How to Use Supplements to Fill Those Nutritional Gaps

Luke Douglas
Luke Douglas 7 Min Read

In an ideal world, your diet would suffice. You’d be able to use your diverse meals to supply your body with all the essential nutrients, all three macros and the many micronutrients included. Alas, our often less than healthy eating habits, skipping meals and swapping them with junk food and snacks, and not really choosing the finest of ingredients leads to deficiencies and health issues of all sorts. Sometimes, a deficiency might not even present itself as something severe, but rather in the form of fatigue, sleepiness, lack of energy or enthusiasm, insomnia, lack of focus, and the like.

Add to that, if you’re an athlete, you’ll find yourself struggling to perform at the gym, reach for a candy bar in a desperate need to boost your energy levels, and the vicious cycle prevails. Even when all is well, your diet might need an added kick from a reliable, healthy supplement just to make sure you’re on the right track with your nutrition goals. Here are a few trusty supplements to add to your day!

Vitamin D for those winter blues

Commonly found in dairy products such as milk and cheese, as well as salmon, red meat and other animal products, vitamin D is actually not a vitamin, but a prohormone and it can be synthesized by our bodies with the help of sunlight. Unfortunately, our diet often lacks this particular element (and it’s difficult to absorb from food), and we rarely spend enough time in the sunlight, especially during the winter months. 

When we lack vitamin D, our bodies tend to give subtle signals such as lack of energy, weakness, and in more severe situations of a deficiency, osteoporosis. Since your bones, your muscles, and your overall health depend so heavily on vitamin D, it pays to take a supplement on a regular basis.

Magnesium for fatigue and stress

Your body cannot process calcium without it, and your muscles need it for you to move properly – magnesium may be one of the most abundant of all minerals in your body, but its lack can lead to a slew of health conundrums. Athletes also love this mineral due to its relaxing powers, as a perfect way to reduce muscle soreness with a magnesium bath, and reduce stress levels in general.

To make sure you’ve got your intake under control, you can take a magnesium supplement to ensure that your energy levels are optimal, and to keep stress at bay. Keep in mind that different kinds of magnesium have different perks and absorption rates, so make sure you pick the right one for yourself before you commit. 

Omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation

Inflammation is a normal, natural process in your body, and a perfectly healthy one when it occurs occasionally. As soon as it becomes chronic, however, you can rest assured that your immune system will take a hit, and you might be looking at a more serious illness. Chronic inflammation is at the root of many modern diseases, from diabetes, arthritis, to various forms of cancer, so it’s best to keep it at bay.

One of your best allies in tackling inflammation are omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in fatty fish such as salmon, but it’s often tough to consume enough of them through diet alone. Time for an omega-3 supplement, perhaps? 

Probiotics to keep your gut in check

Science has come a long way in recent years, especially when it comes to discovering the culprits for many diseases of the modern age. For example, in addition to irritable bowel syndrome, Chron’s, and colon cancer, recent research points to your gut bacteria to be linked to Alzheimer’s. Since a major portion of your immune system resides in your belly, and it’s obviously intertwined with numerous processes that safeguard your health, taking probiotics to protect your gut is a wise choice.

You can find a broad-spectrum probiotic based on bacteria that already exist in your microbiome, so that you know that you’re supporting that natural balance in your gut. Of course, it would be good to talk to your doctor before you start taking probiotics, just to be sure that you’re on the right track. 

Vitamin B12 to enhance your vegan diet 

Your nervous system relies heavily on vitamin B12 for optimal functioning, and not to mention the pile of metabolic processes that use this handy micronutrient on a daily basis. However, if you’re looking to switch to a vegan way of life, you might want to consider adding this particular supplement to your regime. Since it’s found in eggs, dairy, and meat, your plant-based life might be tricky for keeping up with your daily dose of this micronutrient.

If you find yourself feeling constantly tired, physically weak, and you might be experiencing memory trouble, vitamin B12 deficiency could be the culprit. Snag a high-quality supplement to make sure that your new lifestyle is based on balance and that you provide your body with the nutrients you need.

 

First and foremost, make sure that your diet is well-balanced and diverse. Add some of these supplements to further fortify your nutrition and build that energy you need for your everyday challenges, and you’ll be able to make the most of your nutrition to reach your goals.

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Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.