Are you struggling to finish that last rep and wishing you had a final burst of energy? Nutritionist Rick Hay lists the best supplements for people who exercise. A National Fitness day special
There is nothing worse than waking up feeling sore and fatigued from an intense gym session the day before. You’re meant to be going to the gym tomorrow and you know your body is running low on energy and it’s gonna be an uphill battle to finish your workout. It’s crucial to fuel your body for exercise, escpecially to keep yourself motivated and on track to getting that body you’ve been working so hard for. Nutritionist Rick Hay lists his favourite supplements to put some gas in your tank and keep you focused on reaching your fitness goals.
One of the most recommended products I use is chlorella. It’s a natural solution to reducing exercise fatigue and energy production. The reason why chlorella is so effective is because it’s packed full of chlorophyll which is a deep dark green pigment and this is good for strengthening the immune system and also for natural energy production. It’s high in magnesium with good levels of iron and also contains potassium, which combined allow you to exercise with the energy you’ll need. Chlorella is a fantastic liver purifier and can also help with issues such as tiredness from premenstrual tension that could be hindering your exercise efforts.
Protein provides energy slowly and steadily and this helps regulate the blood sugar levels and helps to boost mood. Vegan protein in particular can – if it’s a good blend – provide essential fatty acids that can help with energy production (pea, hemp and rice combined create a strong amino acid and essential fatty acid profile). I’ve formulated a product for Healthista, called Healthista Lean Vegan Diet Protein which can help with sustained energy release, reduce fatigue, strengthen the immune system and help hair, skin and nail health and also encourage the body to burn fat more efficiently.
If you’re looking for more energy when you’re working out, or feeling tired then you might like to consider beetroot powder, which is now being studied for its effects on improving endurance and performance. It produces nitrates in the blood which is then converted into nitric oxide that helps with muscle contractions, aids blood flow to the muscles and also helps to lower blood pressure. These three things mean that you can get more explosive power during your workouts. Beetroot also contains an antioxident called betaine which helps with blood sugar regulation and so can help curb cravings. You have a couple of choices with beetroot supplementation. My favourites are Golden Greens Organic Beetroot Powder, a pure form of beetroot powder that you can add to your smoothie, porridge or water. Another is Biocare Beetroot Extract, which are capsules to take before exercise. If you want a stronger immune system as well as a better exericse performance then this is the supplement for you.
Iron is important in the body because if you are deficient and many people are, particularly women, you can suffer from fatigue, headaches, lethargy and even borderline depression because you’ve got those other symptoms, so it’s important to keep iron levels up. I recommend a liquid form of iron, Floradix Liquid Iron Formula which has been one of my favourites for years, they use iron gluconate combined with B2, B6 and B12. These three B vitamins are key for energy production. There is also vitamin C which helps with immunity and energy but when combined with iron it aids absorption in the body to turbo charge your iron supplement.
If after exercise you feel sore, your legs feel tired, you feel unmotivated and exhausted then glutamine could help you recover. Taking glutamine after exercise acts as an internal massage for contracted muscles which will play an important role in recovery by reducing muscles’ tiredness and soreness.
Rick Hay is an Anti Ageing and Fitness Nutritionist with many years clinical experience in nutrition, naturopathy, botanical medicine and iridology. He specializes in obesity treatment and weight management. He writes a regular Natural Health and Fitness Blog for Healthista. Find out more at rickhay.co.uk. Follow Rick @nutritiomalphys