Essential Supplements

Supplements help you make sure you get in all the nutrients you need in a day.  I view them as an “insurance policy” against days where I don’t eat as well as I should.  They’re an excellent aid for health and overall wellness, and tremendously helpful if you’re athletic.


It’s important to know your recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins and minerals before buying a bunch of pills, so check out this simple chart first.

Here are the supplements I use and recommend.  All are vegan (except for the multivitamin, which contains bee pollen and royal jelly) to the best of my knowledge.

You can also visit VeganStrength.org for information on suitable vegan bodybuilding and strength training supplements.

Solaray Vegan Iron Chewable 

This is my favorite iron supplement.  It’s very easy on the stomach and tastes great.  I’ve never been anemic, but I take iron supplements as an “insurance policy” because I don’t always make the effort to get in as much iron-rich greens and beans as I should. Some days are more hectic than others, and this product is very easy to take.

Da Vinci B-12 Chewable

I take B-12 also as an “insurance policy,” since I may not always eat as I should.  This product keeps me from feeling fatigued and enables me to perform well at the gym.  The high dosage keeps my B-12 levels steady.

Country Life Max Amino Acid Caps & Body Tech BCAA plus L-Glutamine

When I first started weight training and working out regularly, I felt incredibly weak and often fatigued.  I began taking this product and I have definitely seen huge results.

Aminos are noted to increase performance, help with weight management, and develop muscle mass, and they definitely provided all of those results for me.  I feel great as a result of increased amino acid supplementation.

The BCAAs with L-Glutamine is a tasteless powder you can add to a post-workout protein shakes.  It dramatically reduces soreness, thanks to the L-Glutamine.

Read more on this post about the benefits of amino acids and how they have helped me meet my fitness goals.

Solaray One Daily Turmeric

I have some weird problem with inflammation in both knees that no MD or orthopedic specialist has been able to diagnose or treat.  (I’m going to go to an ND soon.)

Turmeric has long been noted to reduce inflammation, and it has helped me indeed.  This particular product is a great value and is easy to take.  You can pop open the capsules and mix them into protein shakes or green smoothies– they don’t add much flavor.

Cal-Mag Citrate with Vitamin D

I just take one of these per day since my multivitamin already has a pretty solid cal-mag profile.  Many people are low in magnesium and vitamin D and aren’t even aware of it.  Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D are absolutely essential for women and athletes especially.

Potassium Gluconate 

I’ve always been prone to muscle cramps, so I take one of these per day, and I never have any problems.

American Health More Than a Multiple

This multivitamin comes either with or without iron.  I chose without, since I already take an iron supplement.  It has whole food concentrates like Reishi mushrooms, garlic, licorice, blueberries, and spirulina.   However, it is not vegan because it contains bee pollen and royal jelly, but I don’t have a problem with that, personally.  I think it’s a really solid multivitamin and I’m very impressed with it.

Flax Oil

I bought Whole Food’s Organic Filtered Complete EFA Lignan Enriched Flax Oil, and I add it to protein shakes and green smoothies.  I’m not really clear on what the benefits of filtered versus unfiltered are, or what it means to be “lignan enriched,” but I do know omega 3-6-9’s are hugely important, so I do recommend using some kind of omega support.

I also grind a blend of flax seeds and chia seeds and use them in cooking.  They act as a nice nutritional thickener for soups, salads, dressings, and raw truffles.  Once my supply of flax and chia is out, I am replacing them with a more balanced supplement from  Power of 3, which includes a complete omega and protein profile.

Water

Since I work out five days per week (alternating strength training with cardio) I drink 3-4 liters of water.  I highly recommend consuming at least 2-3 liters in order to flush out your system and hydrate your body.  I also use coconut water for added benefits.

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