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3 Essential Supplements You Need to be Taking

Everyone has different training programs they follow depending on the gym they attend or the goals they have for their fitness. One thing that every athlete has in common is the need to recover, no matter what program they are using. I am not talking about Creatine, Gainers, or Pre-Workouts; but rather supplements that will benefit everyone the same way. Here are 3 essential supplements that every athlete should be taking.

1. Vitamins

This is a supplement that is often overlooked in the fitness community. Vitamins are so important because they feed your body the essential nutrients that you are missing from your diet. You will benefit more from your rather pricey supplements by implementing these easier to get products. Here are just a few key vitamins that you should add to your diet right away.

Fish oil is an Omega-3 fatty acid that is extracted from the tissues of oily fish. Besides being known as decreasing inflammation of the body, it also aids in these areas of your training:

  • Increases lean body mass/ improves fat burning
  • Improves metabolism and overall health
  • Reduces muscle soreness   
  • Aids in bone health
  • Improves focus and drive

Magnesium can help to stray away from impaired endurance performance. The need of oxygen increases undoubtedly in high intensity training. Without magnesium, you are keeping yourself from producing the right amount of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate, the main source of energy in our cells). You will also notice better sleep patterns, less cramps and fatigue.

Vitamin D is known as the “Steroid Hormone.” Ladies (especially involved with CrossFit), don’t be alarmed when you hear the word ‘steroid’. A certain amount of testosterone is needed in men and women when lifting as much as one does in CrossFit. Women are already low in testosterone mainly because it is primarily a hormone found in men. Taking Vitamin D will increase the levels of testosterone for both female and male to exactly where it needs to be when lifting heavy weights. The average person does not get the amount of sunlight our bodies actually need function correctly. Therefore, taking Vitamin D can increase your metabolic functions in the physical world of CrossFit.

2. BCAA

Branch chain amino acids, otherwise known as BCAA, is something your body already produces. An average person doing the daily functions would not notice the difference in increasing the amino acids in your body as much as a CrossFit athlete would. This is a product will make a difference within the first day of taking it. Some people can notice hunger pains halfway through their training. It is easier for your body to pull from your muscles for energy during a workout than your body fat, resulting in the loss of muscle mass. By adding some BCAA in your daily regime, you are forcing your body to pull from body fat first in order to power through your workout. Besides saving your muscle, they also aide in the following:

  • Reduces muscle fatigue
  • Speedy recovery
  • Helps absorb protein
  • Decreases tiredness
  • Lowers mental fatigue

3. Protein

Protein is more than likely the very first thing a person buys when committing to a workout routine. It aids tremendously in your recovery process and helps decrease injuries in the gym. You deplete your body of so many nutrients when working out that you can feel tired and maybe even sick at the end of a workout. Taking protein at the end of a workout will help replenish nutrients in order to keep and gain muscle. Recovery could not be stressed enough as one of the most important things in CrossFit and protein is the easiest way to aide in this. If taken quickly, protein will reduce the amount of stress hormones (mainly cortisol) being released. In other words, controlling belly fat! You need a healthy amount of cortisol levels in order to keep from gaining belly fat and taking protein is an easy way to control these levels.

All in all, there are thousands of products in the market that can benefit one in their workout routine and physical goals. However, the supplements above should be the first among the many that you consider. 

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Catherine Desmond

Catherine has been training and competing in CrossFit for about 3 years and her favorite thing about it is the community! She is currently working with Raw Fitness Combine and assists with their events, competitions and social media. She also works and is a member at Garden Grove CrossFit in California.

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