Supplements for Beginners

Seamless Pattern with Sports Nutrition Elements, Perfect For Active Individuals And Fitness Enthusiasts, Adding Energy


Exploring nutritional supplementation raises many questions, such as: Is it necessary? What supplements should I be taking? When do I take them, and how much? The key is to start simply with one to three supplements for overall health and wellness and build from there, targeting more specific goals. Let’s get into what you need to know before you start.


Why take supplements

We would have to eat massive quantities of food to consume the amount of vitamins and minerals required for optimal health and vitality. The key benefit to supplementation is that you can get what you need, in adequate supply, to support long-term health and disease prevention without eating 20 oranges and a large piece of salmon daily! It is important to note that supplementation is not a substitute for proper food intake. Instead of making it an excuse to binge on junk foods regularly, use it to enhance your diet.

Taking a good quality supplement in an adequate dosage can have many benefits, such as:

  • Preventing disease – heart disease, autoimmune disease, cancer, and osteoporosis
  • Supporting longevity – preventing cellular damage
  • Regulation hormones – especially important for women
  • Improving sleep – for emotional regulation, immune support, metabolism, and more


Supplements for overall health and wellness

Whey protein

Protein powder is not just for bodybuilders! To promote stable blood sugar levels and maintain energy levels throughout the day, aim for 30 grams of protein per meal. Some sources recommend having 40 to 50 grams of protein at your first and last meal of the day. Getting that much protein can be challenging, especially if you are on the go. A protein supplement is a consistent, reliable, and easy way to get sufficient protein. Protein also helps control cravings and support recovery, having you feel more in control of your physical and mental health.

For bodybuilders, a fast-digesting protein, taken before or after workouts, provides the amino acids required to build muscle fibres. Whey is a good source of the branch chain amino acids (the building blocks of protein) leucine, isoleucine and valine. Take 20 grams before workouts and another 20 to 40 grams after workouts.


Omega-3 fatty acids

Our bodies cannot produce omega-3 fatty acids, so they must be obtained from food. The three main omega-3s are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which comes from plants sources such as walnuts and flax seeds, and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which comes mainly from fish. Omega-3 supplementation usually contains EPA and DHA, the most bioavailable forms of omega-3 fatty acids.

As part of overall health and wellness, this is an essential supplement for improved cognitive function, immune system function, healthy joints, heart, skin, and vision. We recommend trying a flavoured supplement for a much better taste! Liquid supplements are ideal versus capsules, as getting 1,000 mg daily of each EPA and DHA is more economical and manageable.


Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is common across Canada and can cause various symptoms, including anxiety and depression, fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, and impaired wound healing. Vitamin D food options are limited, and getting hours of direct sunlight each day is not always possible. So, taking a daily vitamin D supplement is the easiest way to ensure you get enough vitamin D.

Look for a supplement in the form of vitamin D3 and take anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 IU per day. The best way to determine how much to take is by getting your vitamin D blood level checked during your next physical appointment with your healthcare provider.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential, water-soluble vitamin with many health benefits, including boosting immunity, reducing oxidative stress, managing high blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, and helping with iron absorption. The official daily intake for vitamin C is 75 mg per day which is close to the minimum amount needed to prevent scurvy. A more therapeutic dose for adults is about 1,000 mg/day.


Vitamin B complex

Since all B vitamins are water-soluble, they reach the body’s tissues but are not stored, so it is unlikely that someone can consume too many of them. A B-complex supplement is a great way to ensure you get the benefits of all eight B vitamins, including lowering cholesterol, improving brain function, converting food into energy, maintaining healthy skin and vision, and supporting immunity.


Supplements for pre and post workout


Creatine, one of the most well-studied supplements on the market, is an amino acid-like supplement that provides the quick energy needed for powerful muscle contractions. It can boost high-intensity activity performance, such as sprinting, weight lifting, and strength training. It also allows muscles to hold more water, making them fuller and stronger, ultimately stimulating additional growth. Take 3-5 grams before and after workouts.

*Pro-tip: Creatine is generally beneficial before and after workouts, but recent research suggests taking it immediately after could lead to more significant gains in strength and muscle mass.


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. The body cannot produce nine essential amino acids, which must be obtained through food. The branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine support muscle energy. BCAAs help increase muscle growth, decrease muscle soreness, and reduce exercise fatigue and can be taken pre, during, or post-workout. Taking it pre or during can boost intense workouts, which is common among marathon runners and triathletes. Post-workout, it shines as an exercise recovery tool to rebuild muscle fibres.


Supplements for recovery 

Protein and carbohydrates

Pay attention to post-workout nutrition! Having a supplement powder mixed in water that combines carbohydrates and protein can increase strength and improve lean tissue and body fat. Find a supplement with both; it will most likely be labelled as a recovery tool.



Magnesium glycinate is the most well-researched form of magnesium, popular for treating sleep disorders and helping reduce stress and anxiety. Magnesium blocks calcium uptake and regulates the contraction of muscles, allowing them to reach complete relaxation after exercise. It can also help improve sleep, which is essential for recovery. It is recommended to take approximately 300mg per day.


Casein protein

Before going to bed, have a casein shake to reduce the protein breakdown that usually occurs during sleep. Since casein digests slowly, it releases amino acids slowly, which the body can use for energy overnight.


Supplements are an effective and simple way to improve overall health, manage some health conditions, and protect ourselves against long-term disease. Taking the right supplement in the correct dosage can boost your fitness, stimulate muscle growth, and increase stamina. Today is the best time to start! If supplementation is new to you, start by choosing one to three items we’ve discussed here and build up from there.

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