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Which supplements should you take together?

Supps to take together header

We get it. It can be overwhelming choosing one supplement, let alone several. But the fact is, many supplements work best in teams, naturally enhancing each other's best qualities.

If you'd like to reap their full benefits, don't split up these supplement power couples.

1[1]

What are they? 

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning the body produces it on its own and doesn't require food sources to obtain it. It boosts levels of a compound called carnosine, which is responsible for muscle strength--one of the main reasons bodybuilders and athletes take beta-alanine to improve athletic performance and build lean muscle mass.

Creatine is also an amino acid, found primarily in meat and fish. The body stores it in muscles as a substance called phosphocreatine. During high-intensity, short bouts of exercise, phosphocreatine is converted into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a major source of energy for the body. Creatine and the ATP it produces allow you to jump, sprint, and power through burpees.

Because they help you work out harder and longer, creatine supplements have been shown to improve strength, increase muscle mass, and reduce recovery time--meaning you can pump out more reps.

Why take them together?

Studies from Florida University and the College of New Jersey found that when combined, beta-alanine and creatine significantly increased endurance during exercise, boosted lean muscle mass and strength, and improved body composition (the ratio of muscle to fat) in study participants.

Pairing beta-alanine and creatine could also make it easier for you to hit the gym more often. According to a University of Oklahoma study, dual beta-alanine and creatine supplementation may  reduce muscle fatigue caused by exercise, shortening post-workout recovery time and speeding up muscle growth.

If you're looking to gain mass, lower your body fat composition, and kick up your workout performance, these two protein powerhouses may be for you. For best results, take beta-alanine and creatine about 30 minutes before you hit the gym to maximize your workout endurance and performance.

Sources: x, xx

2[1]

What are they?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it's easily dissolved and not stored in the body. Because these vitamins are lost during urination, we need to continually supplement them in our diets.

Vitamin C is responsible for tissue growth and repair, collagen production that keeps your skin healthy, maintaining strong teeth and bones. It's best known for providing immune system support and also acts as an antioxidant.

Iron is an essential mineral responsible for immune health and oxygen circulation throughout the body. Like creatine, it provides energy by producing ATP. If you're iron deficient, you may feel fatigued, achy, and prone to frequent colds and infections.

Why take them together?

Vitamin C acts like iron's bodyguard, counteracting foods that can inhibit iron absorption like dairy products, nuts, and wheat bran. Because they're a tag team, vitamin C deficiency often occurs in those with iron deficiency. Take them together and you'll ensure you're making the most out of their benefits.

Be sure to monitor your tea and coffee intake while you’re eating iron-rich foods. Both tea and coffee (and some fruits, nuts, and chocolate) contain plant compounds called polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce iron absorption by 60-90%. Avoid these foods for two hours before and after eating foods high in iron (and make sure to get some vitamin C with your meal).

Sources: x, x, x

3[1]

What are they?

Green tea is made from the Camellia sinesis plant, which contains powerful natural antioxidants called polyphenols and cachetins. Studies suggest green tea may benefit heart and brain health, improve focus and mood, and boost metabolism.

Ginseng is a plant native to North America and Asia. Its roots contain anti-inflammatory compounds called ginsenosides, which have been shown to reduce stress and improve metabolism.

Why take them together?

According to studies conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, when combined, ginseng and green tea may improve cardiovascular health by raising good cholesterol levels. They have also been shown to maintain healthy blood glucose levels in those with diabetes and hypoglycemia. Both potent antioxidants, their health benefits increase when they’re taken together.

Sources: x, x, x, x 

4[1]

What are they?

Calcium is an essential mineral responsible for a healthy heart, bones, muscles, and nerves. Vitamin D is usually absorbed by the body through sunlight but can also be found in eggs, milk, and fish like tuna and salmon. It plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones and a strong immune system.

Why take them together?

When metabolized, vitamin D converts to a substance called calcitriol, which aids in calcium absorption. Without calcitriol and an adequate vitamin D intake, the body is forced to take its calcium stores from bones, which makes them brittle and prevents the formation of new, healthy bone. This also increases the risk of bone diseases like osteoporosis.

You don’t need to take vitamin D and calcium at the same time to reap their benefits. Calcium is best taken with food, and it's also easier for the body to absorb when it’s taken in smaller doses throughout the day.

Vitamin D supplements can be taken with or without food. Because they may cause fatigue, it’s best to take them before bed.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy adults take no more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day. Talk to your doctor to determine the right dosage for you.

Sources: x, x

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