According to estimates, only about half of Americans reach the daily physical activity guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And fewer than 25 percent of them meet the strength training recommendations in addition to the aerobic exercise guidelines.
This is alarming since staying active has a long list of benefits. That includes weight control, disease prevention, strengthening bones and muscles, reducing stress, and prolonging your life expectancy.
The biggest barrier to staying active is time. So many people are looking for additional ways to improve their fitness levels and get healthy. Supplements are an option that offers some benefits.
Keep in mind that they should be used alongside a healthy diet and exercise program. However, the right natural supplements can help rev your fitness and get on you on track.
Intrigued? Keep reading to find out which are the best supplements for boosting fitness and getting healthy.
Magnesium plays a role in a huge number of functions within the body. Because of the changes in farming techniques, our soil isn’t as rich in magnesium as it once was, leaving up to 75 percent of people deficient.
One of the primary responsibilities of magnesium is to ensure adequate sleep. As you know, it’s difficult to feel motivated and energetic enough to do a workout if you’re sleep-deprived.
Additionally, it plays a role in energy at the cellular level. That means it’s vital for ensuring an effective workout. It also helps regulate heartbeat and blood pressure, both of which are important during exercise.
Magnesium is also important for vitamin D absorption and function. You need vitamin D for fitness because it helps decrease the risk of bone fractures and other injuries among athletes.
Magnesium in women’s supplements is especially important since women are more susceptible to bone issues and healthy production of hormones used for fitness, such as testosterone, which women don’t produce in large amounts.
A great source of magnesium is KaraMD Comfort Guard X24, which also controls pain and inflammation after a workout.
Caffeine isn’t quite the villain that many people would have you believe. The truth is that supplementing with caffeine, which is a stimulant, can boost energy and focus during a workout.
Keep in mind that more isn’t always better. Too much caffeine can interfere with performance and can be harmful to your heart. However, the proper dose can be quite beneficial.
You can get caffeine from coffee, tea, and chocolate, but a supplement may be a better way to control your dose as you prepare to exercise. Experts suggest 200 to 400 mg of caffeine about 30 to 60 minutes before a workout.
3. Probiotics and Prebiotics
Approximately 70 percent of your immune system is found in the gut. So it makes sense that keeping it healthy means you can adhere to a consistent workout routine. After all, it’s hard to exercise if you don’t feel good.
Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut, and yogurt. A supplement is a great choice if you don’t regularly eat these foods.
Prebiotics are like food for probiotics. To optimize your probiotic levels, you also need to supplement with prebiotics. They can be found in Jerusalem artichokes and bananas if you want to get some from your diet.
By creating a healthy microbiome in your gut, you also support your mental health. A stable mood and strong focus are key elements in ensuring that you get an effective workout.
4. Fish Oil
It may also play a role in perception, motor skills, and reaction times among athletes. Fish oil also promotes brain health so it could also improve focus and decision-making during fitness activities.
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also help with weight management, which can be beneficial if you’re pursuing an exercise program to promote weight loss.
You can further boost your intake by eating fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring. Omega-3s are also abundant in olive oil and avocado.
5. Branched Chain Amino Acids
Whether you’re looking for supplements for women or supplements for men, branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, should be on the list.
Why? Because BCAAs contain a blend of isoleucine, leucine, and valine, which work together to optimize glucose and protein in the cells. That’s important for building muscle and for muscle recovery after a workout.
You can get plenty of BCAAs by eating a diet that contains adequate amounts of lean protein. That might be from chicken, fish, beef, or pork. You can also get protein from beans, eggs, and peas.
However, you can improve your intake and optimize your muscle function by including a supplement in your fitness routine.
How to Take Supplements
Before adding any supplement to your routine, it’s always a good idea to talk it over with your doctor. That way you can determine which might be best for your fitness needs.
It’s important to follow the dosing recommendations as well. Certain supplements can have detrimental effects if taken in large doses.
Timing is also something to be aware of. Some supplements do their best work if you take them close to your workout. Others should be taken with food or drink.
Supplements shouldn’t replace a healthy meal plan. Eating a variety of healthy foods is important for overall health, as well as for promoting effective workout sessions.
For that reason, combine any supplements you decide to take with plenty of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, lean protein sources, and whole grains.
Supplements can have a significant impact on your fitness levels, provided you use them correctly. That means proper dosing and choosing the appropriate supplements for your specific needs.
Combined with other healthy choices, using any of these supplements can help you get more out of each workout, allowing you to build strength, power, and endurance, while also controlling your weight.
Before you go, check out our other health advice so you can stay happy and active, no matter your age.