Supplements: Do we NEED them?
How many supplements do we ‘need’ to be taking? None
How many supplements would be beneficial to our health and performance? Loads.
Supplementation is often frowned upon by many ‘health coaches’ because we should be getting it all through our diet, right? Well, without thoroughly tracking food day in day out, and getting blood tests monthly we will never know what we are really missing in our diet on a daily basis (hence the need to a balanced, variety diet). These health coaches that say we should be getting it all through the various colours of the diet really just dint understand supplementation. Supplementation is extremely beneficial for EVERYONE, provided you understand your needs, and the required supplements to be taking. Health caches advising people not to take supplements could actually be stopping their clients from reaching their potential, the opposite of what they are paying you for. Not everyone daily supplement routine will be the same, as everyone is different and needs individual supplements, again just goes to show the importance of knowing your self, or your client and not just saying ‘yes, take magnesium, as it is very good for sleep and enzymatic processes’ if you don’t even know whether this person is magnesium deficient or not, pretty reckless and money wasting.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON could benefit from taking extra supplementation for many different reasons. There are going to be topics like fat loss and weight management that do not have any direct benefits from certain supplements as these goals need many foundational and more important measures to be taken care of before you improve the process that extra 1% with the addition of carefully prescribed supplements. Im not going to get into supplements that’s can aid fat loss today, as many of your will not have the required prerequisites nailed down anyway. Supplements for fat loss will be extremely intricate and possibly time wasting.
However, other supplements for more ‘health purposes’ that will have a direct effect on performance and health, thus an indirect effect on weight loss, fat loss and body composition have much greater benefits and will cause much better advantages to an individual.
For example, if you are a health and fitness person, who wants to improve performance, neaten up your body composition and get all round positive effects from carrying our your training and nutrition protocols, you would be extremely stupid to not be supplementing creatine. It’s not an element of our diet that increases with the ‘more colours’ you eat, levels may rise with more red meat consumption, but even so, the extra creatine we get from the additional supplement the better. Stupidity not to supplement.
How many people nowadays eat 7-10 portions of fruit and veg a day? How many people really value their health to such high levels that each and every day they will count, measure out and ensure they do so. Not many people. So alongside making people aware than your fruit and veg is essential, why not supplement a multivitamin to help boost the broad nutrient levels.
How many people eat fish every day? 5% of you, unless you are a shark. Bringing people round to eating fish on the daily can be a hard task. Even harder, is bring people back to a healthy ratio of omega 3:omega 6. That would required a complete overhaul of the modern westernised society, so a safe bet again its to just tell people to be conscious of increasing oily fish intake and supplement omega 3 daily.
Taking supplements doesn’t substitute for the dietary intakes of your day (otherwise they would be called substitutes). They can help us, they can boost our levels, albeit a small percentage but it accumulates and adds to our overall health and performance. Sticking your nose up at supplements because you think we should be getting it all through our diet is probably something that will reduce the health of yourself, or your client. Saying no to supplements is like enduring a DIY task and not asking for help even though your helper is standing right beside you, with a helping hand to make the DIY task easier, quicker, more efficient and will result in a better and quicker end product. It does detract from the fact you still need to do the task (eat the food) but it just gives you that helping hand when you need it.
My last point would be - don’t throw the kitchen sink at yourself, or your client, recklessly prescribing supplements because you think they may need them, or because they are good for you. That would take zero skill, absolutely no level of coaching or understanding your body or your client, and will essentially be a very costly process. Yes throwing every supplement at someone will inevitably help in some way, but anyone can do that. It will cost a lot. Instead of taking the shotgun approach by firing multiple bullets at once hoping one of the bullets will hit the target, take the sniper approach, and do the testing, so the coaching, understand yourself or your client and make sure that one bullet, is god damn accurate and efficient.
EVERYONE can do with a helping hand, not a substitute, but a supplement.