It’s probably fair to say that we’re all guilty of overlooking our own health sometimes — with hectic schedules that leave us constantly trying to balance work, training, and socialising it’s no wonder that our bodies can get rundown.
Instead of waiting until you’re actually too ill to carry on, there are plenty of simple ways that you can support your body from the inside out, allowing you to tackle each day feeling your best — and able to focus on achieving the important things.
Not sure where to start? In this article, we’ll cover:
What are the best supplements for immunity?
If you’re sick of sniffling and always being a victim of the office cold that makes it way around every couple of months — here’s a list of our top immune-boosting supplements for you to arm yourself with.
Vitamin C is a classic go-to remedy when you feel the first signs of being under the weather, in fact doctors recommend increasing vitamin C consumption during the winter season to fight off colds and flu. It strengthens the immune system as it has antioxidant effects which help to rid the body of free radicals.
Often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, this has a really powerful effect on vital organs such as your heart, liver, lungs and kidneys — helping to boost the immune system and prevent autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D also plays a part in calcium absorption, so it can help with bone health by strengthening them.
Zinc is an essential trace mineral that has a role in so many important bodily functions, and has been especially linked to helping the immune system fight infection. Studies have shown it can reduce the severity of the common cold and improve the balance of the immune system. Zinc also helps to protect cells from oxidative stress and maintain normal blood testosterone levels.
This is a really powerful supplement as we’ve combined all eight of the B vitamins in one convenient tablet. They’re a really effective support for your body, as the individual B vitamins all have different properties, however they actually work best together. Vitamin B6, B12, and folate specifically contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
This super supplement contains 100% of your recommended iron intake, along with folic acid, copper and vitamin C which help with iron absorption. Iron plays a big role in your bodily functions, and a deficiency of this essential mineral can seriously impair your immune system, as well as lead to tiredness, shortness of breath and even heart palpitations.
What are the best supplements for energy?
The sound of your alarm going off can evoke some pretty strong feelings, right? Anger that you have to get out of bed, right when it’s the feeling the comfiest. Regret that you didn’t quite follow through on your promise to have an ‘early one’ after all. Despair that your eyelids have never felt so heavy and you’ve probably got at least twelve hours to go before you can go back to being horizontal again.
While there’s nothing that can beat a good night’s sleep to remedy your tiredness, we appreciate that sometimes you face obstacles (like Netflix marathons, and social media feeds that need to be scrolled through) that just don’t make that solid 7-8 hours possible.
Sometimes you have to turn to other things to kick-start your morning and transform yourself into a fully functioning human. We’ve put together a list of our best energising supplements which can really help you out — especially if you’re trying to cut back on coffee.
Maca is a vegetable that’s native to the Andes of Peru — it’s been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, and has recently been awarded with ‘superfood’ status. It’s widely thought to enhance energy — with those who regularly take Maca reporting to feel awakened, energised and driven. Our capsules are therefore a great natural option to combat tiredness, and are especially useful for those who’re sensitive to caffeine.
Another superfood, green tea has risen in popularity due to its high antioxidant and catechin content, alongside a natural hit of caffeine. Our tablets contain a super-concentrated form of green tea, with each one being the equivalent to just over eight cups of it — now if that doesn’t perk you up, we’re not sure what will.
One of our most potent formulas — this is great for giving you the nudge you need to get into your trainers and off to your 6am spin class. It’s packed with a combination of performance boosting ingredients, including caffeine, green tea extract, vitamin B6 and B12, and chromium.
5-HTP, or 5-hydroxytrytophan, is made from the amino acid L-tryptophan and is a precursor to the production of serotonin — commonly thought of as the ‘happy chemical’. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a role in mood level, but also sleep regulation, which is why this supplement is featuring on this list. Many people find that 5-HTP helps them get a better night’s sleep — so rather than this being an ‘energising’ supplement per se, it’s a good one to try to tackle the root of the problem, e.g. your lack of sleep.
If you’re feeling tired all the time — and more than just the average, ‘could probably nap’ sort of tired that applies to nearly all of us — you might be suffering from iron deficiency anaemia. This is a condition where the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen to your tissues. These powerful iron-packed tablets are a quick way to correct this deficiency.
What are the best supplements for healthy skin?
Stress, poor diet and pollution can all be factors of poor skin health, and all of them can feature in a busy lifestyle too. On the face of it, a proper skincare routine might not seem like a luxury you can afford when you’re already pushed for time — but it shouldn’t be overlooked that your skin is actually the body’s largest organ, and has a variety of really important functions, from regulating temperature to excreting waste.
Why wait until you have a real, confidence-knocking issue — we’re talking chin breakouts, dry patches, and dark circles that concealer just won’t disguise — before you do something about it?
Despite the cheesiness, we’re firm believers in beauty coming from the inside, so these are our top supplements to get you glowing:
These tablets pack in seven essential vitamins, making this a super-convenient addition to even the busiest of schedules. Each tablet contains 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant from the ‘retinoid’ family and key to healthy skin.
It can be especially good for preventing breakouts, as it plays a role in the normal shedding of dead skin cells — stopping them from building up inside the pore and clogging it.
They also contain vitamin D which has been linked to improving skin conditions such as acne, and vitamin E which is an another antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.
This essential trace mineral works well in combination with vitamin A as it helps to transport it from the liver. It’s another really effective supplement if you’re prone to spots, as studies have shown that people with acne have low levels of zinc in their system.
Nature’s solution to so many problems — coconut oil is the best natural moisturiser for replenishing dry, flaky skin. As well as being super-absorbent, it’s anti-fungal and antibacterial too, perfect for combatting breakouts or damaged areas.
Vitamin C has a big impact on the body, especially when it comes to the skin. It’s an antioxidant, so it protects the skin from the damage of free radicals, plus it’s involved in creating collagen — a protein that’s crucial for skin strength and elasticity.
These capsules should be part of your daily routine for so many reasons. They contain the essential fatty acids DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which, like vitamin C, can support collagen production — strengthening the skin cells and therefore lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
What are the best supplements for joint care?
Joint pain can affect everyone, no matter your age — especially if you have an intense workout regime. Yes, sometimes feeling sore the day after a workout can be a satisfying sign of pushing yourself towards progress, but no, you shouldn’t be hobbling about for the next week.
Here are our best supplements to help relieve joint pain and hopefully put a spring in your step:
Glucosamine is a major component of cartilage, which is what cushions your joints when they move. And the added chondroitin can work alongside this nutrient to help slow down degeneration of joint cartilage.
Sourced from fish oil, these capsules contain the essential fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which can reduce inflammation, which can be what causes swelling and pain in joints.
Not just an energy booster, the polyphenols and EGCG in this super supplement have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to relieve symptoms of joint pain by working on connective tissue.
Healthy ingredients you can easily make part of your diet
Okay so maybe the words ‘organic’ and ‘superfood’ don’t really mean that much to you except a big price tag, but don’t be put off. We’ve got an amazing range of quality natural ingredients that are great low-cost alternatives to what you can find in health stores and supermarkets — and are really easy to make part of your day-to-day diet.
These are some of our favourites, and here’s why they deserve a place in your cupboard:
These tiny black seeds come from the salvia hispanica plant, which is native to South America and is part of the mint family. Don’t be fooled by their size — they’re packed with a whole load of nutrients, including fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium and protein.
They can be enjoyed sprinkled over salads or cereals (they’re especially good in overnight oats) or made into ‘chia pudding’ if soaked in water or milk. Chia seeds also act as a thickening agent, so can be added to soups and stews, and can even replace eggs in baking. Pretty cool, right?
Calling all chocoholics — this one’s for you.
Cacao beans are what cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate are made from, so this powder is a great way to get that rich chocolatey taste into your diet, with barely any of the sugar or fat.
Cacao powder is high in fibre, essential minerals, and has 29g of protein per 100g serving — making it a really healthy alternative to regular chocolate powder, and a great way to flavour shakes, baking, desserts and coffee.
This bright green powder comes from a naturally occurring algae and is a surprisingly nutritious supplement. It’s high in fibre and a source of loads of essential vitamins and minerals — including iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E and zinc.
Spirulina is also remarkably high in protein, there’s 64g of it per 100g serving, making this powder an effective plant-based boost for your training too.
Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Manuka bush. It’s renowned for its deep golden colour and rich taste — but the thing that really causes a buzz about this sweet spread is its antibacterial qualities. Yep, antibacterial.
This is because it contains high concentrations of methylglyoxal, which is a naturally occurring active compound that’s been proven to kill a large number of bacteria and viruses. Why not give yourself a health-kick next time you’re topping your toast?
Why is it important to have fibre in your diet?
Recommended daily fibre intake is around 30g, but many people don’t get near to this amount because of their diet. Fibre is only found in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
It has a whole range of benefits on the body — and these go way beyond its reputation for improving digestive health and normalising your bowel movements (although this reputation is well deserved).
Fibre has also been linked to lowering cholesterol levels. Plus, it can help to control blood sugar levels.
There are two types of fibre —soluble and insoluble — and both are important.
Foods that contain soluble fibre include: oats, fruit, root vegetables, rye and linseeds. This type of fibre dissolves in the water in your digestive system — it helps everything run smoothly and can also help to reduce blood cholesterol.
Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water, instead it passes through your digestive system without being broken down which helps other foods move through more easily too — keeping your bowels healthy. Foods that contain this type of fibre include: wholemeal bread, bran, cereals, nuts and seeds.
We offer a huge range of fibre supplements, including our Vitafiber™, 100% Inulin, and 100% Flax Seed Powder. These are ideal for a convenient, low-cost way to guarantee that you’re hitting daily requirements and enjoying the all the benefits that fibre has to offer — just add them to your shakes, smoothies or baking.
Why do vegans need to supplement vitamin B12?
As vitamin B12 is only naturally found in red meat, milk, cheese, eggs and yoghurt, it’s clearly off the table for those cutting out animal products. Some breakfast cereals and soy products are sometimes fortified with vitamin B12, but this leaves vegans with a very limited source of this essential micronutrient.
That’s why we’ve designed our new Vitamin B12 supplement specifically with vegans in mind — it’s great for non-vegans too though, as the health benefits of vitamin B12 are vast and deficiency can have very negative impacts on the body.
Vitamin B12 plays a part in your metabolism, nervous system and the normal formation of red blood cells. It’s therefore a really important vitamin for general good health, and it’s also a great support for your training progress as it’s involved in energy level retention and muscle strength too.
Not getting enough of this vitamin can leave you feeling sluggish and weaker, despite eating well and getting a good night’s sleep. It can cause sensations of dizziness, and very low B12 intake can even lead to anaemia and nervous system damage.
When’s the best time to take vitamin supplements?
There’s not really a specific time when taking vitamins is more considered to be more effective — many people choose to take them at the beginning of the day, as many have the benefit of reducing tiredness and fatigue, but it’s completely down to you and what works best with your routine.
It’s worth noting however, that some vitamins can cause feelings of nausea or heartburn if they’re taken on an empty stomach, so it is generally recommended to take them with a meal if you can.
Is it possible to overdose on vitamins?
It might sound very dramatic, but yes, you can actually overdose on some vitamins.
There are two different categories of vitamins — water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins, which include B vitamins and vitamin C, are not easily stored in the body and if you take large amounts of them the excess will simply pass through in your urine.
However, fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A, D, E, and K, can be stored by your body in fat cells, until you need them. Therefore, consuming an excessive amount of these vitamins will lead them to build up in your body beyond a safe level, which can have toxic effects.
It’s relatively uncommon for most adults to even reach their daily vitamin requirements through diet alone, let alone exceed them, but you should take care to stick to recommended dosage on any supplements. Small amounts of these vitamins are needed to maintain good health — just don’t go overboard.