I love finding out what kind of supplements other people take! Inspired by my partnership with X2 Performance, I decided to give readers a look at the supplements I have been taking lately. My cabinet might look a bit different than other personal trainer’s cabinets – I don’t take a lot of traditional body-building supplements since I can’t stand the artificial colors, sugars, and flavors those things have. Polyethylene glycol and blue 40? No thanks! I really try to watch what’s in my food and supplements.
I will be the first to admit, I take a lot of supplements! Many of them help my IBS, but also take some of these because of my digestive issues. I have a limited diet due to food sensitivities and I don’t absorb vitamins and minerals well, so supplementation is important for me.
Everyone is different: I am not recommending everyone take these particular supplements nor that everyone should take this many! These are just the supplements I currently take and why I take them.
- Liquid Vitamin D-3: I had a vitamin D deficiency and my doctor had me start supplementing to help with my serotonin levels. So far so good! I take a good liquid D-3 vitamin, and I split my dose so I absorb it better.
- Liquid calcium & magnesium: I absorb vitamins and minerals better when they’re liquid, and since I don’t eat dairy (and many vegetable sources of calcium are not bioavailable), I supplement with calcium and magnesium. My extreme workout DOMS have improved tremendously since I started taking more magnesium and Vitamin D-3
- Vitamin B complex: I have to watch the source of B-vitamins, especially vegetarian or vegan ones. I have a yeast intolerance, so my B-vitamins can’t be yeast-derived. These GNC ones I use seem to work for me.
- Emergen-C: provides electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals
- Spirulina: Adds some extra green and protein to my diet (when I remember to take it!)
- Probiotics: essential for me! With my IBS and digestive problems, I take high-dose (50+ billion) probiotics daily. I am always looking for sales on these since they can be expensive. Look for probiotics that have multiple strains: one-strain probiotics don’t usually cut it for most people, especially if you have IBS or are going through a round of antibiotics.
- Digestive enzymes:
- Activated charcoal: This absorbs toxins in foods eat. This is my go-to when I have reflux or bloating/gas – it works very well. I don’t leave home without these!
- Digestive tea: tummy soothing herbs and herbal digestive aid. Eater’s Digest from Traditional Medicinal is my favorite
- L-Glutamine: this amino acid is good for repairing your intestinal wall. I take this when I remember to take it – not very often! I keep forgetting about this one.
- Quercitin: helps relieve seasonal allergies and also acts as an energy booster. You may be thinking “FRS has that”, but the amount in FRS isn’t as much as I need to help with my allergies, and FRS has artificial colors and sweeteners. If you want quercitin, pick a capsule form versus FRS – capsules are more concentrated, less expensive, and don’t have artificial junk. Just my 2 cents!
- Vitamin C: reduces inflammation and helps relieve seasonal allergies
- Aller-7: The jury is still out on whether or not this is working for me. I do know that Rootology works great for me, I just need to order some more…
- Gelatin Powder: gelatin is healing for intestines and great for joints, skin, and nails
- Sacha inchi powder: grain-free protein option that doesn’t have as much fiber as hemp powder and is milder tasting
- Hemp protein powder: Not a fan of the taste, but it’s a grain-free protein and high in fiber. It’s tolerable if mix it with other things
- GU: I don’t like the green tea extract in it (green tea aggravates my reflux), but I eat these on occasion before a race or before exercise if I need some extra fuel. My favorite flavor is Chocolate Outrage – it’s like brownie batter! Salted Caramel sounds good too. I just have to watch myself with these since they have sugar.
- Maca powder: this seems to work pretty good as an energy booster! I am giving up coffee for a little while (to see how my stomach does), so maca is nice to have in the morning with some tea.
- Cocogo: this is a great electrolyte drink mix that is fruit-based and has no fizz, which is awesome! For some reason my stomach can’t tolerate fizzy electrolyte tablets, so this works great. I would love to see them develop a sugar-free variety (without artificial sweeteners) sometime since I’m watching my sugar intake.
- X2 Performance: X2 Performance is a great, natural pre-workout supplement. I had to stop taking this because my stomach was sensitive to it (that’s par for me), but it’s perfect for people who don’t have a super-sensitive stomach like I do 😉 It works and is sport safe! You can sign up for a free trial 4-pack too (just pay for shipping).
Things I’ve tried that don’t work or me…
So by now you know that my health is something of an experiment for me: I am always trying things to help my energy levels and stomach, but not everything is a winner…
- HCL + Pepsin: This helps digestion for people who have low stomach acid. That isn’t a problem for me apparently…
- Homeopathic allergy tablets or syrup: the lactose-based tablets and the alcohol-based syrups don’t agree with my sensitive stomach
- Garlic tablets: I took odorless garlic tablets for a couple days as an anti-fungal for my intestines (in case there was candida lurking around) and since it was odorless garlic it’s not supposed to make you smell. Well, I could smell garlic during an intense workout yesterday when I was sweating pretty good! I’m canning the garlic tablets and finding something else to use
- High fat diets: Okay, not a supplement, but I just had to throw this in here. I love fat in the form of nuts, nut butters, coconut oil, etc. But for me personally, moderation is important. It’s okay for me to have high fat days periodically, but following a gut-healing high-fat diet didn’t agree with my stomach. My macronutrients need to be better balanced. My body just doesn’t like too much fat…sorry GAPS.
What are your favorite supplements?
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Disclaimer: This post is not meant to diagnose or treat illness, and it is not meant to replace advice from your doctor. Always speak with your physician first before beginning any new supplements!