Can you make your low-carb diet better with supplements? Or does it sound too good to be true?
It is wise to be sceptical. But some supplements have a proven track record, backed by solid scientific evidence.
Many low-carb authors and experts, such as Dr Atkins, recommend supplementation to improve your low-carb diet. Supplements can support your weight loss in several ways.
Vitamins, minerals and omega oils bridge any potential gaps in your nutrition. They make you feel better while you lose weight, and protect your health over the long-term.
Other types of supplements can help you cope with specific low-carb diet problems, like tiredness, sugar cravings and digestive issues.
Supplements are not magic diet pills. They certainly can’t make you thin. But they can help you smash through common diet obstacles. You can reach your goals faster, and enjoy yourself more in the process.
Here’s how you can improve your low-carb diet with supplements.
1) Multivitamins to balance nutrient deficiencies
You can get all vitamins you need from low-carb foods. But you would have to plan your meals meticulously. You’d have to track all your nutrients, in addition to counting carbs.
If you are on a ketogenic low-carb diet, like Keto or Atkins Induction, your daily carbs limit is around 20-30g. That’s not a lot – even if you use it all up on leafy vegetables. Some nutrients might drop below the recommended levels.
Short-term nutrient deficiencies won’t harm your health. But you might feel rubbish. You might even be tempted to give up your diet.
Why risk it? A multivitamin supplement is a simple solution.
You will get all the nutrients you need but none of the carbs. Some people find that a strong multivitamin helps to reduce cravings for high-vitamin foods like fruit and bread. Research studies confirm that a daily multivitamin improves your sense of well-being while dieting.
Choose a good quality, extra-strong formula with a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals. Read our guide on choosing a multivitamin for your low-carb diet.
It is also a good idea to spend your carb allowance on the most vitamin-rich low-carb foods.
Buy Low-Carb Diet Multivitamins on Amazon
2) L-Carnitine and Co-Enzyme Q10 to kickstart fat-burning metabolism
Low-carb flu is the dark side of low-carb dieting. No one enjoys it, but most of us go through in the beginning.
Tiredness. Headaches. Muscle cramps. Dizziness. It has to get worse before it gets better!
Eventually, your body starts burning fat for energy instead of glucose. The nasty symptoms will disappear instantly.
Can you speed it up?
Dr Atkins used the term “metabolic resistance” to describe this problem. The higher your resistance, the longer it will take. He recommended L-Carnitine and Co-Enzyme Q10 to speed up the transition.
You can also try these two supplements if you hit a weight loss plateau.
Read more about other ways to speed up ketosis
3) B and C vitamins to beat tiredness
Tiredness is another common low-carb diet problem. It usually hits in the beginning, while you are still transitioning, but might also occur later in your diet.
You start your diet by cutting down the carbs. After several days, you run out of stored glucose. You have no fuel. Eventually, your body learns to use up fat instead of glucose. Then your energy levels will soar.
Keep your energy levels up throughout with extra-strong B and C vitamins. Studies confirm that they can reduce fatigue and improve energy-yielding metabolism.
Read about other ways to beat fatigue
4) Chromium picolinate, green tea extract and omega oils to fight sugar cravings
Sugar is a drug and we are all addicted to it. The only way to break free is to give it up. On a low-carb diet, you do this automatically. Nothing is higher in carbs than sugar.
Giving up any drug is hard and sugar is no exception. You will miss it, and you will crave it. Even if you know how bad it is.
Supplements can help you fight sugar cravings. Chromium picolinate, green tea extract and omega oils can normalise blood glucose levels. They can help to reduce your sugar cravings.
Read about other ways to cope with sugar cravings
5) Antioxidants to shield your cells from oxidative stress
We use oxygen for energy. There is one downside – sneaky molecules known as free radicals.
These molecules slowly destroy proteins and cell membranes in our bodies. Over time, this damage contributes to heart problems, inflammation and other health conditions.
The jury is still out on whether low-carb diets cause more oxidative stress. Some research indicates they might actually reduce it.
In either case, antioxidant supplements protect your cells and weaken free radicals. Vitamins A, C and E, selenium and zinc are strong antioxidants. Green tea and grape seed extracts are also good. This type of supplement supports your long-term health rather than solving any immediate problems.
Buy Antioxidant Formula on Amazon
6) Fibre to improve digestion
Low-carb food is generally low in fibre. But fibre is essential for trouble-free digestion. If you don’t get enough fibre, your body will respond with a clear sign – constipation.
The solution is a daily fibre supplement. Take it as a capsule, or eat high-fibre ingredients such as flax and psyllium husks.
See the list of best low-carb high-fibre foods
Buy Psyllium husk capsules on Amazon
7) Minerals to replenish electrolytes balance
Drinking lots is necessary on a low-carb diet. This is not hard. Low-carb diets make most people thirsty.
There is just one problem with that. Drinking huge amounts depletes essential minerals and electrolytes. Electrolytes depletion causes muscle cramps and headaches. It is the most common cause of the low-carb flu symptoms.
Sodium, potassium and magnesium are the key minerals to replace. Take them as separate supplements or as part of a multivitamin/multimineral formula.
Buy Mineral Supplements on Amazon
Buy low-carb supplements online
Buy low-carb diet supplements online from a specialist low-carb supplements shop. Delivering to UK, European Union, USA and Hong Kong.
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