If you hope to lose weight, gain strength, and eventually maintain a healthy lifestyle you must be intentional about the things you put into your body.
And, while working out and exercising is an extremely important part of the equation what we put into our bodies is far more critical.
Now, for me, I’ve gravitated towards a Paleo diet, which basically calls for lots of grass-fed meat, fresh veggies, and good fats like avocado and coconut oil. I also try to eat some starchy carbs like sweet potatoes in the evening to help fuel my morning workouts. Eating carbs later in the day also helps me sleep better.
But, with all of this said, I also consume some high quality supplements since even clean, organic, food is not always grown in nutrient dense soil. And even though I try to eat clean in restaurants you can be sure these foods aren’t of the highest quality.
So, what I’d like to do in this article is share a few of the supplements I personally take. As we’ve said many times before… please don’t think you need to copy everything Mike and I say and do… but, if you’re interested in experimenting with supplementation this article can help you get started.
Based on my body weight and activity level I aim to consume around 140 grams of protein each day. And, to be sure, I do my best to get most of this from things like wild caught salmon, grass-fed beef, and grass-fed chicken.
Now, one 8-ounce chicken breast contains around 54 grams of protein so over the course of a day it’s possible to get to 140 grams… but, to ensure I do, I almost always consume at least one protein shake which contains around 20 grams of whey protein.
I love the Dr. Axe brand… particularly the vanilla flavor. There are definitely cheaper options out there but, as with most things, I really do believe you get what you pay for and the Dr. Axe brand is organic and tastes fantastic.
I normally add some frozen organic blackberries to make it cold and give it a little zing. I also use water to mix it all up but I suppose you could use milk but I don’t drink much milk so water works best for me.
Creatine is primarily stored in our muscles and we can get it naturally from things like red meat. But, like many things, our bodies can benefit from additional supplementation.
When you supplement creatine your body creates additional ATP… often called the body’s energy currency.
Simply put, additional creatine can help you squeeze out a few extra pull-ups or push-ups, which makes you stronger!
Creatine is also known to help muscles store more water, which can aid muscle growth.
Now, to be sure, there are LOTS of choices when it comes to creatine. After lots of research I’ve started to take Optimum Nutrition Creatine Powder. It dissolves well and is tasteless.
You can “load up” when you first start taking creatine… but I simply take 1 teaspoon per day in my protein shake. Since I have some fruit in my shake my insulin levels increase a bit which helps shuttle the creatine into my muscles. Some use grape juice to take creatine but I prefer my protein shake method.
Vitamin D3 & K2
OK, the next supplement I’d like to share is Vitamin D3 and K2. Make no mistake… the best way to “produce” vitamin D is from the sun. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get to spend as much time in the sun as we’d like… especially during the winter months so additional supplementation is important.
And, as it turns out, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common in the US… studies have shown the average to be around 42%!
Thanks to my amazing wife, who was healthy long before me, we’ve been taking this Vitamin D3/K2 supplement for some time. Research has shown that vitamin D3 and K2 work very well together since they’re “fat-soluble.” And since this particular brand has both we’re all set!
Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Finally, my family also supplements with Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Now, before your gag reflexes go crazy please know we take this in capsule form so it’s super easy to take.
Simply put, fermented cod liver oil is extremely high in Omega-3s which are so important when dealing with things like insulin resistance.
My wife’s favorite blogger (I like her to!) Katie (aka Wellness Mama) wrote up a terrific article on the benefits of FCLO so be sure to check that out if you want to learn more.
What About You?
I’ve also taken a probiotic in the past to help improve my “gut health” but I’m not currently taking this today which is why I didn’t include it above… but some folks swear by them especially if you’ve needed to take antibiotics or other medications. Yes, antibiotics kill the bad stuff… but they also kill lots of good bacteria which is where probiotics can help.
I’d be curious to hear about the supplements you take… and why you take them. Feel free to comment below since others will likely benefit from your experience as well!
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!