Supplements. Do we actually need them and benefit from them? Are they good for us? Are they just a waste of money?
Supplements are just that they are SUPPLEMENT to our diet.
If we can get all the nutrients our body needs through food then that’s great! But if we cant, then that’s where supplements can be useful. As a nutritionist my belief is that food is the best way to get our nutrients because whole foods contain a wide range of different macro and micronutrients.
Some common questions and misconceptions answered below;
What is the difference between protein powder and protein from say chicken or tofu?
Firstly, food such as tofu has much more than just protein in it; it also has many vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for our overall health. Protein powders can be beneficial if you don’t have time to prepare your protein rich food for a snack or for after you’ve hit the gym. Protein powders can be extremely convenient, however, not all are created equal…
What to look for in a protein powder?
How much protein?
Around 20-25 grams per serve is adequate
How much sugar?
None if possible, otherwise less than 5 grams is recommended
How many calories?
For a snack, around 100-150 calories is adequate.
Protein powders are high in protein (obviously) however can often be low in calories making them a good alternative for a snack if weight loss is your goal (as protein keeps us nice and full).
Pick a protein free from artificial flavours, colours and sweeteners (most brands do contain these so choose carefully!). The reason I avoid these is artificial additives are not beneficial for our health and I believe it is best to consume ingredients that are actually food or a derivative of food (not something that we don’t know what it is or what it may do to our body long term)
Make sure you check where the protein is coming from. The most common sources are either dairy or plant based. If you are intolerant or sensitive to dairy then obviously you will want to go for a plant-based option. I chose plant based protein powders as I find them easier to digest (less bloating) and also I prefer to eat a more plant base diet in general. Listen to your body and choose what works best for you personally.
If you are currently on my plan then you will notice I recommend protein powder in some smoothies and oats, my favourite protein powder currently is “Blessed” protein, which is protein from fermented peas and contains only natural ingredients. If you would prefer to get your protein from whole foods for your smoothies and oats you could instead use nuts and seeds such as chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, brazil nuts and almonds etc..
Do fat burners actually work?
If there was a powder or pill we could take that made those extra kgs miraculously fall off us everyone would probably know about it by now right?
In saying that, these are often the most common ways fat burners can assist with weight loss;
Fat burners are often thermogenics, basically what that means is they increase our body temperature so that our body can burn calories faster whilst we exercise.
Fat burners MAY help with additional fat breakdown, they often contain ingredients such as l-carntine, raspberry ketones, garcinia etc.. This is not scientifically proven.
Often fat burners will contain something that gives you energy, this is where I think they can be really helpful for weight loss; energy is usually what gets us to the gym and what helps us have a good workout right?
Supplements are kind of like the icing on the cake, if you have a healthy lifestyle with great nutrition and you are training then adding in supplements can be really beneficially.
I am currently using EHP Labs OxyShred non-stim, which is an all-natural fat burner (no artificial flavours, sweeteners or colours). Non-stim means this product is caffeine free (it contains energy from amino acids and b-vitamins). Benefits of non-stim;
- If you are sensitive to caffeine you can take this product prior to evening workouts
- If you already drink coffee then you wont be adding more caffeine to your system each day (most of us drink way too much as it is)
- No “crash” afterwards and no “jitters”
- Most fat burners contain lots of artificial ingredients, this is the first product I a actually recommend to clients wanting help with additional energy and weight loss when following my nutrition and exercise plans
I have a discount code for boom boy supplements “REA10” at www.boomboy.co.nz