Alongside reduced energy levels, poor sleep is the number one concern of busy professionals and entrepreneurs who come into Reece Mander Fitness when seeking weight loss/health improvements.
This article will attempt to give some supplement recommendations to help.
First, if you haven’t read the following articles about how sleep impacts your weight loss, please read now.
Once you’ve read it, you’ll realise the only thing keeping you awake is cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone, produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress and low blood sugar.
This is why taking sleeping pills or drinking wine to knock you out does not really work. Yes you are technically asleep, but when you wake you do not feel rested.
It’s because you’re not addressing the underlying cause.
I like our clients to use various different lifestyle and mindset techniques before we ever look at supplementation.
Adding supplements without changing your lifestyle is a complete waste of your money
But assuming you have these lifestyle changes in place, the following 5 supplements are my favourite.
Magnesium is one of my number one mineral. It is involved in over 300 essential chemical reactions in the body. Including protein breakdown, testosterone production, sensitivity to insulin, calcium absorption, and regulation of the sympathetic (energising) and parasympathetic (calming) nervous system. Plus, magnesium has been shown to be critical for the metabolism of vitamin D, meaning it is essential for bone health and treatment of osteoporosis.
But magnesium is also a mineral closely related to stress. It is a calming mineral that nourishes the nervous system and helps prevent anxiety, fear, nervousness, restlessness and irritability. During physical or mental stress (aka being ‘busy’) magnesium is released to calm you down. Lacking in this mineral can exasperate these problems. Taking magnesium throughout the day can help keep you calm and get a restful nights sleep.
How much do you need?
The more physically active and the more mentally stressed (or busy) you are, the more magnesium you will need. For most people at least 200mg of magnesium is needed per day. We have certain clients on as much as 1500mg of magnesium per day! But again as always, it depends on your circumstances and the quality of the magnesium you purchase.
A good multi vitamin formula is, in my opinion, 100% necessary in today’s world.
Many health-conscious people believe you can get all your nutrients from food. They are wrong. Not only do we have an increased demand for certain minerals (see magnesium above), we are always taking IN food that is of reduced quality when compared to historic mineral content. Multiple studies have shown that food alone, is not enough to replace nutritional deficiencies.
What you must also understand is that there is a minimum amount of any one nutrient needed to stay alive, and there is an amount of that nutrient needed to thrive.
For example. The RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin C is 40mg.
But what does that actually mean? 40mg of vitamin C is the amount of vitamin C needed so you don’t get scurvy! Not the amount needed to thrive. To live life and THRIVE you may well need more. Add into this an active lifestyle of training in the gym, working long hours, lack of sleep and your need to antioxidants especially Vitamin C goes up. For example, the adrenal glands which produce the stress (busy) hormone cortisol, need ample supply of Vitamin C and are especially important in busy people.
A lack of any one number of nutrients can keep your body wired by reducing your bodies ability to detoxify the stress hormones.
How Much Do You Need?
Again, everything is unique to the persons circumstances and needs but we recommend a multi vitamin that you need to take multiple times per day. One a day multis are generally awful.
Relora® is a trademarked combination of two Chinese tree barks used traditionally to promote a healthy reaction stress.
Relora® combines Magnolia officials (Magnolia Bark), known for supporting normal adrenal function, with Pheillodendron (Cork Tree) which is known for supporting a calm state of mind.
When used together, these Chinese tree barks are fantastic to help support adrenal function.
Relora® is classed as an adaptogen. Adaptogenic herbs have been used for thousand of years to help modulate stress. Some can be used to help increase stress or decrease stress.
Adaptogens or adaptogenic substances, compounds, herbs or practices refer to the pharmacological concept whereby administration results in stabilization of physiological processes and promotion of homeostasis, for example, decreased cellular sensitivity to stress.
I like to give these especially to my clients who struggle to get to sleep in the evening because of a racing mind, or who struggle to wake up in the morning.
Relora® would be used in the evening to help lower stress and may be used at multiple times during the day to increase effectiveness.
How Much Do You Need?
I don’t recommend a do-it-yourself approach when working with adaptogenic herbs. They can be very powerful and you need to use the right adaptogen at the right time for the best results.
Phosphatidylserine(PS) is a powerful supplement that can significantly improve performance when sleep deprived because it regulates brain enzymes and hormone receptors. When taken, it helps directly reduce cortisol levels.
PS works to control cortisol levels and eliminates many of the negative effects associated with elevated levels. PS is considered to be a “cortisol blunting supplement” because it negates the effects of this hormone so that cells function normally and the immune system is not overly taxed.
High levels of stress can quickly deplete PS levels which is why this supplement is especially important when engaging in any type of stressful activities.
How Much Do You Need?
I don’t recommend a do-it-yourself approach when working with PS.
However, “studies in children and adolescents for the purpose of attention improvement tend to use 200mg, and a dose of 200–400mg has been used in adult non-elderly humans with success” From Examine.com
The following supplements are recommended for busy professionals to help control cortisol and therefore, get a better night’s sleep.
- Multi Vitamin
The supplements listed today are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease or illness. Results vary by person. Before using any information or products, you should always consult with your doctor. We always recommend you do your own research.