It’s summer time (cue Will Smith’s “Summertime”), and it’s that time of year to spend some time outside. But with the heat comes a different balance of nutrients needed in the body. All that extra sunlight, sweat production, and overall physical activity can deplete the system of valuable vitamins and minerals that, when kept in check and replenished, can lead to a more productive and better functioning body.
With that said, these are still SUPPLEMENTS and should not be substituted (or compared) to a natural, nutrient-dense diet rich of whole foods, but when deployed correctly and in conjunction with a well-rounded diet/hydration plan, can really elevate your game plan.
Here are my top 5 supplements for the summer months. Lets get to it.
1. Electrolytes: This is the clear cut #1 for all months, not just the summer months. For improved performance and energy levels throughout the day, and especially the workout, electrolytes are critical.
Electrolytes conduct electricity when dissolved in water, and are essential for many bodily functions. There are 7 primary electrolytes; the ones you should concern yourself with during exercise are calcium, sodium, potassium (all needed for muscle contraction) and magnesium, playing a large role in nutrient metabolism and energy production.
Water alone is simply not enough during hot months; you sweat a lot (admit it), and those lost electrolytes can be detrimental to overall performance. Add in some electrolytes every 3rdor 4thglass of water each day (for more on hydration – check out my older post here). Another good trick for those that work outside or workout intensely during the summer months is to crack a few spins of Himalayan Pink Salt into your water around workout time. About 3-6 turns on the grinder should be just fine.
This should be modified based on activity level, water consumption, and sun exposure, but a safe estimate is 1 electrolyte tablet daily and maybe 1-2 magnesium tablet with a few cracks of pink salt once a day.
What I take: “Doctors Best” High Absorption Magnesium (100% Chelated) 1-2 tablets/day, Trader Joes Himalayan Pink Salt Crystals (built in grinder) 5-6 spins of the grinder mixed with 20oz of water 1x/day , NUUN Tablets (1 tablet each morning and or around excess sun exposure and/or drinking events).
2. Multi-Mineral: This is your chance to tie in all of those micro-minerals you miss in your diet, and it’s a great way to boost intake of calcium, magnesium, Iron, zinc, and chromium. Keep in mind that, when taken on an empty stomach, these can be a little nauseating; take them after a meal (breakfast or lunch is probably best; whichever meal is prior to your workout).
Dosage: 1-2 capsule daily (depending on dietary intake for the day)
What I take: TwinLab “Multi-Mineral Caps” 1-2 capsules daily. Tend to take on workout days only.
3. Fish Oil: Omega 3 has many, many benefits. For the scope of this article, however, boosting collagen production in summer is worth the MSRP. Fish Oil increases hydration of the skin, keeping it healthier, less blemished and ready to take on that tan you have been working on.
Dosage– Shoot for at least 500mg of EPA/DHA, be sure to check the bottle to see ratio. Usually about 2-4 capsules daily.
What I take– Controlled Labs “Orange Oximega” - (1200mg EPA/DHA per 2000mg of fish oil – 2 capsules in the am)
4. Greens Supplement:Another supplement that’s important year-round, Greens Supplement help that half of the population which fails to reach 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies each day. It bridges the gap, and increases overall recovery, energy, and appetite control. They are a great additive to popular fasting protocols that many practice during the summer months.
Dosage– 1-2 servings (depending on whole fruit/veggie intake)
What I take– Organifi Green Juice (with ashwagandha and coconut infusion- oooo ya) 1 scoop mixed with 1 scoop of whey protein powder, taken either as a snack or as a post workout shake.
5. Vitamin C/Vitamin E Combo: These two vitamins act as powerful antioxidants and as protectants against additional UV rays during the summer months. Vitamin E has been proven to act as a natural antihistamine for some allergies (hay fever).
Dosage– 90-125mg per day AT LEAST of Vitamin C, and 15mg of Vit E daily (slightly more in summer). With supplements, the body only absorbs about half of synthetic dosage, meaning 1 serving is all that is needed.
What I Take– Not currently supplementing with this at this time. I try to eat plenty of fruits in addition to the greens supplement daily.
There you have it. My quick guide to summer supplementation. Create a habit of adding in what you need to create a well-rounded approach to what your individuals needs are.
Get outside, enjoy the fresh air, the smell of fresh fruit, vegetables and smoked meat with a good bourbon your hand while the short summer months last. Just be sure to lock in a proper supplementation protocol to even it all out.
Here is a link to my Amazon List, where you can pick up most of these supplements yourself.