We get asked time and again about proper supplementation. With all of the different fitness programs we offer in our challenge groups, all of the different meal plans, the Ultimate Reset, the 3 Day Refresh, sometimes it's easy to get lost in the confusion.
The other thing we've noticed is that there are so many coaches out there not only pushing Beachbody products, but other products found from GNC (such as Whey Protein, Fat Burners, etc) to help maximize their challengers results. But I wanted to hopefully clear all of this up for you and give you the simple basic supplements that you need, where to find them, and how to maximize and maintain your health if you are continuously working out like many of our challengers, going from program to program.
#1 Shakeology: Yes, Shakeology is first and I'm not going to go real in depth on this post about Shakeology. If you've been participating in our challenge groups, I'm sure you've at least explored this as an option. If you can afford it, I'd definitely recommend working this into your budget. It is THE HEALTHIEST option when it comes to Meal Replacement/Protein Powders, and has a healthy dose of a bunch of nutrients that you normally wouldn't (or can't) find unless you drop some deep change at Whole Foods.
Here's a bonus tip: There's a company called Labdoor where they actually test out supplements like Shakeology as well as many of the things you'd find on the shelves of your local retail store to see if the ingredients of the supplements you are paying top dollar for are ACTUALLY IN THE SUPPLEMENTS (yes, there are ways around FDA regulations that the supplement companies are finding ways to rip you off). This company buys supplements from the store (to make sure that they are testing what you actually purchase, not what the company sends them!) and takes them through the ringer.
Here's one of my favorite Podcasts that explains clearly what this company is doing and how it can help you.
And I'm proud to say that Shakeology had the highest ranking when it came to it actually containing what the product label of Shakeology actually says it does :)
You can also see what other products ranked right up there in quality and value if Shakeology just isn't your thing.
My next few supplements I want to share with you are some supplements from Beachbody that are relatively inexpensive but have some major benefits that seem to lose the spotlight even though they can really boost your recovery and overall health.
The first one is Cordastra, which came out shortly after the launch of Ti Chen, a Tai Chi fitness program. This supplement contains two key herbs that can help improve your immunity, reduce stress levels, and help boost recovery, especially if you are working out everyday and stressing your body.
This product has 2 key ingredients, the first being Cordyceps, which can help boost testosterone levels, increase perceived energy levels, as well as the biggie here--boosting ATP levels.
Why is boosting ATP levels important? According to Bodybuilding.com:
"Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy currency of your muscles. It is also the go-to fuel for any short, explosive activities like jumps and sprints. One of the active ingredients of cordyceps is adenosine, a nucleic acid that is a crucial component of ATP.According to a 2007 study out of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, cordyceps can significantly boost up your body's ability to produce ATP, which can help anyone from elderly people looking to stay active, to elite world-class competitors.
What does this mean to you? Part of the reason you "fail" during sets is because your body can't generate enough ATP to keep up with the intense demands you place upon it. By boosting ATP generation, cordyceps can extend the length of time you can lift heavy weights. This means more personal bests, as well as enhanced growth through greater muscle stimulation."
If you want to check out some of the other benefits of Cordyceps, check out Bodybuilding's full article here.
The second key ingredient in Cordastra is Astragalus Root. Basically this ancient Chinese herb can help prevent fatigue and help give you more energy.
According to Dr.Oz.com, it can be "used either alone or with other herbs to help with aging, improve energy, and stimulate the immune system during conditions such as the common cold, blood disorders, cancer and HIV/AIDS. It is also used as an adaptogen, which is meant to increase general resistance to stress and disease, and normalize disturbances in your body’s ability to balance itself."
My last supplement recommendation is a greens supplement found in the Ultimate Reset. It doesn't taste the greatest but basically with all of the stress that multiple workouts per week can do to your body, that stress tends to put your body in a very acidic state. What this greens supplement can do is help to bring your body back into a state of alkalinity.
"There is a general consensus on which classes of food are acidic to the body and which are alkaline. However, there is some disagreement regarding specifics depending on the source. In part, because this is an emerging field there is some discrepancy between where certain food lie on the pH spectrum, further research is certainly required. In general alkaline foods include most fruits and vegetables, plant based proteins, spices and green tea, just to name a few. Acidic foods include many fats and oils, dairy products, grains, animal protein, some beans and legumes and alcohol. As you can see from this list, the typical western diet is highly skewed toward the acidic foods. Even the "healthiest diet" can be skewed toward more acidic foods, based on a person's nutritional needs as well as convenience and availability. As such it is recommended that individuals educate themselves on the acidity and alkalinity of various foods and make a concerted effort to include more alkaline foods and supplements into their diet. It should be noted that scientific data on this field is just emerging and caution should be used when investigating this topic, there is no single authority and various sources may be in disagreement, use your best judgment." XTri.com
I recommend in adding in Alkinalize to your daily shake to help minimize this acididity, especially if you are stressing your body each and every day with hard workouts.