When I work out a lot, there are a few supplements recommended to me by a personal trainer that really work for me. My doctor said they are safe for me to take – there is nothing controversial here at all (absolutely no ‘roids, creatine, stimulants, etc.). Always check with a doctor before taking anything though… I buy all this stuff at our local Natural Health Food Store (Vitamin Cottage).
1. Protein Powder: Iron Tek Essential Natural Whey Protein
My trainer told me to divide my body weight in half, and that’s the number of grams of protein you should have per day. All you have to do is take one scoop of this protein powder, mix it with skim milk, and you have a great snack of 30 grams of protein and about 200 calories. She was specific about recommending this exact brand due to its high quality of protein… not all protein powders are made equal. My doctor even told me I could use this when I was pregnant, although I didn’t. It has Stevia in it, which is evidently a natural sweetener and not much research has been done on it with pregnancy – at least at the times of my pregnancies. Anyway my favorite flavors are Strawberry or Chocolate.
Note: when I was pregnant I used this brown rice protein, because I couldn’t stomach meat or eggs, and my dr. told me to make protein shakes: http://www.nutribiotic.com/rice-protein-plain-21oz.html (sold at Whole Foods). There were days I couldn’t keep anything down, but if I mixed this with ice cream and milk, I was just fine! Also, North Coast Naturals makes an organic brown rice protein, although I haven’t tried it.
This is an Amino Acid that speeds up muscle recovery. Under extreme physical stress (heavy workouts, severe burns, etc.) your body uses more glutamine than it can make. Taking extra glutamine speeds up workout recovery so you aren’t sore as long (if at all). I use the powder version (not the capsules), and I mix it with a little water. You can read more about glutamine here: http://www.vitamins-supplements.org/amino-acids/glutamine.php
Ribose is a sugar that occurs naturally in your body. Supplementing with D-Ribose gives me more energy and stamina in cardio workouts – I can run longer faster. Again I use the powder version (not the capsules), and I mix it with a little water. Dr. Andrew Weil comments on this supplement in this article: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400285/does-ribose-really-energize I also read an article about this supplement in a natural food magazine that said it has been proven to help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.