Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Story with Supplementation

There is a tremendous spectrum of opinions  when it comes to taking supplements as part of your daily nutrition routine or when working on improving performance enhancement.  When I refer to supplements in this article I'm talking about the over the counter, anyone can buy kind to help make for better health and performance for the everyday athlete or just active person.  We aren't venturing into the more intense supplements that have got several professional athletes in trouble (i.e. steroids).

One end of the spectrum does not believe in any type of supplementation and everything must be whole foods and earth grown nutrients.  Mike Dolce, UFC trainer, believes in "No Pills, No Powders, No Potions."  This is a great philosophy and one to definitely strive for to get all of your health and nutrition from whole food sources and one I agree with.

The other side of the spectrum is to take everything you can and then some (within safe reason of course) to be able to optimize your body as much as you possibly can.  Dave Asprey has mentioned several times that his goal is to have the most expensive urine on the planet as he takes enough supplementation that his body is clearing out what it doesn't need to use and getting rid of it.

What does it all mean?  Getting all your nutrients from food is difficult.  There are plenty of studies and data out there showing how deficient we are in many nutrients such as A, C, D, E, calcium and magnesium (check out Suppversity's article on nutrient deficiency here).  This is astounding and also worrisome.  How do we get this all from food?   Let's be honest it isn't easy and in a day and age where fast and convenient is king a majority of us struggle.  Is this a great answer? No it is probably an excuse but it is also reality.

The scary thing about these nutrient deficiencies is that the values we are deficient from are values that aren't meant to make us function at our highest levels.  The values that are used are the levels set to make sure that we don't develop a deficiency and end up with a disease like scurvy (lack of vitamin-C).  If we are so low already are we setting our bodies up for failure?  I think the unfortunate answer is yes.

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This is where I believe that supplementation has its place and only a place for supplementing nutrients, not for replacing them entirely.  A supplement defines itself as just that, an addition to add onto something else.  In this case a well balanced diet with plenty of good whole foods incorporated into it.

A pill or powder should not replace food entirely.  They should be used to enhance your diet and your body through an addition.  The best example of a vitamin we need is vitamin-D (article here on its importance) as we only get it through certain foods in small amounts or when we are out in the sun.  For those of use living north of the equator it is almost impossible to get enough sun, even in the summer to make up for it.  We simply aren't outside enough and we wear to many clothes.

Supplements don't have to be scary, they don't have to be just for bulking up or for losing weight and there are good companies out there that don't cheat the system.  They can be used to easily and naturally enhance your quality of life and do so with no adverse effects.  Do your research, ask a trusted friend in the health industry if you have questions and we are always happy to answer questions as well and do so without trying to sell you something.  Live well.

As a disclaimer I do support Advocate and am a distributor.  They third party test their products for quality assurance and also have two advisory boards ensuring a quality product is put out and I happen to know a few people on those boards.  I personally use their products but they do not offer everything and I do use others.  If you have questions and I think Advocate is the best bet I will tell you, if there is a better option I will tell you that as well.  It's not about the money it's about making us all healthier.