Ideally we would all get the essential nutrients we need from food, but that isn’t always feasible. While the evidence is murky when it comes to the efficacy of supplements, if you’re at risk for falling short on some key nutrients it’s worth considering consulting a physician or registered dietitian about starting a supplement plan. I spoke with Melissa O’Shea MS, RD, the director of nutrition at Exhale Spa, and Patrick Frost, one of the most popular instructors at Barry’s Bootcamp, to get their insights.
“Here are 5 nutrients needed by active women that may require a supplement if your diet is falling short,” says O’Shea.
1. Omega-3s – Research shows the EPA and DHA in omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce exercise induced asthma and post-exercise inflammation, reducing muscle soreness.
2. Calcium – This mineral is vital for bone health and muscle function.
3. Vitamin D – Vital for bone health (we need vitamin D to absorb calcium). This vitamin is key for strengthening bones and preventing stress fractures. We can make D from the sun, but most of us don’t spend enough time outside to soak up what we need and sunblock prevents absorption.
4. Protein – This macronutrient is essential to repair and rebuild muscle that is broken down during exercise. Endurance and strength athletes require more than a sedentary adult, and while the average American diet typically supports these needs, make sure you aren’t falling short.
5. Iron – This mineral is essential for any athlete, as it carries oxygen to muscles. It also enhances the immune system.
“Across the board I would recommend that people who practice high intensity interval training look into taking these supplements,” says Frost.
1. Whey Protein – It’s a complete protein source. It’s a great aid to recovery and muscle growth.
2. A multivitamin – It’s a good idea for everyone to start taking a multi everyday. You expend a good chuck of it in the first place, but as we get older we tend to become deficient in a few areas and this regime could help elevate that.
3. Glucosamine – It helps with delivering nutrients to your ligaments and joints. You want to make sure your joints are able to aid your muscles in your workout.
4. Glutamine – It’s an amino acid that aids in protein synthesis. If your body is taken a beatdown and you’re looking for recovery, this is a supplement for you.
5. BCAA – It’s great way to improve exercise levels and reduce protein and muscular breakdown during high intensity training.