Supplements

Supplements are designed to cover deficiencies in your diet. If you eat a varied, healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, you should be setting yourself up for maximum recovery. Supplements are not subject to Food and Drug Administration approval. Many haven’t been under clinical testing required for FDA-approved drugs and producers aren’t required to substantiate their claims about their products’ effectiveness. If you’re eating a varied diet full of plant-based foods and your weight is holding steady, you’re receiving adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals and have no need for a daily multivitamin or mineral supplement. If you’re limiting your diet or don’t eat a certain food for ethical or personal reasons, a multivitamin may help ensure you get adequate amounts of B vitamins; vitamins C, D and E; beta-carotene and selenium.

Essential fatty acids are called essential because we must take them in through our diet. The typical Western diet contains far too much of omega-6 fats which can promote inflammation in proportion to omega-3 fats which can combat inflammation. You should correct this imbalance by consuming more omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, flaxseed, and walnuts. There are also fish oil supplements on the market. You should look for one that has eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) because these are the omega-3s the body needs.

Marketers try to convince athletes they need protein powder to help rebuild muscles during recovery periods between workouts. But the average Westerner is already eating more than the amount of protein required per day. There’s really no need to supplement with protein powders; eating lean protein from healthy sources will be just fine.

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