There are so many pills, potions and lotions available for health and weight loss, and many of them will only have an impact on your bank balance. It’s pretty confusing right? Every time I walk into Holland and Barrett I get overwhelmed (and then head straight for the protein bars).
What actually works and has good quality research to back it up?
These are the 4 supplements I recommend to clients that could help you with your goals.
Note – I’ve provided links to buy each supplement from the myprotein website, and the final one from amazon. I’m not (sadly) on commission or an affiliate – they are just good quality products that I use myself, and good value for the dosage you get. If you do use the myprotein website, they always have a discount code on the site so make sure you add that in at checkout too.
Omega 3 (fish oil) is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to be beneficial for joint health and depression. If you suffer with aches and pains in your joints or experience low mood, it’s well worth giving it a try.
Other potential benefits include improved long term brain and heart health, and improved general well-being.
It may also help prevent some of the natural decline in cognitive function (such as brain processing speed and reaction time) that comes with old age.
We can get omega 3 from oily fish, but unless you eat at least 3 portions per week, it’s worth supplementing.
A good value option from myprotein is HERE
The sunshine vitamin. If you live in Britain (and many other parts of the world), chances are you don’t see enough of that lovely warm ball of fire in the sky, and you could benefit from supplementing with vitamin D.
It’s linked with a wide range of benefits, including reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, as well as improved bone health, immune health, brain function, and mental well-being.
We need vitamin D to convert calcium into bone, so it is especially important for women in menopause when osteoporosis becomes more of a risk. Can you get it from food? Yes, fatty fish and fortified milk are two good sources. But it is very difficult to obtain enough from food and irregular sun exposure alone.
It’s worth getting a blood test at your GP to find out your current levels of vitamin D and an optimal amount to supplement with. For many people, 1000-2000iu is a helpful moderate dosage.
A good supplement option can be found HERE
Whey protein is not essential for optimal health and weight loss, but protein itself is.
Many people, women in particular, don’t get enough protein to fully support their goals. Around 20-30g in each meal is ideal and this can be hard to do with limited time and a budget. Supplementing with whey is a convenient option to bump up your intake, and it often works out cheaper than getting the same amount of protein from food.
It’s actually a lot less artificial than it may seem too. Whey protein powder is a by-product of the manufacture of cheese – the separation of curds and whey. Once separated, whey is then filtered, warmed and spray dried to become whey protein powder. You can get unflavoured protein, or you can buy it in a variety of flavours (which make it taste a lot nicer).
I wrote a lot more about protein in this article here:
Don’t worry about getting ‘diet’ protein if weight loss is a goal – standard whey is fine and usually better value.
I’m a big fan of chocolate brownie flavour ‘Impact whey’ from myprotein. It goes in my porridge or pancakes every morning along with a tablespoon of cacao powder for extra chocolatelyness. Vanilla is always a safe bet too, and you can find various flavour options HERE
My favourite breakfast of chocolate protein porridge – so good.
If you suffer with migraines, aching muscles, PMT or trouble sleeping, supplementing with magnesium could help. There isn’t super strong research behind this that I’ve seen, but I’ve had a number of clients find it beneficial for each of those problems.
You can get it from food – good sources are spinach, dark green veg, raspberries, figs, oily fish, quinoa, whole grains, edamame, black beans, almonds, cashews, peanuts, dark chocolate (yay) and avocado.
Supplementing can be worth a try, particularly as you can take it a couple of hours before bed to potentially help with sleep too. Just make sure to avoid the ‘oxide’ version, which is the cheapest form and poorly absorbed.
Magnesium citrate is better, and a good option (on amazon this time) is HERE
While supplements are helpful, it’s worth remembering that the biggest impact on your health will always come from solid foundations. These take the form of quality nutrition, regular movement, sleep, hydration, self care and stress management.
And it when it comes to weight loss, supplements can certainly help, but the number one focus should always be your nutrition. Specifically – reducing your calorie intake in a healthy and sustainable way that works for you.
I hope that helps, and if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch with me HERE 🙂