Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Supplementation: Natalie Carter's Top Picks

Supplementation is a vital part of any health program, especially when you are reducing calories and therefore potentially reducing a spectrum of nutrients. Yes, you can achieve “health”, weight loss, muscle growth and fitness without supplementation however you are always going to miss out on a vital nutrient component at some stage of your plan. Whether you believe the controversy over supplementation, camps for yes, as equally as many for "no, don't bother". I'm giving you my perspective, for you to then come up with your own opinion
I'm going to share with you, my supplementation regime and make you aware of products out there designed to help you achieve optimal health. These are my go-to products. At the end of the day we want to be lean, mean fighting machines, right?

My current regime consists of:

Lifestream Natural Calcium: Certified Organic. Designed for women over 35, pregnant or nursing mothers and those who eat little or no diary products (that’s me!). This supplement helps support strong teeth and bones and also increases bone density. (2 caps with meals)

Lifestream Bioactive Spirulina and Ultimate Greens: The spirulina are in capsule form and the Ultimate Greens a powder. The caps (I take 4/day with meals) and the powder I add to my smoothies.

Ultimate Greens, detoxifies, cleanses and alkalises the body. It is a strong hit of condensed nutrients (Barley grass, Spirulina and Chlorella).

Spirulina is high in antioxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals. It provides a long lasting energy boost, improves vitality and stamina. Spirulina has the added benefit of supporting a balance in blood sugar levels and helps manage cravings.

All the Lifestream products I take are suitable for vegetarians.

Miessence Berry Radical: Love this!

Comes in powder form and can be added to smoothie or just hot water.

Berry Radical is an antioxidant superfood (certified organic). It is a potent combination of 9 of the world’s most powerful antioxidants. This choc-lately powder can help with reducing free radicals in the body (molecules responsible for ageing, tissue damage and some diseases. The antioxidants help “fight” these free radicals in the body) and also may help to slow down the ageing process (yes please!).

I find it particularly helpful in the afternoon when I’m getting a little tired and also as my blood sugar drops, like everyone else, I crave the sweet stuff. The cacao contained in berry radical gives me the chocolate hit without the sugar, fat and extra calories. It’s been a god send! Quick and easy too, just a heaped teaspoon in hot water or my smoothie.

CLA and Cod Liver Oil Caps: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a particular form of dietary fat and recent studies have shown that CLA may:

• Increase metabolic rate

• Decrease abdominal fat

• Enhance muscle growth.

• Lower cholesterol and triglycerides

• Lower insulin resistance

• Reduce food-induced allergic reactions Enhances immune system

Read more here

Cod Liver Oil is from Blackmore’s and I take these to improve immunity and help strengthen my nails. Here’s a post earlier on the benefits of Cod Liver Oil. I recommend 2-3 of cod liver oil caps and 2-4 of CLA with meals.

I make it a habit to consult a naturopath at least 2-3 times per year to make sure my nutrient levels are where they should be. I’ve been known in the past to have low zinc & magnesium levels, common in busy, active individuals.
Always consult your Dr/Naturopath/Health care professional before taking any supplements, especially if you re pregnant (as some supplements can have negative effects on you and your unborn baby)

What supplements do you find helpful to your training and overall health?


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