10 Primal-Approved Supplements for the Modern Man and Woman
The cave man didn't have the luxury of supplementation. But it would be downright silly to renounce any and all advancements that have happened over the last million years or so. Most supplements out there today are unnecessary and a complete waste of money and time. But following are ten primal-approved supplements to help you get the most out of Paleo fitness.
Creatine: Creatine is a naturally occurring acid in your body that helps supply energy, and it's the most commonly used sports performance supplement in the world. It works at the cellular level to replenish your body's primary source of energy, adenosine triphosphate. The effect is increased work output.
Greens supplements: Greens supplements are fruits, veggies, grasses, algae, and sometimes grasses that have all been compacted and condensed into powdered form. You can think of greens supplement as the new-age multivitamin.
And greens supplements come directly from whole, live foods, whereas many multivitamins are synthetic, or man-made. Synthetic multivitamins aren't nearly as potent as a greens supplement, and some evidence suggests that man-made vitamins may actually do more harm than good!
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): BCAAs include leucine, isoleucine, and valine and are essential nutrients that the body extracts from protein found in food to build muscle. The term branched-chain simply refers to their molecular structure. The most common use of BCAAs for the avid exerciser is to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise and to trigger muscle growth and rejuvenation after exercise.
Fish oil: Fish oil is good for, well, just about everything and everyone! It's a safe, effective, and primal-approved supplement. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids like EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DPA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are anti-inflammatory and health-boosting animal fats.
Vitamin D: Unless you spend a great deal of time out in the sun and eat plenty of fish, chances are you could benefit from more vitamin D. Vitamin D serves many functions in the human body.
For one, it's an immune system regulator and has shown to be useful in preventing illnesses, such as the pesky common cold. Furthermore, research shows that people with adequate levels of vitamin D are at a significantly lower risk for cancer.
Probiotics: Probiotics are "good bacteria" that help support your digestive system and overall health. Probiotics work to maintain the natural balance of gut flora in your intestines, which ensures that the digestive system works the way it should.
Green tea: Green tea is bursting full of antioxidants, and it's also been shown to have some almost mystical fat-burning powers. In terms of caffeine, green tea is also a lighter alternative to coffee, if you're trying to keep your stimulant usage down — and you should be trying to keep your stimulant usage down!
Coffee: Yes, coffee is Paleo-approved. Really, the only problem with coffee is that people overdo it. More specifically, try organic black coffee. No sugar. No cream. No syrups. If you're going to put anything in your coffee, try cinnamon or coconut oil.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that assists in nearly all the physiological processes of the body. It's essential and indispensable for proper cell function.
You can get a good amount of magnesium from leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, but as an avid exerciser, you may want to add a magnesium supplement to your diet because it aids in the recovery process. This means that you'll recover more quickly and more efficiently from your intense workout sessions. In other words, you'll get better results, faster.
Whey protein: This supplement is a point of contention among Paleo experts because whey protein may aggravate certain food allergies. If you suffer from food allergies, then it's probably best to avoid whey protein.
Whey protein contains a great deal of what's now considered the body's most powerful antioxidant — glutathione. This master antioxidant removes toxins from cells and amplifies the effects of all other antioxidants.
Whey protein provides a convenient supply of muscle-building amino acids. If you're a busy person — and who isn't these days? — a whey protein shake is an easy way to make sure you're getting enough protein in your diet.
As far as protein goes, whey ranks the highest in terms of bioavailability, which measures how much your body can make use of various protein sources.