How supplements support my fitness routine
Fitness plays a big role in my life – both my working week and weekend socialising revolve around it! But in order to excel in my fitness pursuits, I have to also ensure that I’m thinking about my overall health. For me, it works to break these down into five pillars: regular movement, prioritising sleep, staying hydrated, eating well and taking my supplements.
Ideally, pillars one to four would fall into place naturally – but we all know that in today’s hectic world it’s not always achievable. This is where supplements come in, from speeding up my recovery after movement, so I can train again sooner, to filling in any nutritional gaps with vitamins I know are hard to get from foods, to feeding me the right nutrients to aid a good night’s sleep.
Supplements to support my daily routine
This often surprises people, but an average weekday for me can actually be quite sedentary. This is because a lot of work is now on my laptop as opposed to a physical gym. Most of the time I’m working from home, sending emails from my sofa. I do try to make an effort to do an indoor cycle, or at least walk to the Tube station and back to move my legs, but it’s usually nothing too intensive.
Vitamin C can help to contribute to a healthy immune system but also supports collagen production. Collagen plays a role in providing skin with structure and maintaining bone health.
Zinc can also help your immune system to perform at its best (including shortening the length of a cold!) and also aids wound healing, making it great for the skin, too.
Magnesium (we’ll get to this in more detail later, too) supports healthy bones and muscles, and has also been linked to better mood and sleep. Iron, meanwhile, can reduce tiredness and fatigue throughout the day.
As for vitamin D, government advice is that everyone should consider taking a vitamin D supplement during autumn and winter, and people at higher risk of not getting enough vitamin D should take a daily supplement all year round. Vitamin D supports the body’s immune system, is linked to healthy bones, teeth and muscles, and is even linked to lower rates of depression and mood regulation.
Supplements to support my fitness routine
On the weekend, I’ll usually opt for more high-energy or long-duration fitness pursuits such as a lengthy outdoor cycle. Pre-workout, I opt for caffeine in the form of coffee. Because that really does help performance, especially if you’re feeling a little low on energy. If you’re not a fan of coffee, you can also opt for caffeine supplements instead for that extra boost.
Then, post-workout, it’s all about recovery. I take amino acids as they’re key to building protein in the body – which is, in turn, vital to repair and build muscles. Magnesium, which forms a part of my daily routine, also helps with muscle soreness.
Tart cherry supplements are also good for supporting muscle strength, and help to speed recovery and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after exercising. So, I rely on this for an extra recovery boost after intensive sessions or on race day.