All the work no matter how much, never hit its best until I started to really hydrate. Ive never been a water person and had to really work on it. I wanted the results bad enough and was elluded by that next level in my fitness, so it was part of the game I finally got together around 2008.
It took me years, taking in maybe 2 liters per day on a good day. When I upped that to a gallon I was amazed. Once I got 2 gallons in per day I was in the best health and shape of my life. Everything came faster, stronger and easier. Efforts showed more results than previously.
Aside that, the health benefit of actually feeling better with health issues that are normally such a pain, in my face, sometimes taking me from normality for weeks…..all better. I was actually able to decrease some of the Asthma med dosages, it was amazing! IBS and headaches almost became nonexistent.
Everyone always asks, 'don't you pee a lot?'. No, I did a bit more at first but my body levelled it all out. I don't have a 'small girly bladder' lol. Some people do get that but it does level out to some degree. Of course the extreme of what I was taking was in reference to my goals, the training intensity and frequency, the higher protein diet, higher amount of supplements and making sure to keep a balance in that extreme with everything by increasing the water too. You eat for it, drink for it, do what you need. I would take a gallon per day ideally, if not competing, just on the norm…..ideally. ;P
Try to average 2 liters per day, it’s a good goal and safe unless otherwise suggested by the doctor.
Supplements is a huge category but I want to stick with the theme of going general and covering ones I think are safe. Supplements are not written in stone, you don't HAVE to use them but for those lacking on something, well that’s what it's for no? Supplement?
Here are a few 'go to' supplements that I really like to use or suggest.
Vitamins / Minerals is a basic, I really feel most of us do not get all we need in our diets unless you are a saint! I add these and some particular ones that I know I need for my health or for regular exercisers.
Vitamin C which helps aid in repair or everything, it helps recovery and does help keep away colds if used preventative.
Sometimes I add extra vitamin E and a B complex to help with the effects of higher training seasons, when I go harder, the body demands more and I notice my immunity and fitness build benefits.
Magnesium, helps relax muscles in turn if you get neck issues and headaches or aches, this will alleviate it and help with DOMS, delayed onset muscle soreness. Water and a lot of the list help with DOMS.
Calcium and potassium, also when I start to diet down or amp up my training hours and intensity. Magnesium, calcium and potassium reduce cramping situations, as a bonus for those who tend to cramp and do not have issues drinking water. Water is also a help for cramping, it’s a help for all really.
Glutamine, this is a wonder! It helps muscles repair from training but has also helped people I work with outside of exercise, for health issues that cause muscle pains.
I like creatine, some get upset stomach or bloat, for me its always done what its supposed to, fill muscles holding more water in them, boost in umph for muscle and cardio endurance as well as a bit more push in strength tolerance. Recovery and lactic acid flushing is another thing I notice with this supplement, but this one can affect everyone a bit different so its up to you. I do well with monohydrate, there are many types, I tried a few like serum and citrate but I did not notice as much as the monohydrate which is very basic.
I love chromium, kelp and dandelion to help leaning and I get along well with these, not everyone has the same reactions. My clients who have tried these for their needs had no issues, positive results but were guided to proper dosage in relation to them.
I like to add spirulina to my shakes (plus other things like chlorella and chlorophyll) which is safe unless you have seafood allergies of any kind. This has pages on its benefits.
Of course I use protein powder, less now than when I began years ago, my diet rotates mainly on food with supplements used as just that, supplement. I don't live on this stuff instead of food.
Just make sure to do a ton of research before trying anything.
I know there a ton of ones I dabble in and out of, many common ones you probably wonder why are not on the list. They are not bad, just that these are your bare bones, others start to get personalized. No right or wrong……. Just what fits your needs at the time.