Supplements are to quote Kafka 'better to have and not need, than to need and not have'. They're the icing on the cake of a good nutrition plan. There is value to well selected, well formulated vitamin and mineral supplement, but they should not replace whole foods. We strongly recommend vegetarian clients consider a protein supplement. We recommend all clients, regardless of nutritional preferences, pick a quality vitamin and mineral supplement. Here is a list of supplements we personally recommend to clients:
We recommend the unflavoured variant from Myprotein. You can add the flavour you like. You can pair it with peanut butter, almond butter, coconut milk, coffee, cocoa, fruit or even spike your lassi or buttermilk with a dose of protein.
Unived has a lean pea protein for those of you who don't take well to milk protein. It's also the only choice in India for those who eschew animal products.
If your stomach feels bloated or gassy after consuming Myprotein or Optimum Nutrition whey (known to happen), Isopure is a great choice. It is expensive but lives up to the pure part in the name.
The most damage a client does to a good day of eating is between 3:30 pm and 6 pm. If you've had a protein or veggie deficient lunch, you are ready to polish off a packet of chips in a jiffy. Most protein bars contain only 30-40% protein as a percentage of total calories, you are better off packing a small serving of nuts, egg whites, cube of paneer or your favourite protein shake instead. If a combination of almonds, peanuts, walnuts, cashew and flax does not cut it for you, a protein bar maybe your go to option. Quest is one of the more tried and tested options. The taste is not for everyone. Protein bars are an exploding space with new entrants everyday. What you need to look for is a protein bar in which at least 80 percent of the calories come from protein. Anything less than 50% and you are looking at a bar which is a much healthier version of dairy milk, which is fine once in a while, but not exactly a reliable or healthy staple. Another protein bar which is sugar-free and a good option in a jiffy is Hyp Sugar-free protein bar.
This terrific combination of Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Magnesium, Zinc and Calcium is the one thing you should harangue your NRI friends to bring back for you. There is nothing like it in the Indian market. You can pair this up with a over the counter iron supplement and B12 supplement (Renerve Plus) to top things off nicely. If you can't get your hands on this supplement, your options are a D3 supplement (or sit for 30 mins or more between 10 AM and 3 PM under the Indian sun), B-12 supplement and an over the counter product like Supradyn. This stack does not match up to the Citadel Nutrition combination.
Ideally you'd eat enough free range meat, salmon, mackerel and oily fish to get your dose of omega 3 fatty acids. But for vegetarians and most non-vegetarians, this is not an option. Enter Nutrova's Omega 3 product. Citadel Nutrition also have a strong fish oil product which is not available in India. If you can get your hands on it, you should.