The purpose of supplementation becomes skewed when the idea of abundance and excess becomes thought of as being better. As a personal trainer you see this a lot with young men aspiring to add muscle mass, their first question will often be: ‘what supplements do you take?’, or ‘what protein is the best for building muscle?’ The truth is that supplementation should solely be there to facilitate a dietary deficit, anything in excess can actually have counter, negative influence on the body. When I initially first got into the weights room, I had a similar mindset; I’d supplement with all kinds of different products: pre-workout, creatine, casein protein, whey protein – you name it. Now I’ve completely scaled back my supplementation approach and use just three supplements, the rest of my nutrients I get from food:
CBD Oil: CBD is a compound found within the hemp plant. It’s lacked research up until fairly recently mainly due to its source association with the psycho-active compound THC (both derived from the cannabis plant), however the reality is that CBD is very different. Studies have linked CBD with helping people who suffer with epilepsy, reducing anxiety and depression, and even working as an effective cancer treatment. The reason I use a CBD spray is to reduce inflammation. If you train at high intensity and high frequency, inflammation is an inevitable physiological response, however if inflammation becomes chronic is can lead to pain and pure recovery. Furthermore CBD works as an effective relaxation and sleep aid: other lifestyle factors essential for wellbeing and recovery.
Plant based protein: I supplement with protein powder if I’m ‘on the go’ and need a quick and easy solution to a nutrient deficit. I opt for plant based as opposed to diary based protein because it’s easier for my body to process: diary – for me – can cause some gut inflammation and bloating. I find plant based protein a lot easier to digest and usually use either pea protein or hemp protein.
Green Tea: Be it in a tea bag, powder or pill, green tea is a very powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are beneficial as they protect against free radicals, which can build up in the body for a variety of reason, such as toxin exposure or even after a heavy bout of compound lifting. Free radical build up – over time – leads to cellular damage. Fruit and vegetables contain a lot of antioxidants, however I sometimes fail to meet my daily quota! If so, I reach for the green tea.
By Ste Watson: Personal Trainer & London Fitness Blogger