Y’all should know this about me by now but just in case I’ll remind you. I am a HUGE advocate for holistic health and for getting all your nutrients from the foods you eat. I also firmly believe that if you’re taking any supplements they should be as natural as possible with no artificial dyes or chemical ingredients that can turn out to be harmful.
Over the years I have done my research regarding supplements. I have tried and tested many brands and products and now I feel that I have found ones that really work for me and elicit the results I expect them to achieve.
During this blog I’ll share with you my favorite go to products, what they do, and what they have done for me over the time that I have been taking them. All of the products are vegan, macro friendly, and can help push your fitness to the next level!
Amazing Grass effervescent tablets: I take one of these tablets every morning dissolved in a big cup of water (after consuming my regular water with lemon and sea salt). They have everything from spirulina, chlorella, and tumeric to garlic, broccoli, and blackberry concentrates. I love this product because it’s an equivalent to a serving of greens first thing in the morning, is LOADED with vitamins and minerals, and its easy to consume. This product has been so beneficial for me that when I ran out of my daily vitamins I actually never bought a new pack because these seem to have the equivalent of my regular daily vitamin but made with more natural ingredients! It is also easier on the body to absorb these nutrients then a pill that can be challenging to dissolve.
Maca root powder: Maca is one of those super foods that has slowly gained traction over the years. It has been known to help regulate hormones, moods, and to help with endurance in sports performance. I’ve been taking Maca every day for about 3 months and over that span the biggest change I have noticed a tremendous difference in my cycle with less mood swings and cramping. So ladies, this one is a must have! I personally use it in a vegan pill form, however it comes in a powdered form that you can easily mix into a smoothie.
Gnarly Nutrition: I use a few different Gnarly Nutrition products which I’ll highlight below. The reason why I love Gnarly Nutrition is because the company believes in making pure supplements without any GMO’s, hormones, or harmful chemicals and dyes. They also aim to inspire people to move more by fueling them with the proper tools to excel at whatever sport they are doing.
- Vegan Protein Powder Meal Replacement: Let me just preface that I do not use this product as an actual meal replacement but rather an addition to my meal or a post workout snack. This particular powder is one of the best vegan protein powders I’ve ever had! It blends perfectly in a smoothie, with water, or in oatmeal and is macro friendly with 20g protein, 17g carbs, and 7g fat. This product also is loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin D and B12, as well as Magnesium and Zinc, allowing for an extra nutrition dense option when you’re on the run. (Protein shake products labeled as meal replacements typically are higher in calories and have more vital nutrients than regular protein powders). It is made with a protein blend of pea protein, chia seed and cranberry seed. The other ingredients are completely natural leaving it gentle on your stomach. It comes in two flavors, vanilla or chocolate, and honestly you cannot go wrong with either!
- Pre Workout: I used to never be a fan of pre workout because those around me who took pre workout always seemed to get a weird jittery effect and being someone who is sensitive to caffeine I steered away. However, when I moved to Austin I started to suffer from allergies pretty regularly and needed something to get my energy up and clear my head so I started using pre workout to enhance my workouts. When I tried Gnarly’s pre workout a few months ago I quickly realized that this has to be the best in the game! Not only is the strawberry lemonade flavor delicious but it gives you just enough natural energy (from green tea) to get you going, without feeling jittery! This pre workout also contains Ginger and Beta Alanine to delay fatigue, as well as vegan BCAA’s to help in recovery (more information on BCAA’s to come). All in all you get a product that looks after you from the moment you start your workout to well after you stop.
- BCAA’S: Branch chain amino acids are the essential amino acids that your body needs to help facilitate metabolic process that protein is responsible for. We do not synthesize these amino acids on our own, therefore supplementation of them are a good idea in order to get the benefits. Some people think that BCAA’s are not necessary and others think they are. I am very pro BCAA’s because I think that they are vital to helping your body recover and repair if you are an athlete or training for something. The reason why is because branched chain amino acids are utilized as energy during exercise and when we supplement with them we have a source readily available, rather than our bodies having to use the amino acids in our muscle tissue. When I was training for my last half marathon I was taking BCAA’s after my long runs and was noticing a shortened recovery time with less soreness the next day. I still take BCAA’s almost every day and I am a believer that those, along with proper nutrition, and a balanced workout schedule, have allowed me to train at the intensity I like to while keeping my muscles rebuilding without excess damage. I have tried the lemon lime and the berry lemonade. Both are DELICIOUS and very refreshing!
Vega: Similar to Gnarly Nutrition I also tend to take a few products from Vega that are worth sharing. This company is 100% vegan and focuses on fueling the vegan athlete in a way that will provide them with all the nutrients they need to optimize their performance.
- Performance Protein: This protein is one of my favorites when I am in need of a high protein solution with low carbohydrates. It has 30g of plant protein, 5g carbs, and 3g fat making it an excellent post workout fuel source to help rebuild those muscles. It also includes BCAA’s, which again help with that rebuilding and facilitating of the proteins. As well as probiotic’s so its gentle on your stomach. I have tried the vanilla and chocolate proteins in water, with almond milk, as well as in oatmeal and they both are delicious!
- Protein and Greens: This powder has less protein than the one above, at 20g protein, 2g fat, and 5g carbohydrate, but it also as included more greens into it. This powder includes other powders from spinach, broccoli, and alfalfa grass to name a few, allowing you to intake a little bit more of the green things that are good for your body! This product isn’t my favorite with just water, however it does taste delicious mixed with almond milk. The vanilla flavor blends nicely in oatmeal, and the salted caramel with some almond milk makes a yummy after dinner guilt free dessert.
- Energizer: The Vega sugar-free Energizer was the first I tried of pre workouts. It is made of all natural ingredients and, similar to the Gnarly pre workout, does not leave you feeling jittery or uncontrolled. They include tumeric to aid in a decrease of inflammation which is a fantastic touch (although it will stain your water bottle yellow when you use it!) It also contains some electrolytes to aid in hydration. I have tried the acai berry. At first I was not a fan of the flavor but now I think it tastes pretty good.
- Hydrator: Electrolytes are a great supplementation to take to help aid in hydration. Personally I think that everyone can benefit from regular use of electrolytes because so many of us are dehydrated without even knowing it! When we are dehydrated our energy decreases, we retain more water, which can leave us feeling bloated, and it becomes harder for us to regulate our hunger signals The Vega Hydrator gives you all those minerals you need (potassium, magnesium, and sodium) to aid in hydration. The ingredients are clean and its very macro friendly for any of you who are tracking (0 sugar, 5 calories). One of my favorite mixtures is to put the Lemon Lime Hydrator into my Lemon Lime Gnarly Nutrition BCAA’s and sip on that all morning!
Hopefully my years of testing out these supplements and going through plenty of trail and error will help you decide which supplements you think are the most beneficial to include in your diet. I would recommend first taking a look at everything you are eating and see if there are any areas where you can improve. You simply will not find a benefit of utilizing these supplements if you are chasing it down with artificial sweeteners, processed foods, and consuming tons of fat and sugar. After you have cleaned up your diet then maybe think about adding in some of these supplements to enhance your performance. Whether you chose one of these products or not remember to ALWAYS check the ingredients of the products you are choosing and make sure they do not include any harmful dies or chemicals that can hurt you in the long run and consume your doctor if there are any concerns.
For more information, as well as online training and/or nutrition coaching shoot me an email: email@example.com