5 Reasons to Take Nutritional Supplements
By Christine Fitzgerald, Regional Director of Nutrition
Should you supplement your diet with, well, supplements? Studies show that doing so can make a dramatic impact on your health. People take supplements to be healthy, to lose weight, gain weight or achieve any number of health goals. Supplements should complement your diet and help cover gaps in your nutritional intake, ensuring that your body gets everything it needs.
You may think that you are getting everything from food, but here are some reasons that may make you re-consider and what you can do to ensure your body gets the nutrients and vitamins it needs.
- Vitamin Depletion – Exercise depletes B vitamins, which help your body repair after physical activity. Replenish B vitamins through a good quality B complex vitamin and eating foods rich in B vitamin, such as seafood and dark, leafy green vegetables.
- Eating Habits – Not chewing your food until it is a soup-like consistency before you swallow, eating in the car, and eating in a stressful state at your desk equal insufficient digestion. This means your body can’t absorb all of the nutrition it needs, which essentially puts your digestive track to sleep and sends all your energy into your outer extremities so that you can “fight or flight” the stress. Schedule an extra few minutes in your day to really enjoy and chew your food thoroughly.
- Time Constraints – Eating super healthy isn’t always convenient or tasty, but supplements can help. Try adding protein powder to simple smoothies, and use products such as PaleoReds (delivers the vitamins and polyphenols without sugar) and PaleoGreens (perfect for those who don’t like green vegetables) to get your daily dose of nutrients.
- Strong Bones – To prevent weak bones, cut the stress. High levels of stress deplete calcium, so find ways to relax. Take small walks throughout the day, meditate, or journal what you’re grateful for when you get up in the morning. Simple ways to de-stress can make a huge difference. Also, have your vitamin D levels checked at your next physical. Vitamin D keeps your bones strong by helping your body absorb calcium and phosphorous, essential for good bone health.
- Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits – Smoking and drinking alcohol can waste away your vitamin C stores, coffee can sap your iron stores, and prolonged use of drug medications can deplete essential nutrients in your body and make you more vulnerable to deficiencies. Cut smoking, limit alcohol consumption, and try tea instead of coffee (dandelion, chicory root, and yerba mate are all great alternatives).
If you do need to take medication or an antibiotic, consult with your club nutritionist to see what vitamins it depletes so you can find the best remedy to replenish the loss.
Christine Fitzgerald is a two-time published author, a certified nutritionist, and holds a Master’s in Nutrition. Christine specializes in hormone education, testing, and balance; weight management; athletic performance; and recovery. She holds quarterly nutrition seminars across all ClubSport clubs.