Drug and sports nutrition store shelves are lined with workout supplements that are designed to enhance your performance, and while many of them are certainly beneficial, the truth is that you can get the same nutrition from the food you eat every day. Here are some ways for you to get the things you need without taking a handful of supplements every day.
#1 – Fish Oil
Fish oil supplements are probably the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fatty acids you can find on the market today. They’re absolutely packed with nutrients that your body needs for healthy growth, brain function, hair growth, skin health, reproduction, metabolism, and even the very integrity of your cells. The good news is that you don’t have to buy expensive workout supplements to get the omega-3s you need. You can get them from fatty fish like salmon, tuna, or mackerel, and you can even get them from flaxseed, chia seeds, and canola oil.
#2 – Multivitamins
Of all of the workout supplements to replace with a healthy diet, a multivitamin is probably the most difficult. The Western diet makes it difficult to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need, especially if you aren’t very fond of certain types of vegetables like leafy greens. However, it is still possible. Pay close attention to nutrition labels and the amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Buy cereals that are fortified with things that are difficult to get from food, such as folate and riboflavin. Finally, when choosing fruits and vegetables, try your best to eat a variety of different colors. This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting what you need nutritionally.
#3 – BCAAs & Protein
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) refer to valine, isoleucine, and leucine. Protein, of course, is made of amino acids and it’s required for muscle growth. Many, many athletes rely on whey protein for both their protein and their BCAAs, but the truth is that neither is really necessary if you’re eating a balanced diet. Chicken breast is low in fat and calories, and it provides a whopping 43 grams of protein per cup. Foods that are great sources of BCAAs include chicken breast, lean beef, tuna, salmon, turkey breast, eggs, and roasted peanuts.
#4 – Creatine
Creatine is one of the most popular workout supplements of all time, and thousands of people use it daily to help them grow lean, strong muscle tissue. Creatine powders are expensive, though, and unless you’re already snacking on shakes and smoothies, it’s difficult to get in the routine of making them once or twice a day. Like everything else, though, creatine is a natural product that you can get from the foods you eat. Some of the best sources of creatine are animal proteins and fish. Only vegetarians and vegans need to get their creatine exogenously.
Saving money on workout supplements is easy once you understand that the vast majority of them are available in the foods you eat every day. Multivitamins pose the most difficulty, but as long as you’re eating a variety of different foods, namely vegetables, fruits, and fortified grains, you can rest assured you’re getting enough to help keep your body healthy.