by Leigh Ann Thomas, Certified Personal Trainer 

Are you not seeing the results you thought you might be seeing in the mirror by now? Are you putting in the hours week after week to find that your physique and performance aren’t improving? Sure, maybe in your 20’s the results would’ve come effortlessly the moment you stepped foot in the gym, but now you’re noticing it’s taking a lot more effort to produce the results and find the energy to make it happen. Regardless of sex, age or lifestyle, we can all benefit from a little extra push to help us achieve our goals.

No matter how hard we try, we have to take into account that our bodies are not perfect and we must rely on outside supplementation to help our bodies function properly. What’s more, there are supplements out there that could actually help us function better than the status quo. In addition to a clean diet and exercise, supplements can dramatically improve your energy levels, recovery and results in and outside of the weight room. You wouldn’t want to perform your workouts with mediocre effort and expect the best results. Just like an engine in a car, our bodies require premium fuel to keep our engines running at optimal levels in order to achieve optimal results.

For any individual to physically perform at his or her best, a nutritionally adequate diet and hydration are critical to sustain the energy demands of the body. In addition to diet and water, supplementation is necessary when diet alone cannot provide the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutrients necessary to help promote recovery and performance.  Check out the suggested list of supplements to help you get the most out of your time spent in the gym:

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) – a group of chemicals found in fatty acid. CLA is a source of omega 6 polyunsaturated fat, which the body does not produce on its own and must be sourced through the foods that we eat, such as full-fat dairy and red meat. Studies suggest CLA helps to reduce appetite, increase strength and aid in weight loss. Other benefits also include:

-Anti-cancer benefits

-Muscle building

-Supports bone growth and development

-Aids in digestion

L-Glutamine – one of the most abundant amino acids and is used in large amounts throughout the bloodstream.  This amino acid supports many functions throughout the body but many people prefer this amino acid in supplement form because of its known benefits to support athletic performance as well as shed unwanted body fat. Many other benefits of L-Glutamine include:

  • faster recovery between workouts
  • Accelerates fat loss
  •  Supports lean muscle mass
  • Supports gastrointestinal health and heals leaky gut
  • Improves brain function and memory.

L-Carnitine – in between the B vitamin and amino acid family, L-carnitine naturally occurs in the body, where it’s stored the muscle and is considered an essential nutrient. One of its main functions is to help to transport fat into the mitochondria where it can be oxidized and used as energy, especially when you exercise. Other beneficial benefits include:

-        Helps improve muscle mass and strength

-        Improves body composition

-        Antioxidant to help neutralize free radicals and boost immune system

-        Reduce fatigue and promotes energy function

-        Increases glucose oxidation, storage and uptake in diabetic individuals

Beet Elite – this is a great-tasting powder or pre-workout formula used to help encourage the body's production of nitric oxide, which is important for heart health, circulation and energy. After age 40, nitric oxide levels in the body reduce by at least 50%, causing you to feel sluggish and unmotivated.  Beet Elite provide oxygen to the muscles, which may improve exercise performance, sexual performance and exercise recovery.

In summation, supplementing with high quality, essential vitamins and minerals are going to be your body’s best line of defense against free radicals, stress and not-so-healthy life style choices. These suggested supplements will tremendously help increase energy, speed up recovery and provide added support for your weight loss efforts.