Supplements: The Need to Have

Time and time again I see so many people throwing money away on supplements that I can clearly see will not benefit them or are not required.

You know the lads that are lashing in the Mass Gainers, BCAA's and buckets of whey and then head off and do there 4 Sets, 10 Reps followed by a chipper and a few beers.

Or you have the ladies who beasts the life out of themselves in the gym, live off broccoli and Chicken and wonder why they’re weak, have crap sleeps and constantly crave chocolate.

First thing first. Supplements are just that, to supplement your current lifestyle and eating habits. It doesn't matter what your goal is. The basics don't change. Before even thinking about supplements you have to ask yourself a few questions like:

  • Am I getting the required carbs, fats and proteins to match my body’s needs?

  • Are 95% of my food actually whole foods and not a food like product?

  • Am I getting sufficient sleep at night waking up well rested and refreshed?

  • Looking to develop muscle? Are you at a satisfactory body fat percentage and have good mobility and stability of joints and a good understanding of how to use your muscles?

These are just some of the basics to look at to get yourself towards optimum health and after that you can play around towards whatever new goals you have.

Here are the supplements that I see are important to coincide with the points above. These will give anyone an extra boost towards optimum health and I'll explain why.

Fish Oil:

  • Fish Oil is probably the most widely researched and important supplement.

  • Provide Essential Fatty acids (The body needs it but can’t produce it) and its active components are EPA and DHA.

Other than known benefits to decrease inflammation, boost your immune system and improve body composition there is a whole list of health benefits connected with fish oil. Here is the list and if any apply to you, you can research it further yourself.

  • Reduces the incidence of cardiovascular diseases

  • Lowers LDL Cholesterol and Increases HDL

  • Prostate Cancer

  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

  • Mental Health

  • Alzheimer’s

  • Lupus

  • Psoriasis

  • Crohn’s Disease

Vitamin D:

Here is something you may not know. Irish females have the highest rate of osteoporosis in the EU. Three things you can do to improve bone density are 1) Lift Weights 2) Have a more alkaline diet because if you’re highly acidic your body will take from your calcium stores to neutralise it and 3) Supplement with Vitamin D aka The Sunshine Vitamin.

The main function of vitamin D is to regulate the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in our bones and aid in cell to cell communication throughout the body.

Other benefits include:

  • various studies have shown that people with adequate levels of vitamin D have a significantly lower risk of developing cancer

  • Studies from September 2012 show that low levels of vitamin D may decrease the risk of heart attacks

  • It may reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis

  • Aids the immune system

  • Maintaining Cognitive Functions

  • Healthy Body Weight

  • Asthma Symptoms and Frequency

  • Rheumatoid Arteritis

  • Protection against damage from low levels of radiation

Magnesium and Zinc:

  • Magnesium plays a fundamental role in around 80% of all enzymatic reactions within the body and zinc has a structural role in over 300 enzymes.

  • Both Magnesium and zinc play a central role in the recovery process of rebuilding muscle tissue after exercise. Higher levels of magnesium are known to reduce inflammation.

  • As an outcome of a busy and demanding lifestyle, sleep disorders have become a common problem for many. Magnesium calms the nervous system ensuring a deep, uninterrupted and relaxing sleep, helping our body get a good night’s rest.


Probiotics help move food through your gut. Gut Health is relatively new in regards to medical studies and researchers are still trying to figure out which are best for certain health problems. Some common conditions they treat are:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  • Infectious diarrhea (caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites)

  • Antibiotic-related diarrhea

 There is also some research to show they ease the symptoms of non-stomach-related problems. For example, some people say they have helped with:

  • Skin conditions, like eczema

  • Urinary and vaginal health

  • Preventing allergies and colds

  • Oral health


Vitamin C: 

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that can protect against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as well as toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke. Free radicals can build up and contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.

Vitamin C is not stored in the body (excess amounts are excreted), so overdose is not a concern.


That’s it, 5 need to have supplements for everyone (Unless known not to take them).

I can’t stress enough that for maximum benefit these will need to go hand in hand with a good diet and lifestyle.

Until next week where I talk about some nice to have supplements (From Experience).

Love and Happiness,

John T.

PS: Remember our Instructional Video Series Starts Monday 19/01/2015

I'll be kicking off with a Prep Series of Videos to build your foundation for Calisthenics and Kettlebell Training.

Ollie will be bringing you the Barbell Series. Showing you the basics of all the main Barbell lifts.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel HERE so you don't miss out. JTK