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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. All I intend to describe is what I do and why I do it. Supplement at your own risk.
Supplements…do I need them? Should I take them? Will I benefit from them? Will they hurt me?
The answer will not be the same for everyone, and it varies depending on your body, diet, activity, and goals. The best way to know if it is safe for you to take supplements, or if you even should take them, is to talk with your doctor or nutritionist to determine what your body needs.
Supplements are merely supplements, not replacements. Taking a multi-vitamin every day is fine, but it should not be your only source of vitamins. I try to get most of my nutrition, vitamins and minerals from my diet, but let’s face it–that can be hard to do every day. Especially if you live a busy life and don’t have a lot of time to analyze your diet and make sure you are getting all of your dietary needs. I do log my food intake everyday, because I get paid to with Pact (which is a great app if you want to keep yourself accountable to log your food, workout or eat a certain amount of fruits/veggies and earn money), but I don’t always pay attention to my macros and nutrients.
I live an active lifestyle. I try to run at least once a week, and Crossfit 3-5 days a week, and I have specific goals and needs for my body. Besides a multi-vitamin, there are three supplements that I love to take. This is my regimen, and while there are certain supplements that I love, I am not a doctor and am not suggesting that anyone take what I take.
Collagen – I’ve talked about collagen before. Collagen provides the infrastructure of the musculoskeletal system, which is essential for mobility, and ensures the elasticity and regeneration of skin. It is the most abundant protein in our bodies. The formation of lines and wrinkles and sagging skin, and the weakening of cartilage in joints is due to collagen production in our bodies naturally declining with age. Certain factors can damage collagen, such as smiking, sunlight and sugar consumption.
I take collagen to help with my skin, hair (especially in preparing for the wedding), and joints. I have noticed an improvement in my hair, and I feel like the skin around my eyes is getting better.
~I take Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides because it is pure, pasture-raised collagen and it is tasteless. I mix it with my coffee every morning.
Magnesium – Magnesium is one of the highest rated supplements to take among the crossfit community. Strenuous exercise can increase magnesium requirements in athletes, and magnesium is necessary to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP–the energy currency of our cells) to aid aerobic and anaerobic energy production. Here is a pretty good article I found on magnesium and athletes if you’re interested in reading more. I take magnesium because I am so active, and it is a natural muscle relaxant and aids in recovery. It also helps me sleep. I take magnesium glycinate because it does not have a laxative effect, and glycine is a well-known calming amino acid.
~I like KAL Magnesium Glycinate. Keep in mind that a serving size is two tablets though, so if you want a full 400mg take two.
Fish Oil – I swear by fish oil. I love it for all of it’s benefits. It’s anti-inflammatory benefits are especially helpful in crossfit, and it helps increase joint mobility. It is a safer alternative to taking NSAIDs for anti-inflammatory purposes. It works better than ibuprofen. The last time I took ibuprofen was when the doctor perscribed it to me when I had my wisdom teeth removed. I don’t like taking medicine. Fish Oil is great. It’s also been said to help with healthy hair and skin.
~I take Carlson Labs Very Finest Fish Oil, because it is pure, free of mercury and rich in EPA/DHA.