Because of my dance and fitness training, I often get asked if I take supplements and are they alright to take. As always, my answer is the same, in that what may be suitable for one, may not be for another and everything should be in moderation. It is all down to personal requirement and preferences.

Supplements, be it vitamin and minerals tablets or tonic form, is all a matter of choice and what suits ones own individual lifestyle. Would a doctor recommend iron tablets to someone who didn’t need them? Highly unlikely! However if he felt that the person’s symptoms or diet was poor or lacking in certain food types, he would suggest a supplement be taken.

On average, I train two to three times a week with some weight training for strength, alongside teaching a few classes in kickboxing and dance. I usually eat every 2-3 hours to maintain my energy. I do eat a full meal late in the evening and don’t have to worry about weight gaining, as I have enough muscle that requires a lot of caloric energy in order to be maintained if I was out working or enjoying myself dancing till the early hours. Eating late is essential; I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I was hungry or didn’t eat enough to replace all the energy expenditure. Since I have trained my metabolism to work fast, if I over exert energy at times when there is extra work taken on, I sometimes cannot possibly keep up and have to take the odd protein supplement here and there. In fact, I carry a protein powder sachet with me all the time just in case I am hungry and I’m not near anywhere I can get some food that I deem healthy and can actually eat. It may be an emergency or after a training session when hungry and no food is available, or my appetite is not up to its normal. This is when protein supplements or bodybuilding supplements can be handy, but again it is a choice and used only when doing more extra energetic work than normal and/or food is not readily available. It is not used all the time as a regular replacement for food where main source of nutrients should be obtained.

Protein powders can be helpful for people who are extremely active. They can help when people are ill or after surgery and may be lacking their normal appetite. It can just bump up that little extra when needed. They should not however be used as a substitute for all meals and used as meal replacements.

If you do decide to step up your bodybuilding power pack with some protein, most are whey proteins and are fine with many people. I always recommend reading the ingredients and nutrients on everything and comparing, avoiding any refined sugars and always opting of a good natural good source. Try a few samples of some varied brands before you start purchasing all the large tubs. They do vary in taste and finding what you like will make the difference as to whether it sits in a cupboard or actually gets used.

Being allergic to milk doesn’t restrict you as there are many forms of protein powder such as soya, hemp and pea – find one that works for you. I have tried many and one that I use is vanilla by Nuzest. It is 100% vegan, has a sweet taste and can be added to make desserts less starchy by replacing flour in some favourite recipes. You can even make your own protein bars for your on-the-go snacks.

I do take vitamin and mineral supplements regularly, and even though eating a really well balanced diet, as one matures, flying around like a Ninja warrior will take its toll on the joints, so taking some vitamin supplements feels right and works for me. I know what is needed for me to function comfortably and have noticed a difference when not taken. So if I feel great on some glucosamine and chondroitin and feel that it helps, it is a personal choice. Again what suits one may not suit another. If you know you need a particular vitamin but cannot possibly face the type of food it is found in, then why not take the vitamin or tonic form? It’s better than lacking in it altogether. Let’s take Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, for example. Trying to get a daily ten minute dose as suggested is pretty difficult during the winter in the UK. Not being able to eat particular types of food may limit the intake also, so if it helps to take some cod liver oil supplement and the doctor recommends it, then why not. With vitamins, you should always check with your doctor, as unless you are trained up and know about them, you can actually overdose on some, resulting in other side effects. Some like Vitamin C are needed daily, while others like Vitamin A which are retained, if taken in excess, can be quite toxic. So as always, checking what is needed with the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) and with a physician or nutritionist is always advisable.

Which brand is again is up to you but compare each one by reading the packaging as they do vary quite a lot in what they contain, even though the RDA may be the same as labelled.

If you need that extra pick me up, whatever your choice, all should be with guidance.


Love and Sparkles

Samsara x



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