Last week, in a blog post I shared what dietary supplements are and how they could be beneficial to a healthy lifestyle.
If you missed that post, you can check it out here.
Now this week I want to expand upon that topic because naturally the next question that most women ask is: where should I start with supplementation?
In all honesty, this is a very personal question because not everyone’s nutrition needs are identical. And the truth is that the supplements that are going to work best for you are largely dependent on your current meal plan, your health and fitness goals, your daily habits, etc.
And I know that’s not the answer you want to hear- but wait, because there’s good news!
You see, after doing this for so many years- after helping dozens of women simplify their health + fitness routines- I have noticed certain trends that tend to hold true for the majority of women, and that’s what I want to share with you today.
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, see my disclosures here.
When it comes nutrition & how we feed our bodies, there are 3 areas where most of us struggle to meet the daily recommended target through food alone. These are three areas where (in general) women would benefit from adding supplements.
So let’s get right to it…
SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATION #1: MICRONUTRIENTS
Now, Despite their ‘micro’ prefix, micronutrients are actually a big deal.
You see, micronutrients are also referred to as essential nutrients. What this means is that they are elements of our diet which we must ingest from some kind of food source (whether that’s a dietary supplement or an actual food product) and this is because our bodies (for the most part) cannot produce vitamins and minerals on their own.
Because each vitamin and mineral has a specific role in your body, an adequate intake of all micronutrients is necessary for optimal health.
Without the right micro-nutrients, our bodies don’t have the necessary building blocks to function properly. We need things like Vitamin D to protect our bones; vitamin A to preserve a healthy immune system. Vitamin B12 to keep nerve and blood cells healthy.
The list goes on…
Yet out of all the nutrients your body requires to function, micronutrients tend to be the hardest to consume from food sources alone- that’s because we generally don’t eat fruits and vegetables with enough variety to consume an adequate amount of all the nutrients our bodies require to function on a daily basis.
Plus, actions – like the way we prepare our fruits and vegetables, or even how we store them can greatly affect the nutritional content of these food items
And this is why I’m always adamant that women start with the micro, start with the small things because the micro has the potential and power to influence the macro.
Adding a simple mulit-vitamin to your routine may feel like a small step when it comes to improving your health, but the ripple effect that this one action has can produce massive change in the way our bodies look and feel.
Now I recommend (and I personally use) Micro-Factor as my daily multi-vitamin. The reason that I love this mulit-vitamin in particular is because it’s a capsule and not a hard-pressed pill you often get at the drugstore, so I know that my body is actually absorbing the nutrients I’m feeding it.
What’s more, this micronutrient pack brings 6 different critical nutritional components together in one easy to use pack. Nutrients that work together to:
- Help support healthy metabolic function
- Promote better energy production
- As well as improve cognitive function
And because it’s 6 nutrients in one- it travels especially well – meaning even when I’m on the go or running out the door (which face it, is practically every morning)- it’s convenient enough that I never have a reason not to take it.
SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATION #2: POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION
moving on to the second area of our diets that could benefit most from supplementation, I want to hit on Post-workout nutrition.
I understand that it’s technically not a ‘nutrient’, But it’s worth mentioning because so many women do it wrong or don’t give post workout nutrition any attention at all. the problem with this is that without post-workout nutrition, you’re severely limiting the results you receive from the effort that you are putting forth in the gym.
Post-workout nutrition ensures that you’re truly getting the most from your workout (because let’s be honest, no one likes to do more work than they have to, right?)
Whether you’re trying to lose fat or put on lean muscle, post-workout nutrition can make all the difference in maximizing recovery and helping you achieve better results over time.
This is a perfect example how supplements won’t do the work for you, but they will make the work that you do do easier.
Exercise is a process that uses up a lot of the nutrients that we’re putting into our bodies, so if we want to continue to feel good- we have to replenish those.
By now, we’ve probably all heard of the importance of drinking a protein shake after we workout- and yes that does help, but it’s truly only one part of the equation.
You see, protein helps rebuild the muscle tissue that we use in a workout. BUT the energy we used to complete that workout- that energy came from carbohydrates.
Now I don’t want to get too technical, but when we workout, what we’re actually doing is depleting our energy stores- we’re emptying our glycogen stores.
And so after a workout, the first thing that our body looks to do is to refill those energy stores. Your body needs a quick digesting carb to do this.
When that carbohydrate source isn’t available, our body will use other sources (like protein) to fill that void. So if all you’re drinking post workout is protein- you’re not giving your body everything it needs to recover properly.
This is exactly why I pair a fast digesting carb with an easy to digest protein source post workout.
Now I promise! it’s not as complicated as it sounds.
What this looks like, for me, is pairing my favorite post-workout protein with just ½ scoop of Ignition– which is that fast digesting carb source I was just talking about. The great thing about Ignition is that it’s flavorless so it pairs with any protein powder that I choose.
I simply put one scoop of the protein powder with ½ scoop of Ignition in the same shaker cup. I add water, shake and in about 30 seconds I’ve just given my body everything it needs to start the repair process after my workout!
The sooner I replenish my energy stores, the sooner that that protein can go to work repairing and rebuilding my muscle tissue (remember, ladies lean muscle is the ultimate fat-burning machine so this is important!).
The faster that protein goes to work, the faster my body can recover from the workout, the less sore I’ll feel afterwards, and ultimately the sooner I’ll see results!
All of this because I choose to be intentional with the nutrients I feed my body post workout.
Pretty cool, right?
SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATION #3: MEAL-REPLACEMENT PROTEIN
Now we’ve just talked about the importance of protein post-workout, but what about protein throughout the rest of our day?
Using protein powder to supplement our protein needs is the third area of our diets that I want to talk about.
You see, protein is a macronutrient- meaning that our bodies require it in larger quantities as compared to the micronutrients we talked about earlier.
Protein has so many responsibilities in how our bodies look and feel that it’s difficult to really emphasize just how important this nutritional component is, but understand this: whether you are male, female, sedentary, active, young, or old- your body requires protein to function!
That’s because each and every cell within your body has at least some protein in it.
We often correlate protein with muscle building- like we just talked about with post workout nutrition- but protein plays a big role in how we lose weight and it’s important that we consume enough protein throughout our entire day.
Protein, in particular, is great for weight loss because it digests slowly, which helps you to feel full sooner (and longer)- so you eat less without feeling deprived!
What’s more protein has some pretty important jobs within our bodies. Your body is continually using protein to support hormones, enzymes, immune cells, hair, skin, muscle, and other protein tissues,
And yet many of us fail to get in enough protein throughout our day simply because we’re too busy- we’re constantly on the go.
Protein-rich food sources include things like beef, chicken, seafood, and dairy- foods that tend not to fit into that on-the-go category.
And this is where protein powder can be beneficial, especially for a busy woman that values living a healthy lifestyle.
Level-1 is a meal replacement protein that is the perfect option to fill in the gaps when you’re lacking in protein.
The great thing about Level-1 protein is that it’s so delicious you’ll think you’re cheating on your diet- a perfect substitute to help you stay on track with your nutrition needs especially when your cravings come on strong.
With so many great flavors (flavors like Blueberry Muffin, Cinnamon Cookie Batter, Strawberry Milkshake, German Chocolate Cake, and so many more), you’ll never be bored, stuck feeling like you’re eating the same foods over and over again…
Plus, this protein powder is great quality- so smooth that it easily dissolves in just plain water.
So, we’ve covered a lot in this blog post on supplementation and I want to take a quick second to review what we just went over.
- Supplementation is a very personalized thing depending on your unique fitness goals and nutritional needs.
- The general rule of thumb is to first focus on your micronutrients– adding in that daily multi-vitamin we talked about.
- Secondly, you would experience better results from your workout plan if you focused on replenishing nutrients lost through exercise- focusing on post-workout nutrition.
- And you should round that all out by making sure you were hitting your daily protein goals- using a quality meal replacement protein powder for when you weren’t getting enough protein through food alone.
Now, if you still have more questions about supplements and how they can be added into your own daily routine, then I highly recommend that you check out my latest online workshop: Making sense of supplements!
It’s free to attend. All you have to do is visit msfitfarmer.com/workshop to grab your free seat inside. Yes, the event is free- but do hurry because seats are limited!
As always, here to support YOU!
XO- Britney (ms.fit.farmer)