When it comes to vitamins and supplements, it boggles the mind how many choices are available. From your social media feed to the latest pop science news, there’s an endless stream of promises for more energy, weight loss, and insta-solutions to the problem-of-the-day. That got us wondering: How much of it is hype? How much is based in science? So we asked MYX trainer, Lauren Sambataro, who also happens to be a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Holistic Lifestyle Coach, for her take on these products.
Can vitamins or supplements give you more energy for better workouts?
Lauren says this isn’t the question we should be asking. She begins by asking her clients four key questions about their lifestyle habits and nutrition:
- How much sleep do they get?
- Do they stay hydrated?
- How much stress are they under?
- What is their diet and how do they schedule or time their meals?
“Once these core elements are balanced,” Lauren says, “Supplements and additional vitamins should be considered like icing on a super nutritious cake.” She believes vitamins and supplements for energy should be used to enhance what we already are doing well in order to live a balanced life, rather than compensate for what’s not there.
Which supplements for exercise really work?
If you’re looking for a magic solution, Lauren cautions us that there isn’t one. All bodies are different and that means we all respond differently to supplements. What works for you, might not work for your neighbor. Sometimes you have to experiment to find out what is right for your body. She recommends working with your physician or a nutrition practitioner to help you find and personalize the right solution for you.
Where should you start?
Lauren does recommend these supplements for exercise if you’re interested in seeing whether they can help you.*
Nitric oxide has been shown to boost exercise performance, improve circulation, lower blood pressure and decrease muscle soreness in several studies.
Electrolytes, like sodium, calcium and potassium, help your brain, heart and muscles to work properly. Levels can vary depending on your hydration.
Fish Oil supplements have been shown to improve heart and brain health, reduce inflammation and improve your bone health according to a number of studies.
Essential Amino Acids play a critical role in your health, including building and maintaining muscle and regulating your immune system.
Lauren reminds us that it can take a little time to learn which supplements help you feel more energy, recover from exercise more quickly, and work best for your lifestyle. If you opt to add a vitamin or supplement to your diet, be smart and choose a brand that tests supplements to verify it contains safe ingredients.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.