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Which Supplements Are Actually Worth Your Money?

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In a perfect world, we ought to have the ability to get all our essential nutrients from food. For those of us that are nutritionists, you’ve an in depth understanding of the needs of the body and the best way to fulfill them. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us don’t fall in that category.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes that nutritional supplements are useful in filling nutritional gaps and deficiencies. That being said, there is no need to overload your budget or your body with nutrients/supplements/pills/powders that are simply unneeded. Which nutritional supplements provide a tangible advantage? Which ones are actually worth putting down your hard-earned cash for?

A *Very* Short List

  • Multivitamins
  • Fish Oil
  • Whey protein
  • Creatine

Read on and find out why these four nutritional supplements deserve to find themselves in your shopping cart.

Multivitamins

The NIH strongly advocates in favor of discussing the use of supplements with your physician first, thereby ensuring that all decisions are made under the supervision of a health professional. Your doctor may also test for nutrient levels that will determine specifically what supplementation is necessary. This really is useful for assessing serum levels vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and calcium.

The NIH also proposes picking a multivitamin tailored to your sex, your actual age, and any specific state, including pregnancy. In accordance with that guideline, here are the nutrients which should always be present in nutritional supplements for women and men.

Women’s Multivitamins

Based on prevailing wisdom, multivitamins formulated for women should have 100% of the daily value of the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin B6: 2 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 400 milligrams
  • Zinc: 8 milligrams

If you’re looking for a multivitamin that covers all these bases, take a look at the following:

Rainbow Light Women’s One Multivitamin

Prenatal Vitamins

Research suggests that prenatal vitamins decrease the possibility of preterm birth, low birth weight, and birth defects. All women of childbearing age should take a prenatal vitamin. A good prenatal vitamin includes:

  • Folic Acid: To prevent neurological defects
  • Iron: To prevent anemia
  • Calcium: For proper bone growth
  • DHA: An omega-3 fatty acid needed for eyes, the mind, and nervous system. Studies also indicate it supports a mom’s mental health and encourages normal gestation length.

Below is a highly-rated prenatal nutritional supplement which we believe to be of great value:

Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Prenatal

Men’s Multivitamins

Men and women have differing needs. For one, men do not lose blood through a monthly cycle, so there is no need for iron supplementation. In fact, a multivitamin with iron can lead to iron overload in men. Furthermore, there is less of a need for calcium and vitamin D, especially as compared to post-menopausal women, who are at a greater risk for developing osteoporosis. A good ballpark figure is 800 milligrams of calcium daily for men.

A multivitamin targeted to guys may also have lycopene. This is actually the red pigment found in tomatoes. In scientific studies, lycopene supplementation was associated with a reduced threat of prostate cancer.

Lastly, a men’s multivitamin might also have selenium in a greater amount as compared to women’s formulation. Like lycopene, this trace mineral is additionally related to a lower threat of developing prostate cancer.

Give the following Men’s multivitamin a try:

Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men

Fish Oil

Fish oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which convey a variety of cardiac and cognitive benefits. We already touched on DHA and its benefits for fetal development during pregnancy above. But by far the biggest value of fish oil comes from its ability to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Whey Protein

Who? What? Whey? How?

Whey protein is the watery part of milk that divides when cheese is made. It’s a complete protein, including all nine essential amino acids. It also possesses the dietary benefit of being low in lactose, a milk sugar. This is good for people who are lactose intolerant (actually, a majority of the population has some degree of intolerance to lactose). As an easily digestible protein, it is quickly broken down in the intestines and absorbed by the body.

Why Purchase Whey?

There are four key reasons why using a whey supplement regularly can be a boon for your health:

  • Hunger control
  • Weight loss
  • Improved disease resistance
  • Cancer protection

The Three Types of Whey Protein

There are just three forms of whey protein: hydrolysate, isolate, and concentrate. The difference among them is the manner in which they are processed.

Concentrate: Contains some fat and lactose. It’s about 70-80% protein and has the finest flavor. It will be the most inexpensive.

Isolate: Essentially no fat and has less lactose. It’s about 90% protein. It lacks lots of the valuable nutrients within whey protein concentrate, which is the tradeoff of getting essentially pure protein.

Hydrolysate: Also called hydrolyzed whey, it’s predigested for more rapid absorption. It is much easier to digest as a result, though you’ll have to pay for that benefit—it’s the priciest of the three whey types.

Fitness specialists differ regarding the very best form of whey. Honestly, which is best is more a function of what your particular needs are. For the average consumer, whey protein concentrate will do the job and comes at the cheapest prices. For a bodybuilding expert, whey isolate allows one to finely tune their macros. If you have a sensitive stomach, hydrolysate will be the way to go.

Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogen compound created by the liver. Muscle cells are particularly fond of creatine because it serves as an energy shuttler, making it possible to work out harder and for a longer duration. This might sound like cheating, but it’s not. In fact, the International Olympic Committee allows the utilization of creatine.

Should You Take Creatine?

Here’s the upshot on some great benefits of creatine. As recorded by bodybuilding.com, research reveals that for users of creatine:

  • It empowers high-intensity strength training.
  • Healing is enhanced by it.
  • It protects against nerve degeneration and improves brain function. Australian researchers report that intelligence increases and enhances memory.
  • Bone healing is facilitated by it.
  • It enhances glucose tolerance, of special advantage to people that have diabetes.

Note: Talk to your physician before beginning creatine. It has to be utilized with care in people with specific health conditions. Also be mindful to never exceed the recommended dosage, which can lead to side effects.

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