If your goal is to enhance your fitness endurance and effortlessly shred few pounds, this post if for you! Of course, there are no magic tricks and nothing can beat a healthy diet that involves a slight caloric deficit (necessary for fat loss) but those supplements can only assist you to achieve your goals or at least have more energy and motivation to be happy:)).
[Those recommendations are derived from the wide variety of scientific works I have studied in the past years and my own experience.]
In short, l-carnitine is an amino acid produced by the body which serves to transfer long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides into mitochondria, where they may be oxidized to produce energy. In normal language, it helps you sweat more and also utalize fat deposits for energy during exercise.
Remember, as with every supplement, you need to take a break from intaking after no longer than 2-3 months of using it. Otherwise, your body gets accustomed on relying on it and you want to prevent that!
I use l-carnetine maybe once or twice a year, to check if it makes any difference in my fitness, and I do sweat more when I exercise! Sweating is very detoxifying for the body because it eliminates toxins and reduces water retention.
Remember, though, to drink tons of water to ensure proper hydration! Coconut water is a great way to restore the electrolytes in your body after an intense sweat. Make sure to drink enough water so that your urine is clear; if it is darker than pale yellow it means you are dehydrated even if you don’t feel necessarily thirsty.;)
2. Green Tea
Yes, you probably have heard that coffee acts as a fat burner, but, the truth is, it also depletes the body of water and increases cortisol levels when over-consumed on a daily basis. I recommend you switching to drinking green tea instead.
I always do my morning training fasted and love to drink green tea beforehand. It wakes me up without making me jittery and cranky afterwards.
Of course, although green tea has a lot of antioxidants and various substances that are beneficial for health, it still contains caffeine (although much less than coffee), so, please, consume it with moderation! I stick to no more than two cups per day, if even that.
You can also benefit from using matcha powder and add it to your meals/smoothies or just mix it as a drink with some almond milk and stevia. (here you have your Starbucks green tea latte without the extra sugar and lactose!)
Most of us go through some stressful times every now and then (whether is work-related or emotional). Cortisol – the stress hormone – disrupts the homeostasis of your adrenal glands and when they are out of lack, you get fatigued quickly, your sleep suffers and your stamina and desire for exercise go low.
In order to prevent that, you have to keep your adrenals happy –eat food rich in fiber and lower in processed ingredients and go to bed before midnight, if possible.
According to Natural Medium, a book that I recommend dearly, if you are under stress your blood sugar is susceptible to insulin crashes so it is advised that you snack every few hours on foods that provide a good ratio of potassium, natural sodium and carbs (from fruit).
Examples include: apple, celery, and dates; orange, avocado, and spinach; cucumber, avocado, and lime juice; banana, dates, and romaine lettuce; apple, dates, and collard greens; banana, grape, and red leaf lettuce.
Back to rhodiola, this is a so-called adaptogen herb that naturally lowers the cortisol levels in your body and increases your energy by helping your body adapt to physical, chemical, and environmental stress.
As a result, you feel more energized and consequently motivated to exercise. Read more about the studies behind it here, rhodiola benefits to burn fat.
4. Plant-based protein powder
When you exercise and diet simultaneously, your body is more inclined to lose muscle rather than fat if you don’t feed it properly.
The problem, however, is that, more often than not, people over-consume protein in the form of animal products. Eating too much meat has been linked to various health problems, as for example – increased cholesterol and kidney problems.
If your goal is to feel lighter when you exercise, while still preserving muscle tissue, recover quickly and be more satiated with your meals (as protein is slowly released in the blood stream which keeps you full longer), than I suggest investing in a good quality protein powder that doesn’t contain whey, soy isoflate (this one is heavily processed and often GMO, unlike organic soy milk and tofu!) and artificial sweeteners.
You can use protein powder as a pick-me-up shake on the go (you only need a blender shaker and a non-dairy milk to blend it with/or water), mix it in your oatmeal, add it to your smoothies or have it a late midnight snack.
You crave a nice-cream after dinner but you already had a decent size dinner? Mix a scoop of protein powder with some ice cubs and you have a fluffy “ice-cream” that is low in calories. I will be making a separate post on healthy protein recipes from a variety of plant-based sources, so stay tuned for that.
My favourite brands (from lowest price):
- True Nutrition Pea Protein: $15.89
- Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder: $22.58
- Garden of Life Organic Vegan Meal Replacement:$25.33
- Vega Clean Protein Powder, Chocolate: $28.49
- PlantFusion Complete, 100% Plant Based Protein Powder: $31.20
- Classic Plus Raw Organic Protein Powder, Chocolate: $44.99
I prefer to stick to the raw options but the other brands are excellent as well!
5. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
Last but not least, your gut flora!
If you have used antibiotics in the past year – that basically destroy the healthy bacteria in your stomach- or simply feel discomfort in your intestines and easily get bloated and gassy after meal, try probiotics or digestive enzymes! Most of the protein powders listed above contain both of those so you may want to invest in buying any of those products.
Food sources of probiotics are kombucha, miso and sauerkraut.
Kombucha is a great alternative to soda and the other carbonated drink and I recommend you to try it if you haven’t!
.I hope you find those tips helpful and if so, please leave a comment below or share this post with friends!