Vitamin D is known universally as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’. That is because the body produces vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to sunlight. It has several important functions in the body, perhaps the most vital is the regulation of the absorption of calcium and phosphorous, and boosting the normal immune system. Getting a sufficient amount of this vital vitamin is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases, such as osteomalacia (soft bones) or osteoporosis (fragile bones). One very important thing to consider when buying vitamin D is to always get it suspended in oil, preferably olive oil or rapeseed oil, as very little of a powdered vitamin D (in tablet form) absorbs in the body. The two best quality brands to look out for are Pure Pharma and D-lux.
Fish oil is probably the best of the best when one talks about supplements. The health benefits of fish oil are numerous, they include its ability to aid in the treatment of various heart diseases. It prevents: high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, ADHD, inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease and much much more. It also helps aid weight loss, and can promote muscle growth on calorie surplus diets. When looking for a good quality fish oil, look for one that contains mackerel, sardine and/or anchovy oil, as these have the best quality EPA and DHA. If possible try and get a pharmaceutical grade quality fish oil, as it will have far less impurities. Brands to look out for are Platinum & Diamond Nutrition.
Whey Protein Powder would not be an essential supplement to take for the ordinary ‘Joe soap’. But if you exercise regularly or compete in sport, this supplement is a must! The benefits of using protein post workout are numerous; Most importantly it can help with overall recovery after training, it can aid in lean muscle production, help with fat loss and prevent DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) after vigorous exercise. Other benefits of using a good quality protein powder include: stronger tendons, lower blood pressure and a better sleep.
There are more protein powders on the market these days than ever before, but that does not mean all are equally good quality. When choosing a protein powder, check the nutritional information. Make sure you are getting a protein that has at least 75 per cent protein content, make sure this is on an ‘as is’ basis. Too many companies quote the protein content on a ‘dry basis’, which is the protein powder, in the lab, before any atmospheric moisture has mixed with it.
Another very important point to consider when buying a Protein is what type of whey that is used in it. If it’s grass fed whey, you’re on a winner! Most Irish and British companies that manufacture protein powders within their country will use grass fed whey. Two of our favourite companies are Platinum Nutrition – their Whey ISO+ is 100 per cent grass fed whey and manufactured in Ireland- and Reflex Nutrition, who are based in the UK and their micro whey is a very good option, too.
Glutamine is one of our favourite supplements around. Glutamine has been linked to protein synthesis and prevents your muscle from being catabolised. But new research also suggests that glutamine works similar to a pro-biotic; maintaining gut health. A study has shown two grams of glutamine post workout increased growth hormone levels by over 400 per cent. Glutamine may also boost your immune system and repair damaged tissue after surgery.
One of the most important things to consider when buying glutamine is to get it in Pharmaceutical Grade Quality. This will have no bulking agents added, and it will be pure 100 per cent glutamine. Brands such Platinum Nutrition, Reflex Nutrition and MP are very good options.
Supergreens are exactly that… Super Green Foods made into a powder, that can be taken ‘as is’, or added to a protein shake or smoothie. Most will contain: Wheatgrass, spirulina, barleygrass, pro-biotics, berry powder, etc. They pack a huge nutritional punch, are loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals and have been known to reduce inflammation, promote gut health, improve skin condition, detox the liver and kidneys, and boost the immune system.
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BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard
BIOGRAPHY: Daniel Sturridge