitamins and supplements are similar; people take what works for them and their routine. Do research and try out different products to find out what works for you.