The Supplement Puzzle- Part II

Beer Belly Brain Omega 3
As promised, I’m back at it this week with Part II of the supplement puzzle. In case you missed it- be sure to check out Part I where I outlined the importance of protein powder and creatine and if you’re interested in green powders and branched chain amino acids click here for Part III of the supplement puzzle.
 

First up: Omega 3 Oils

 
What are they?

Omega 3 oils are essential unsaturated fatty acids that cannot be created within your body. They are extremely vital for normal metabolism, brain function and numerous other processes. Since you cannot produce these oils in house you have to acquire them through proper nutrition and/or supplementation.

I’ve talked to several coaches and nutritionists over the years that even go as far as saying, “If you could only take one supplement for the rest of your life, make it an omega 3 supplement”.

Yes, they are that important.

What do they do?

The health benefits of Omega 3s are vast. A high quality dose of Omega 3 oils has been shown to:

1. improve heart function
2. increase concentration, learning and memory
3. improve joint health by fighting inflammation
4. improve blood lipid profiles
5. improve immune function

When most people think of omega 3 oils they automatically think of “fish oil”. Fish oil is only one of the available sources of omega 3 oils. Due to contamination of our water systems and increased mercury load found in fish these days, there has been research pointing towards krill oil as being one of the best and cleanest forms of Omega 3 supplementation on the market.

Best sources of omega 3 oils from the foods we eat:

1. Flaxseeds (1 Tbsp of oil has 7g of omega 3s)
2. Salmon (3oz serving gives you 2-3 grams of omega 3s)
3. Walnuts (1/4 cup or handful is 2-3 grams of omega 3s)
4. Halibut (3oz gives you 1-1.5 grams of omega 3s)
5. Sardines (2oz gives you 1-1.5 grams of omega 3s)

How much do I need each day?

100-150 pounds: 6 grams
150-200: 8 grams
200-250: 10 grams
250+: 12 grams

Reading this and doing a little calculation in your head, you are probably thinking it might be hard to hit the recommended amounts by eating food alone. And unless you are eating fish and walnuts several times per day- you’re right. This is where a high quality Omega 3 supplement can come in handy.

I cannot stress enough the importance of quality over quantity when choosing an Omega 3 supplement. When selecting an Omega 3 make sure you read the label and buy one that has a high DHA and EPA content. Some of the cheaper bottles give the impression that you are getting more for your money but end up being a much less potent version. You then end up having to take more and more capsules to hit your daily target limit.

An omega 3 oil I like is Prograde EFA Icon
 

Next up: Multivitamins

 
I had a funny but recurring question about multivitamins the other day. My buddy asked if he really needed to keep taking a multivitamin. He then went on to tell me that he didn’t feel any different from it and all he noticed was the increased color of his, “Worlds most expensive pee”.

The reason I thought this was funny and I’m sure most can relate is because all of us at one point in our lives have experienced the neon pee effect you get when taking a multivitamin. It would seem as though your hard earned money is going directly down the drain (pardon the pun).

And thus full circle back to my buddy’s question- “Do we really need a multivitamin and if so what is the best kind?”

What are they?

Multivitamins are a mish-mash of vitamins and minerals that are essential for metabolism and proper body function. You normally obtain these vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat because much like essential oils, your body does not produce enough of them for proper functioning.

In a perfect world everyone would eat the way the body was designed to eat (as outlined in the 3BG System) and get their vitamins and minerals from food. However with busy schedules and poor food choices people are turning towards multivitamins for basic nutrition coverage. It is my recommendation people clean up their diets and focus on proper nutrition before popping a multivitamin. The right multivitamin should be a compliment to a well balanced diet and not a replacement.

What do multivitamins do?

Vitamins and minerals aid in various functions of the body; such as the formation of new cells and keeping your immune system and metabolism strong.

In many circumstances in this world; too much of a good thing can be bad. Therefore it is important not to ingest too many vitamins and minerals. Your urine changes color because B and C vitamins are water soluble and any extra you take in is then eliminated and excreted down the drain. However, vitamins like A, D and E are fat soluble and can be much harder to eliminate from your system leading to the potential build up of toxic levels if you are not careful.

How much to take?

Only ever take the recommended dose as indicated on the side of the bottle. Prograde nutrition carries an excellent Multi for men.

Hopefully today I’ve helped to clarify a few more things with regards to proper supplementation. Remember, when it comes to omega 3′s, multivitamins and supplements in general always go for quality over quantity and do not use them as a substitution for a healthy eating plan. They are to be used in addition to and not in substitute for.

Keep an eye out next week where I’ll bring you the third installment of the supplement puzzle. I’ll look into Green powders and Branch Chained Amino acids

Stay Strong,

Drew

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