As an adult athlete and sports nutrition coach I take my supplements very seriously. I believe in supplementing a whole-foods diet with additional nature-based nutrients to manage physical stress, reduce inflammation, support my gut health, and benefit my overall health with an extra dose of important phytonutrients. Between the foods that I choose to consume and the supplements that I take daily, I am better equipped to perform at my best as an athlete, delay the aging process and stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
This list may seem like I take a lot but I spread them out throughout the day and add them to my drinks (coffee, smoothie or morning hydration cocktail) or take them in capsule form. Here are the supplements that I take on a daily basis and why
I take collagen supplement to support my joints and to promote healthy skin, hair and nails. Collagen is the connective tissue in mammals and while humans have the ability to produce collagen, the amount they produce declines over time. This can lead to fragile joints, aging skin, and weak nails. To learn more about collagen and what you should look for in a collagen supplement, check out this post.
I add 2 scoops of Vital Protein Collagen Peptides in my first cup of coffee in the morning. There are other brands that offer the same quality, but I stick with this one because they sell it at Costco and it’s the best deal around.
Rhodiola is a powerful adaptogen which means that it contains phytonutrients that support the body’s adrenal glands and therefore the ability to manage stress. Rhiadola is an important factor of my daily supplement routine.
When it comes to purchasing herbs online, make sure you are purchasing from a reputable company. Or better yet, purchase directly from an herbalist that makes their own products. The Rhodiola I add to my morning hydration cocktail every morning is from herbalist Marie Frohlich who owns Taproot Herbals in Vermont. I usually stock up on Rhodiola when she has a free shipping promotion.
Medicinal mushrooms offer a combination of benefits that no other food can. They help with reducing inflammation and support the immune system and help the body balance blood sugar. They also support the nervous system and the brain which supports the body’s stress response and the brain’s cognitive function. They have anti-oxidant properties which help the body fight off free radicals which can accelerate aging. And in case you’re an adult athlete that needs one more reason to take medicinal mushrooms, they also increase energy and stamina.
Also Read: Why Not All Medicinal Mushrooms Enhance Athletic Performance
They add a strong earthy taste so I add a scoop of a mushroom blend to my first cup of coffee in the morning. The taste of the coffee (and other things that I add to it) masks any mushroom taste. The one I purchase depends on which one is on sale on Amazon. Here are my faves:
Thrive 6 Mushroom Complex
The Functionist Organic Mushroom Blend
Om Mushroom Masterblend
Nose to tail bundle
In Cate Shanahan’s book Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food, she makes a very strong and scientific case for why organ meats should be a staple in the human diet. Organ meats are higher in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids than any other nature-based food – this is why I consider organ meat supplements to be the most superior multi-vitamin supplement on the market.
The human diet has shifted from a traditional “whole-animal” approach to in many cases avoiding animal sources altogether. If you have any concerns about nutrient deficiency, you might want to consider adding organ meats to your diet. And since we live in the modern era, you don’t need to go through the process of buying, cooking then eating them. To read more about the benefits of eating organ meats, check out this post.
There are a lot of great companies emerging that offer a wide range of nose-to-tail options. Right now I’m hooked on a brand called Heart and Soil, and here are the 3 that I’ve incorporated into my daily routine:
Beef Organs – for overall health, improved nutrient absorption, energy, and mood
Life Blood – to promote a healthy cardiovascular system, and improve iron stores, oxygen delivery, and endurance
- Bone Matrix – to help build strong bones and joints, and to improve flexibility
The human gut is the connection between the external environment and the internal one. The condition of the gut and the health of the microorganisms living there determine how well nutrients are digested and absorbed and whether or not invaders are fought off or allowed in. One way to ensure that your gut is healthy is to support the organisms that live there with a probiotic.
Also Read: When and Why to Consume Probiotics
Not all probiotic supplements are created equal so it’s important to find one that works best for you. I personally never go a day without taking my 120 Billion CFU Women’s Probiotic from Vitalitown. 120 Billion CFU is a pretty high dose so I wouldn’t start with this one if you’re not used to taking a probiotic. Along with a high-fiber diet, this probiotic helps to keep my bowel movements regular and I also believe it to be my saving grace in avoiding stomach upset when I travel.
Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids which support the health of the brain, heart, and eyes, and ward off inflammation. The World Health Organization recommends consuming 1-2 servings of fish per week in order to reap the benefits of Omega-3s. Since I don’t eat a lot of fish, I supplement with fish or krill oil.
Also Read: 5 Best Oils for Cooking and Baking
I have a few favorite fish oil products that I cycle through. The one I choose usually depends on my favorite brands having promotions or deals on these supplements. The one I’m currently taking is WHOLEMEGA Fish Oil from New Chapter.
Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in many different biochemical pathways in the human body. If you’re consuming enough of it on a daily basis, it will improve athletic performance, support healthy blood sugar levels, and promote heart health. It’s also been found to help with muscle cramps and could improve (i.e. alleviate) PMS symptoms.
It’s also been found to induce a relaxing effect which is why I take it at night before I go to bed. My favorite supplement is New Chapter’s Magnesium + Ashwagandha which is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body return to a state of calm after a stressful day.
Lysine is an essential amino acid found in meat, yogurt, eggs, and cheese and is beneficial for strengthening the immune system, promoting collagen growth, and helping with nutrient absorption. It’s also been found to shorten the duration of cold sores because it slows the absorption of arginine – an amino acid made by the body that is needed by the HSV-1 virus for an outbreak. (Side note, if you have HSV-1 I would highly recommend staying away from any products that contain arginine. Many pre-workout products contain it.)
Also Read: 6 All Natural Pre-Workout Supplements
Along with 50-80% of Americans, I have HSV1. I’ve had it since I was an infant and still get cold sores (aka fever blisters) on my mouth at least 3-4 times a year. If you also have HSV-1, you know how much these things can suck. I take 500mg of lysine every day and then up the dose to 1000mg if I feel a cold sore coming on. I really do find that it reduces the severity and healing time of the cold sores that I do occasionally get.