What Supplements Should You Be Taking?

Tayler Harris
Racing expert
Tayler Harris
More from this author
Tayler Harris
More from this author

As a full­-time weightlifter, I have tried every supplement under the sun to make sure my body is training and recovering to its full potential. I know from experience the supplement marketplace is a hard one to navigate with many companies and articles telling you what to and what not to take. I am here to clear it up for you and tell you the 4 supplements that I take daily.

1) Magnesium

This is the one supplement if you are not taking it, you are stunting your athletic performance! Magnesium is a multi­faceted supplement that affects muscle function including oxygen uptake, energy production and electrolyte balance (1). This makes it important to strength and endurance athletes alike! It also regulates heart rhythm, assists with muscle contraction & relaxation, and reduces blood pressure (2). And if that’s not enough of a reason, it also increases testosterone and decreases cortisol levels. Increased testosterone is important for men and women alike as it is linked to greater strength and sprint performance (3). I prefer to take my magnesium in the form of ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate) before bed. The combination of Zinc, Magnesium, & B6 gives me all the benefits of magnesium, plus an extra mood booster from the Zinc &

2) Fish Oil

Most everyone has heard of and/or is taking Fish Oil. This essential Omega 3 Fatty Acid is not produced by the body and has to be ingested. Like with all medical research, there are conflicting findings but overall the positives of Fish Oil have been confirmed. Studies have shown improvements in mood and improvements in those with ADHD as well as reducing inflammation and high blood pressure (4,5). However, not all Fish Oil is created equal! When you are choosing a product, check out the label. First & foremost, you want to go with a brand that has been independently tested for & is free of heavy metals & environmental toxins. Once you choose a brand, make sure you are getting around 700 ­ 1000 mg of EPA and 200 ­ 500 mg of DHA a day (5). Usually I space mine out with breakfast & dinner but it can all be taken at once ­ just take it with a

3) Protein

Whether you are biking, climbing, or lifting, you are creating “mirco­tears” in your muscles every time you train. This is part of the process to help your muscles grow and adapt to your training (6). Consuming a whey protein powder post-­training helps you to recover properly from a difficult workout, build more lean muscle mass and increase the energy available to your body. If you are wondering how much you should take, it all depends on your body mass. Typically, a person should consume .8 ­1 g of protein per pound of body weight. Meaning, if you weigh 200 lbs, you will consume 160­200 g per day. Just break that total down into the number of meals you consume in a day and you’ll have your protein goal in grams per meal (8).

4) Vitamin D

This is one supplement you can get naturally ­ from the sun! However, if you are like most people who work inside, you aren’t getting nearly enough naturally occurring Vitamin D! Vitamin D has a multitude of importance in your diet. It helps with calcium absorption, ensuring you don’t have brittle bones as you age (9). It’s also pivotal in your sleep regulation as it assists with the production of serotonin and melatonin (10). As a steroid hormone, it is responsible for the regulation of over 1,000 genes. Healthy levels of Vitamin D will help reduce your risks of cancer, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, & depression (11). How much you will need depends on your age, health, and overall activity levels. A good place to start is by taking around 1,000 IU a day (10). No amount of supplements can out perform a healthy diet! The first step to staying fueled & recovering properly is to make sure you are filling your diet with lean meats, healthy fats, whole grain carbohydrates, & nutrient rich veggies. Before you add any new supplements to your diet, it is always best to talk to your doctor. There are some supplements and vitamins that react poorly with some medications or medical conditions.

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read here, or accessed via this presented information.

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