Supplementation is the use of specific vitamins, minerals and ingredients to achieve a targeted outcome in your health and fitness. Our current environment and lifestyles mean it is hard to get everything we need from food alone, which would be ideal, and thus the targeted use of supplements can be of benefit to your health. There are some supplements that are useful for everyone to take, and this article will elaborate upon supplement basics.
Is food not good enough?
It would be great if we could eat well and that the food we ate was enough to provide us with an array of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. However, our soil is becoming less and less diverse and dense with nutrients which subsequently means the food we eat doesn’t give us enough. This is reflected in more of the population having nutrient deficiencies, for example the World Health Organisation stats show that up to 75% of the American population do not get adequate magnesium intake each day. In addition, we as humans are consuming fewer plant species, which again means we are missing out on nutrients and are likely to be falling short of the mark. This is where supplements can be a great strategy.
Our current environment
Not only are there noticeable trends in soil diversity and plant species consumption, but when we zoom out and look at the bigger picture we see 3 other areas for targeted supplementation:
- Exposure to food and environmental toxins
- Antibiotics and medicines
- High stress and poor sleep
Our environment is quite polluted and our foods are increasingly sprayed with pesticides which can remain on the food we eat. Ultimately, this leads to humans ingesting toxins that are on the food they eat, which only places a great demand on the body.
The following study shows the benefits of going organic to reduce pesticide exposure:
Organic Diets Significantly Lower Children’s Dietary Exposure to Organophosphorus Pesticides
Another common trend is the overuse of antibiotics and other medicines. One of the problems with this is it has created a reliance upon antibiotics which is not good because antibiotics essentially wipe out our gut microbiome…and our gut is one of our most vital organ systems.
Finally, the trend we have to just “work, work, work” and follow a busy lifestyle is leading to poor recovery, which is a topic we have covered the importance of in another article here. Strategic use of vitamins and minerals can help us to wind down, calm and sleep better, which can only benefit those who have a frantic lifestyle.
What makes a supplement good or bad?
A great question that is commonly asked is about what makes a supplement good or bad, how do you compare supplements? Why are the supplements on Human Performance Hub better than those in your local pharmacy?
It ultimately comes down to the following 3 areas:
- Quality and selection of ingredients
- Bioavailability and technology
- No unnecessary ingredients
Having high quality ingredients which are organic and non-GMO for example, is better for your body, not every supplement brand will do this. Similarly, when you take a supplement you want to make sure that it is absorbed and doing what it is meant to which is sadly not always the case. Using specific technologies helps the nutrients, vitamins and minerals to be taken in by the body so that they don’t become redundant when you ingest them, and they go to do the job they are intended to in the body.
Where to start with supplementation
Firstly, everyone can benefit from a multivitamin, this is because it covers your nutrient bases by providing an array of vitamins and minerals in good amounts. This essentially means you are less likely to have a nutrient deficiency because of the broad range provided by the multivitamin. Also, multivitamins will help your cells to function, reduce inflammation, aid recovery and improve energy levels. Simply put, a good quality multivitamin is the easiest supplement to take that will benefit your health this decade. They can be taken at any time of day.
Supplements are misunderstood by many people, but hopefully, this article has shed some light on the reasons why supplements can be used with great effectiveness. With supplementation there needs to be a good explanation and reason behind the use of them, it is never a case of more is better, rather it should be a highly justified solution.
More in-depth individual advice on supplements can be given based upon consultations or a skinfold bodyfat measurement over various areas of the body, your answers and bodyfat site readings will help to determine what exactly it is that you need.
If you would like to book a Consultation with Roan, or explore the possibility of starting our online training programme, please head to our Consultations page for more info on how to do this.
Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professionals before making any nutritional & lifestyle changes or before taking any nutritional supplement. For more information, please view our terms & conditions.