What are supplements and How do I use them?

Updated: Nov 22, 2020


I want to start by answering a commonly asked question from you all to us here at BGW;

Q. Are supplements essential to success regarding your wellness journey?

A. No, supplements are not essential; HOWEVER, supplements act as aids and can help you achieve your fitness goals at faster rate. As well as keeping your body in supreme condition in order to fully reach them!


Here are a list of supplements that we personal use and recommend to help you along your journey, as well as what they do.



Protein Powder

Protein is an essential macronutrient for proper bodily functioning. It is essential for muscle, tissue, and cells. When you train it is very important that you are getting enough protein through adequate sources in order to build those muscles. However, for some people it is very difficult to get enough protein through diet alone. If it is difficult for you to get enough protein in your diet through food alone and adding more protein is your goal; I would check out protein powders.


Protein powders allow for you to get the recommended daily intake of protein quicker and easier by making shakes, smoothies, or even adding it to foods or recipes you already consume.

The protein powder i'm currently using is Orgain's vanilla bean plant-based protein. I'm currently attempting to cut back on dairy which sadly meant eliminating my typical whey protein from my diet. I found mine at cosco and it was a tad pricey. However, after contacting them, they gave us a "30% off your first purchase" discount code to share with all of you if you're interested! Remember, There are many types of protein powders to explore so make sure to get the right one for you.

Pre-Workout

Pre-workouts are multi-ingredient dietary formulas designed to boost energy and athletic performance. Pre-workout ingredients may include BETA-ALANINE, Creatine, Caffeine, L-CITRULLINE, and BCAA's. They are typically a powder that is mixed with water and consumed before a workout.


Taking a pre-workout before a session can really help with your intensity and focus during that workout. They come both caffeinated and non-caffeinated so be sure to look out for that. Pre-workouts that contain caffeine can make you feel jittery, cause a tingling sensation, and sometimes even make you feel itchy. If you feel and dislike any of these sensations after taking a pre-workout do not force yourself to keep using that particular brand. It’s important to find the best pre-workout that best works for you and your body. Many brands also have individual packs so that you can try before buying a full sized product.

If you struggle in this area, I would take a look at some of the pre-workouts in our amazon shop that we’ve personally tried and have worked for us!

Probiotics

Probiotics are microbes, a type of healthy bacteria that when consumed, can provide numerous health benefits. There are many different types, and you can obtain them from foods or supplements.

Here is a short list of some probiotic food examples:

1. Yogurt

2. Kefir

3. Sauerkraut

4. Tempeh

5. Kimchi

6. Miso

7. Kombucha

8. Traditional Buttermilk

9. Pickles

10. Natto

11. Some Cheeses

Probiotics are fantastic for gut heath, digestive health, and your immune system. As women, they are insanely important because probiotics can ward off vaginal yeast infections, urogenital infections, and bacterial vaginosis by keeping the vaginal microbiome in balance.

Gut Health is also important because an imbalance of unhealthy and healthy microbes in the intestines may contribute to weight gain, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and other disorders.

Multivitamins

Multivitamins are supplements that contain many different vitamins and minerals, ranging in and nutrient composition alongside other ingredients based on the brand and product.


In this day an age, unfortunately it is possible that you may not be getting proper nutrients through diet alone. This is due to what the traditional American diet currently consists of and many habits that have been taken on. People who may not get enough nutrients from food alone benefit most from multivitamins.


Although multivitamins can be great you shouldn’t take a multivitamin to fix a poor diet! Eating a balanced diet full of fresh whole foods is much more likely to ensure good health over the long term.


If you're like me and enjoy shopping Black-Owned brands, Tia Mowry recently launched a variety of different vitamins including elderberry, pre-natal, of course a women's multivitamin.



Remember that pills are not a shortcut to better health and the prevention of chronic diseases.

BCAA’s


BCCA’s or Branched Chain Amino Acids are a group of three essential amino acids. These amino acids are Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These cannot be synthesized by the body so must be consumed through dietary sources or through supplements.


BCAAs are present in:


  • meat, poultry, and fish.

  • eggs.

  • dairy products, such as milk and cheese.

  • nuts and seeds.

  • soy products, such as tofu and tempeh.

  • legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils.

BCAA’s come in powder or pill form and are typically taken during a workout, used as supplements to boost muscle growth and enhance performance. They are also known to help assist with weight loss and reduce fatigue after a workout.

BASICALLY, BCAA’s replenish your muscles for recovery, which we all know is necessary.

Creatine

Creatine is found naturally in muscle cells. Creatine assists in strength and performance, gaining and maintaining lean muscle mass, and producing energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise.

Creatine does not have to be taken as its own separate supplement but can be found in many pre-workouts, as well as naturally in many foods that we eat. Fresh meats like beef, pork and fish are excellent sources of creatine. A pound of fresh beef contains around 5 grams of creatine, while 1 pound of red meat contains around 2 grams. A pound of salmon and tuna contain around 4.5 grams of creatine. Creatine is not found in any plant foods, vegetarians and vegans can only get it from supplements.



Glutamine

Glutamine is a popular amino acid supplement among body builders and fitness enthusiasts. It exists in two different forms: L-glutamine and D-glutamine.


Glutamine works to supply nitrogen to muscle to synthesize proteins promoting protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is important because maintaining a high nitrogen balance in the muscle prevents muscle breakdown, therefore retaining more muscle.


Therefore, more Glutamine means more muscles and a leaner you.


Focusing on getting enough protein in your overall diet is an easy way to potentially increase the amount of glutamine you are consuming. Injury, surgery, burns, infections, malnutrition and high-intensity exercise are among the situations involving physical stress that trigger a Glutamine Deficiency.


Dietary sources of glutamine include:

protein-rich foods like beef, chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs, vegetables like beans, beets, cabbage, spinach, carrots, parsley, vegetable juices and also in wheat, papaya, Brussels sprouts, celery, kale and fermented foods like miso.

*all products linked are tried and true and many have worked for us personally. They are available on our amazon shop so if you need assistance in any of these areas make sure to check them out



Although Supplements can be extremely beneficial along this journey, they are not essential and do not determine whether or not you meet your goals, only you can do that. Supplements are intended to be extra nutrients to aid in the speedy repair of damaged cells and enhance the nutrient density of your diet. For some amino acids, there are ways to get enough through mindful eating and consuming the necessary dietary sources. However, If you struggle in any of these areas, try our some of our recommendations. They may be just right for you!



Health is Wealth,

xo Darian

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