There are so many supplements on the market, it can be difficult to know which one’s are best
to take. As always, the most valuable supplement to be on will always be the one you’re
deficient in. If you don’t have any major deficiencies, and are generally healthy, these 5
supplements are best to maintain optimal health.
- Vitamin D
If you live in Canada, or you don’t get a lot of sunlight, Vitamin D supplementation is essential.
Vitamin D supports bone health, immune health, cardiovascular health, cognitive health, and so
much more. I would also encourage you to get your vitamin D levels checked annually through
a simple blood test, to ensure your supplementation levels are adequate. The recommended
dose of 1,000 IU is often too low.
- Omega 3
Famous for its anti inflammatory properties, most of our diet’s lack in adequate Omega 3
consumption. Found in fatty fish, like salmon, this power house supports joint health,
cholesterol, cognitive function, and mood balance. Avoid supplements containing omega 3,6,9
combinations, as most of us don’t need more omega 6 or 9 in our diet.
One of the most widely studied sport supplements on the market, this one has earned a spot
on the list. Aside from improving sport’s performance, especially in strength athlete’s, there’s
interesting research being done on its cognitive boosting effects, especially in those struggling
with Alzheimer’s disease. 3-5g daily is appropriate for most individuals. A loading phase isn’t
necessary, and often causes GI distress.
- Protein Powder
Ideally, we’d be consuming our daily protein needs from food alone. Most of us, however, fall
short due to the busy nature of our lives. Whey protein powder or whey isolate protein powder
help you reach your targets on the go. Vegan protein powder is OK if you can’t tolerate dairy.
Avoid protein powder with too many artificial sweeteners and fillers.
A multivitamin won’t address an existing deficiency, but it can help prevent any major
deficiencies from developing in the first place. If you do develop a major deficiency, a much
larger dose will be required, and administered by your doctor.
A note on supplements:
The supplement industry isn’t tightly regulated, leading to sub par products on the market.
Often, supplements do not contain what they claim to, or worse, contain harmful heavy metals
or bacteria. The top offenders are probiotics, vitamin C, and fish oil. To combat this, look for
third party tested supplements. If you’re unsure, search your supplement on www.labdoor.com.
High quality supplements will often reflect its quality in price. Don’t try and save a few dollars
on the lower budget brands, as they often will not contain what you’re paying for. In addition,
there’s no supplement on the market that can replace a healthy, whole foods diet. Focus on
your diet first, then supplementation to fill in the gaps.