Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to get ready! We’ve rounded up the best summer supplements to get you looking and feeling your best this year.
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Summer Supplement #1: Adaptogens
As temperatures rise, our energy levels tend to fall, and we’re left slogging through the hottest days. We often experience this as the “summer blahs,” or perhaps an energy crash around 2 or 3pm. While caffeine might offer a bit of a pick-me-up, it’s usually short-lived, and may be accompanied by jitters, nervousness, and other adverse effects. To help the body naturally adapt to the physical stress of high temperatures, adaptogenic supplements such as Perfect Rhodiola and Perfect Cordyceps are great options that combat fatigue without leaving you overstimulated. These adaptogens normalize bodily imbalances, adrenal function, cortisol and other hormone levels, metabolic processes, and oxygen utilization — all physical effects of stress on the body. The result of this proper regulation caused by taking adaptogens like rhodiola rosea or cordyceps is that you feel less fatigued, calmer, more energized, and even generally healthier and happier.
Summer Supplement #2: Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Fermented cod liver oil is great for boosting energy, supporting bone health, and protecting against sun sensitivity. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A and D.
Vitamin A reduces signs of aging and may protect against skin cancer. One study found that those who took a vitamin A supplement daily were 60% less likely to develop melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. Vitamin A also works to repair skin damaged due to sun exposure and aging.
In addition to supporting the immune system and keeping up energy, adequate vitamin D helps prevent abnormal cell growth, reducing your risk of developing certain types of cancer. Although the sun is the best source of vitamin D, most of us are at the office during the sunniest part of the day. Even if you are able to spend time outdoors, chances are you tend to stay in the shade or covered in sunblock on those bright sunny days. Unless you get a decent amount of sunshine each day (the exact time needed varies depending on geographical location, weather, skin type, etc.) you should continue taking a vitamin D supplement all summer long. Those with seasonal allergies or inflammatory conditions may benefit from taking a vitamin D supplement even if you get plenty of sun exposure, as vitamin D is highly anti-inflammatory. Fermented cod liver oil is an excellent food source of naturally-occurring vitamin D, and appears to work synergistically with the vitamin A in cod liver oil.
Summer Supplement #3: Astaxanthin
What could be better as we head into summer than edible sunscreen?! Astaxanthin acts as an internal sunscreen that scavenges free radicals and prevents ultraviolet damage, skin cancer, and other cancers as well. A powerful antioxidant-rich carotenoid, astaxanthin is an anti-inflammatory pain reliever and protects the eyes, heart, brain, and even the mitochondria. Astaxanthin also maintains skin’s moisture, smoothness, and elasticity, reducing wrinkles, sagging, and signs of aging or sun damage such as freckles, age spots, and sun spots. While you should still probably smear on some natural sunscreen for external protection against sunburn while astaxanthin levels begin to build up to therapeutic levels, many have found this supplement can reduce or eliminate their need for sunblock as well as allow them to stay out in the heat longer without feeling sick. Read more about astaxanthin here.
Summer Supplement #4: Vitamins C & E
Vitamin C and Vitamin E together protect against ultraviolet radiation and may reduce your likelihood of getting sunburned. What’s more, a 2005 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that combining vitamins C and E reduced DNA damage due to sun exposure.
Vitamin C supports your body with the stress of summer heat, lowering body temperature and preventing heat-related problems such as heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. This vitamin keeps the sweat glands functioning optimally on hot days so that they do not tire out too quickly. Since vitamin C is an anti-inflammatory antioxidant, it prevents and repairs sun damage by encouraging collagen production and tissue growth. Vitamins C and E both also act as a natural antihistamines, relieving symptoms of summer allergies, nasal symptoms, and asthma.
Summer Supplement #5: Weight Loss Supplements
Summer means shorts and bikinis, so now is the time to get into shape! If you’re looking for a little boost to your diet and exercise efforts, these four supplements can help you shed pounds more quickly yet naturally, without the dangers of traditional diet pills and stimulants.
Dr. Oz dubbed raspberry ketones “The Number One Miracle In A Bottle.” While no weight loss aid can totally overcome the effects of a poor diet and inactivity (sorry, you still have to eat healthy and exercise!), Research suggests that raspberry ketones may increase levels of adiponectin, a protein found at higher levels in thinner people and known to play a key role in lipid and glucose metabolism.
Lite’N-Up is a great meal replacement, snack, or post-workout protein drink. Made with natural fat burners like CLA, green tea, and garcinia cambogia, Lite’N-Up is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients. This weight loss supplement contains no sweeteners (although it does have a pleasant, naturally sweet vanilla taste!) and less lactose than whey concentrates. A Lite’N-Up shake stabilizes your blood sugar and satisfies your appetite, so you’re less likely to overeat. Studies have shown that adding whey protein to your diet can reduce body fat while retaining muscle mass, which translates to greater weight loss compared to those who used other types of protein powders or no protein supplement at all.
Dr. Oz has also recommended two other supplements, CLA and green coffee bean. Mercola CLA appears to shrink fat cells and increase metabolic rate. CLA occurs at highest levels in grass-fed dairy and meat, which may explain why modern diets are lacking in CLA and tend to lead to obesity. Perfect Green Coffee is 50% chlorogenic acid and is extracted from unroasted coffee beans. Green coffee lowers high blood pressure and blood glucose while boosting the metabolism. In Dr. Oz’s study of viewer volunteers, the group that took green coffee bean extract lost nearly twice as much weight as the placebo group.
Summer Supplement #6: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a wonderful moisturizer, bug bite treatment, chapped lip remedy, and sunburn soother. It may even help you avoid burning. Coconut oil has an SPF around 8, so while it won’t do much to prevent sunburns during long days at the beach, it might be a good alternative to sunscreen for brief, indirect sun exposure. Some people have even found consuming coconut oil regularly leaves them less likely to burn in the first place. Another great use for coconut oil is for smoothing and moisturizing hair that becomes frizzy in the summer or damaged from pool chemicals; just rub a bit onto your strands in the morning. You can spread coconut oil on your armpits as a natural deodorant, and also use it as a shaving lotion to get your legs ready for shorts and swimsuits. This is truly a multipurpose summer supplement — it’s even great for grilling! Try Blue Breeze Coconut Oil or Perfect Coconut Oil.