Top 5 Supplements for the Winter
First and foremost, throw away your multivitamins!
Most people think they should simply take a multivitamin and call it a day. The issue with this is that they contain too much of some things and not enough of others. The result? You receive too much of some nutrients, and become deficient in others!
Athletes Kitchen’s top 5 picks for this winter are: Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Vitamin B Complex, Krill Oil.
Athlete’s Kitchen highly recommends getting the majority of your nutrients from food itself. Simply by eating healthy foods, you can already reach your goals for most nutrients.
Whole food cooked with simple ingredients is a great start. Here at Athlete’s Kitchen we have built balanced portions of nutrient dense foods to ensure you get the most out of your diet. Nutrients from whole foods are more bioavailable than consuming the equivalent nutrients from a pill or powder. Antioxidants from real food have substantial benefits! Also note that by taking high doses of some synthetic antioxidants, you may actually be putting your health at risk for adverse health conditions. You should be getting the best nutrients from whole natural food and fill in the gaps with supplements!
We have put together our top 5 supplements for the winter to help you stay strong and healthy!
Vitamin C is a powerhouse when maintaining a healthy immune response. Vitamin C enhances the activity within our T-cells and all immune response for mostly everyone due to its layer of immune system protection. A few symptoms to watch for if you are deficient: easily bruising, swollen or bleeding gums, thickened skin, dry hair, and fatigue. Some foods that have a high amount of Vitamin C are: citrus fruits, strawberries, papayas, peaches, sweet and chilli peppers, broccoli, organ meats, and sardines. You also will notice that Athlete’s Kitchen uses many of these in our meal plans.
Vitamin B comes in many forms and is an essential nutrient. The number one factor is that it plays a big role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins (macronutrients that we consume to survive), helping with digestion and production of energy. Secondly, B vitamins assist in regulating mood, sleep, and feelings of pleasure. B vitamins are also critical for producing brain chemicals. They work synergistically together and have very similar properties. As an example, vitamins B6, B9, and B12 work together to protect our cardiovascular and nervous system. Vitamin B9 (folate) is critical for woman that are planning on becoming pregnant and or are breastfeeding. It is vital for growth, development and maintenance of brain functions.
Here is a list of foods you can find Vitamin B in:
- B1 THIAMINE: pork, trout, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, green peas, acorn squash, asparagus, flax seeds, brown rice, yeast.
- B2 RIBOFLAVIN: dairy, beef, beef liver, fatty fish.
- B3 NIACIN: poultry, beef, beef liver, salmon, tuna, sunflower seeds, beans, peanuts.
- B5 PANTOTHENIC ACID: shiitake mushrooms, avocado, organ meats, eggs, grains, chicken, broccoli, beans.
- B6 PYRIDOXINE: tuna, turkey, beef, chicken, potatoes of any kind, avocado, bananas, carrots, raisins, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage.
- B7 BIOTIN: dairy, meat, eggs, almonds, peanuts, oats, yeast, sweet potatoes.
- B9 FOLATE: beef liver, lettuce, kale, cooked spinach, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts.
- B12 COBALAMIN: seafood, poultry, eggs, beef, dairy.
People should be especially mindful about B vitamin consumption if they: are pregnant or soon to be pregnant women, are breast feeding, are diabetic, drink alcohol regularly, are under emotional or physical stress, have slow digestion, drink more than few cups of coffee or tea a day, are very active, are anemic.
Magnesium is a mineral that supports all body functions, in which most of us are deficient in. Magnesium helps with the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, as well as the production of DNA and other proteins. It is actively involved in brain signals, nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and maintaining normal heart rhythm. Lastly, magnesium is necessary in the diet to synthesize glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant! Magnesium is very popular in sports, given its importance for cardiovascular health. Surveys show that roughly 50% of the population doesn’t get the recommended daily amount of magnesium in our diets. Many people take medications, which can inhibit the absorption of magnesium we are getting. Another factor in North America specifically is that most of the soil that crops grow in have been depleted of their nutrients due to harsh farming practises. This also reduces many minerals we would get naturally from our food system.
Here are some foods that contain high levels of magnesium: cooked spinach, black beans, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, avocados, brown rice, salmon. At Athlete’s Kitchen, you get plenty of magnesium from our meals, but we still recommend supplementing to ensure you have adequate amounts. Men should supplement 400 mg to reach the daily recommendation, and woman should supplement 320 mg, with an extra 30 mg if pregnant. Remember that every individual is different and to know exactly what you need, you must get tested by your health care physician.
Vitamin D supports our immune system, helping us stay strong and healthy. It serves over 1,000 different genes, including your sex hormone testosterone, human growth hormone, and estrogen. Vitamin D also assists in calcium metabolization and bone formation.
We can get vitamin D from sun exposure, but research shows that the majority of the population doesn’t get enough, causing a variety of health issues. Given our dark and cold winters, it’s a no brainer to increase vitamin D intake during the winter months. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so it is best taken with food that contains a bit of fat. Athlete’s Kitchen suggests to supplement 1000 iu for every 25 pounds of weight. Please note that dosages depend on every individual and if you are concerned you should get your levels check by your health care physician.
Krill Oil is a powerhouse for your brain, your heart and your beautiful skin.
We need approximately 350 mg of DHA and EPA in a day for optimal brain functions, yet the majority of us never get enough of these fatty acids. If you are eating grass-fed beef and wild-caught fatty fish often, you should supplement on the lower end of 1000 mg a day. Otherwise, you would need to increase your supplement intake much more. The issue with most fish oils is the quality. Our research team at Athlete’s Kitchen has found that krill oil is a more stable source of omega 3s and is more easily absorbed. We suggest to supplement 2000 mg a day with a krill oil that has been blended with fish oil. This provides the full spectrum of what our body requires.
I hope this has been informative! As always, our team at Athlete’s Kitchen puts your health as our number 1 priority.
We are here to help you live a happy life!