I can remember the day I was first introduced to supplementing with EFA's (essential fatty acids) in my diet. I was naturally a bit unsure about them. I mean, how could putting extra fats into my diet benefit me as a bodybuilder my when primary target is to build muscle and get lean? It seemed counter-intuitive, but the literature I read at the time explained how every cell in your body needs essential fats to function properly. It cannot make them by itself, so you need to introduce them into your diet, and by doing so you actually increase the efficiency and performance of your metabolism. This allows your body to mobilise it's own fat stores as energy much better than if you were not supplementing at all. It was a subtle argument but it made sense. Enough for me to give it a go. The product, by the way, was Udo's Ultimate Oil Blend
Some 12 years later, here I am still using the product. And yes, I do think it works! Of course, essential fats can, and should, be obtained from the foods you eat. Foods like nuts, seeds, whole grains and oily fish. I highly recommend you include these in your nutritional plan, although often it can be hard to get enough of these fats from a typical diet alone. So this is where supplementing with a product like Udo's is key. I'm going to talk a little bit about how this particular oil blend has helped me over the years, and how I think it can benefit you too.
The idea that Udo's can help you lose weight is true. Aside from the metabolic enhancement outlined above, when taken at meal time it slows down the absorption rate of your food, meaning less of an insulin spike, which leads to less fat storage. Additionally, the calories from Udo's will help satisfy your hunger to the degree that you can actually reduce carb intake and not feel deprived either. As a bodybuilder this allowed me to diet more easily and reduce carbs without feeling hungry all the time. Crucially, the fats also maintained a healthy hormone environment in my body that supported lean tissue gain whilst simultaneously stripping body fat down to the low levels that made me very competitive onstage. I also recovered faster from workouts, which allowed me to train harder and more frequently, further accelerating progress.
But I actually think some of the main benefits of Udo's lie elsewhere, at least in my experience. Omega 3's (a key ingredient in the blend) are well documented for improving overall health and well being. They enhance concentration levels, improve sleep patterns and promote optimum natural hormone output. I have certainly noticed these upsides, and the net effect has been hugely beneficial for me over the years. If you feel on top of your game you perform more effectively as a person and are better able to manage your life better, which filters down into everything both inside and outside the gym.
So now when I introduce new people to the product, whether it be the clients I coach or others just seeking to improve their diets, many have already heard about the power of essential fats, which is great. Although sometimes people are still a bit sceptical, which is perfectly normal. So I ask them to do an experiment. Invest in one or maybe two bottles of Udo's and use it religiously for a month or so, as recommended by the guidelines (10-15ml daily intake per 25kg of bodyweight, spread over 2 or 3 servings). Train as normal, and keep your eating habits the same. Then when the bottles are empty discontinue using it for a few weeks. The difference should then become clear! When you're using the product it's likely that you'll notice a subtle gradual improvement in well-being, energy levels, recovery from training, sleep patterns, and how you look and feel (Udo's is also good for the hair and skin too). But it can be easy to miss these signs as they dont happen overnight, but through regular use. However, when you discontinue use and fail to replace those missing EFA's in your diet, these benefits can rapidly decline, leaving you feeling tired, run down and just not quite on-form. At this point the potency of the product can be seen.
If you're not using Udo's, why not give it a go? More and more people are realising that EFA's form an essential part of a healthy diet, and the omega 3, 6 and 9 blend in Udo's has been precisely engineered to give your body the exact ratio of fats that it needs to perform at the optimum level. Mixed with food it can really enhance the flavour of many meals, or add a dash to your protein shake for a richer, smoother consistency and taste. Whether you're training hard at your chosen sport, or just hitting the gym regularly to stay in shape, capitalise on those efforts and give your body the best fuel for its engine.