It’s a time-tested tale – food comes first for the source of nutrients that your body needs before supplementation. And guess what? We completely agree! But the developed and advanced world we live in actually disables us in many ways from getting the nutrients our body so deeply depends on. Now, the counter-argument says that there has been nothing that has changed in thousands of years about organic, naturally sourced food. We hope to provide you with some insight as to why that is not true and what you can do about it to bridge the gap between a nutritious diet and proper supplementation.
How Can I Tell If I Need Supplements?
In previous years, and still today, there’s a lot of stigma and speculation around the sports supplement and vitamin industry. Likely so, many people are out to make a quick buck or two at the expense of other people’s health.
The only person who does not require vitamins or supplements is a person who:
• Eats only wild, fresh, whole, organic, local, NON-GMO food grown in virgin mineral- and nutrient-rich soils and is not transported across vast distances and stored for months before being eaten.
• Works and lives only outside, breathe only fresh unpolluted air, drinks only pure, clean water, sleeps nine hours a night consistently, works out ever single day and are free from chronic stressors and exposure to environmental toxins.
DID I DESCRIBE YOU?
Probably not. There isn't one person on planet Earth that fits the description, actually. Now, you’re probably thinking how healthy and clean of a lifestyle you live and how you’ve gotten to age whatever by not taking supplements. Supplements aren't meant to replace your nutrition. They're meant to take your efforts and improve them. A well rounded nutritional plan not only helps us avoid injury and sickness, but it also provides us with more energy, clearer thinking, better focus, and a better feeling body overall. Sounds nice, doesn't it?
Food First, Then Supplements
You don't want to ever replace your food with supplements. You simply want to use supplements as a complement to a healthy and nutritious diet. Most people do not have an understanding of the role that vitamins and minerals play in our bodies. That’s why we’re here to simplify it for you.
Are Fortified Foods Better Than Supplements?
Fortified Foods foods are not enough to do the job alone. Fortified foods types of human handled and modified foods were introduced in the early 1900s because of the nutrient decline in foods and the increasing rates of processed food available to the general public. Mom’s were going to work alongside dads and no longer was someone home all the time to harvest and prepare food from the garden outside. Suddenly bacon and eggs were replaced with boxed cereal and omega-3 fortified milk.
People needed quicker and cheaper options, which in turn led to more than 92 percent of Americans today being deficient in one or more vitamins. And if we refer to the previous paragraph, about how the daily recommended intake is the bare minimum amounts to avoid serious deficiencies, Americans are not just receiving less than the amount they need for optimal health but are actually receiving less than the bare minimum amount necessary to prevent deficiency diseases. Let that sink in for a minute…
Why You Need To Take Vitamins
As mentioned earlier, nobody in present-day has a diet that fulfills the micronutrient profile needed for longevity, optimum performance, and attaining the highest quality of life possible. In fact, many of us, including YOU, reading this, are living day-to-day living a life out of balance and are unable to even recognize it!
It is only within the past 60 years or so that a second option has become available, nutrient + vitamin supplementation, that enables us to bridge the gap in food deficiencies to increase overall health.
Why You Need Vitamins: Food Isn't Enough
The Standard American Diet, and probably the general diet you follow, is seriously lacking in nutrients and is overwhelmingly pumped with sugar, additives, and chemicals that take a serious toll on your intestinal and digestive health. Not to mention, chronic stressors and an overhaul of responsibilities physiologically damage the normal intestinal barrier preventing absorption from food. If you are not fueling your body with the ingredients necessary to absorb the nutrients in your food, your environmental and social stress levels are through the roof and naturally, you are decaying your very own intestinal structure. Essentially, you’re damaging yourself from the inside out a whole lot faster than you want to.
Farming practices are becoming more expensive and shortcuts are being taken to pinch pennies. Simple practices in thought, such as crop rotation and properly mineralizing, is not being done. We’re genetically modifying food to grow faster and larger, harvesting fruits and vegetables long before they're even ripe, using chemicals to kill pests and fertilize crops at the same time, and all of those shortcuts end up in the food we consume. If you didn’t catch that, the modifications, chemicals, and lack of minerals are ending up in YOUR body. (Read about potential pesticides in cereals HERE).
More than eighteen minerals are essential for human nutrition and range from making bones, blood cells, nervous system function, muscle building, healthy weight maintenance, and so on. Inadequate micronutrient intake, even at minimal levels, has been linked to neurocognitive (poor mood, hormone imbalances, anger, depression, insomnia, eating disorders, etc.) as well as putting you at an increased risk of other preventable conditions. Vitamin supplements are instrumental in filling nutritional gaps especially in developed nations where processed, fast, and cheap food is abundant and more easily attained than whole foods.
The purpose of a supplement is to supplement the missing nutrients required to build and maintain a healthy body.
Nearly 60% of vitamin C is lost in orange by transporting it locally. Now think about all the fruit and vegetables that you consume not from your local area and not even in the natural harvesting season. Bananas from Mexico, Apples from Europe, even the beef from Canada, are transported over obnoxious miles of land and sea just so you can satisfy a craving.
Vitamin and Mineral losses in processed, transported, blanched, canned, and frozen food all contribute to mental and dietary diseases. Some of those are directly correlated to dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, bowel issues, and so on.
Taking supplements is a commitment to ensure your body is receiving the vital nutrients needed every single day. The most important part of taking supplements is consistency. Aim to get healthy to stay healthy.
Why You Need Vitamins: Combat Vitamin Deficiencies
A USDA survey shows that 37 percent of Americans do not get enough Vitamin C, 70 percent not enough Vitamin E, and almost 75 percent not enough zinc, and 40 percent not enough Iron. Why? We are told and influenced to trust the information given to us at local stores and on the Internet without needing to search much farther, right? That’s just it! We don’t have to go far, reach far, and read far, to supposedly get the information we need. Successive generations of fast pace food growing and manufacturing deprived our soil, foods, and ourselves of vital nutrients.
Food no longer has the nutrient level requirement that you as a human need for optimal health.
"A salmon that grows to market size twice as fast as normal. Dairy cows that produce 15% more milk. Beef cows that grow 20% faster."** Plants are treated with pesticides and other chemicals so they no longer have to fight to live, which even further diminish their nutrient levels and their phytonutrient content. Animals are stuck in pens and giant feedlots instead of roaming free, eating nutrient-rich wild grains and grasses. Antibiotics and hormones are pumped into animals. All of which are going to be taken into your own body when you eat these products.
Regardless of diet preference, Vegan, Vegetarian, Meat-Eater, etc., the dramatic effects of what we have modified our food to do effects, everyone.
To add to the issue of our food, environmental, financial, physical, emotional, spiritual and social dimensions of our lives can even add to some serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies within our bodies. Stressors, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, inflammation, water retention, on and on, the pressure we put on our bodies is adding up and not in a good way.
Choosing Vitamin Supplements: Quality Matters
This being said, the quality of the ingredients in vitamin and mineral supplements does matter! Companies that provide vitamin and sports supplements should be:
- Manufactured in the USA.
- Made in a facility that has earned a Good Manufacturing Practices cGMP standing
- Proprietary Blend FREE (read more here)
Products should be kept in their natural chemical makeup and form so that they are not foreign to the body and can be easily absorbed. The best dietary supplements are safeguarded and have the highest tier ranking; that is the exact promise that SWOLVERINE stands behind and delivers with every single product. Don’t just take a supplement(s) you are unsure of because someone told you to. Know what you're getting and how much of what you are getting in each dose, every time.
What Vitamins Should I Take?
The journey through the world of nutrients and deficiencies is long and winding – but it does not have to be a guessing game. By going to the roots of our dietary issues and bridging the gap with appropriate supplementation were able to wake up feeling great and keep that feeling going throughout our days, weeks, and years. The following are the vitamins and supplements that we recommend and trust:
Often referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ and for good reason, Vitamin D is a critical component of your diet. More difficult than other vitamins and nutrients to obtain from your diet alone, Vitamin D plays a substantial role in bone metabolism and helping you absorb calcium. Your skin synthesizes Vitamin D after exposure to sunlight. Besides bone health, Vitamin D regulates a host of different biological functions such as inhibition of cellular proliferation, inducing terminal differentiation, and stimulating insulin production. Without a sufficient amount of Vitamin D, only 10–15% of dietary calcium and about 60% of phosphorus are absorbed. But, do you really need a Vitamin D supplement? That depends. If you have adequate exposure to sunlight, then the answer is probably no. If you live in the pacific northwest, then it’s a different story. Vitamin D is quite hard to find in naturally occurring food sources, and if you don’t have a fair amount of sun exposure, you could be part of the estimated 1 billion or 50% of the world population, that is Vitamin D deficient.
RELATED ARTICLE The Health Benefits Of Vitamin D3
Probiotics are a critical element in regulating your gut flora and promoting digestive and immune health. They're the “good bacteria” that when consumed properly, colonize within the body, and optimize your body’s microflora or microbiome. The bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that make up your body’s microflora actually outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1 and recent research increasingly shows that they play a major role in both mental and physical health. And when I say major, I mean they play a role in basically every human function from your ability to lose weight, to your bowel movements, to your energy levels, to your ability to remember your anniversary.
Probiotics also help regulate critical bodily functions within the digestive and immune system to help you ward off illness and stay healthy.
RELATED ARTICLE The Astonishing Health Benefits Of Probiotics
Maintaining an optimal balance of Omega fatty acids is critical in obtaining optimal health. Omega-6 fatty acids are present in highly processed foods and foods cooked with vegetable oils, which have a severe impact on your health. It’s important to maintain a balance of Omegas with foods such as avocados, walnuts, and fatty fish like salmon or tuna. And on the days when you’re just too busy to cook Salmon for dinner, or too tired from your WOD, then relying upon a high-quality Omega supplement, such as Krill Oil, is vital to maintaining optimal Omega balance. Additionally, it will help with post workout joint pain and inflammation. Diets with a higher ratio of Omega 6 and 9 are more prone to chronic illness and disease and added chronic inflammation. Krill Oil is the best Omega 3 supplement, since it’s based upon phospholipids, making it more readily available for your body to utilize, (absorbed within 2-3 hours) as opposed to Fish Oil (absorbed within 24-48 hours) which is structured with Triglycerides.
RELATED ARTICLE Krill Oil Vs Fish Oil: What Are The Differences?
Krill Oil also contains the worlds most potent antioxidant Astaxanthin, which helps with oxidative stress and inflammation. Supplementing with a high-quality Omega is not only important for overall health and wellness, it’s important for your recovery.
Eating patterns that include relatively high intakes of fruits, raw vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are directly correlated with lower risks of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Lean proteins and low-fat dairy products are also important sources of micronutrients to help prevent chronic disease and encourage overall health and wellness [R]. With the addition of a multivitamin supplement, you’re simply helping your body bridge the gaps in the nutrients you may not be getting in the daily-recommended amounts. The benefits of taking a multivitamin can help you in so many more ways than you think, when it comes to supporting energy levels, improve mood, sexual function, healthy aging, and overall vitality.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant vitamin-like molecule that facilitates the process of ATP or energy metabolism, which powers every, single, human cellular action.CoQ10 also supports heart health, helps reduce fatigue, and regulates blood pressure. Coq10 might be one of the most underrated or undervalued supplements when it comes to CrossFit, considering that CrossFit relies on explosive movements, power, speed, and endurance. The way it works is that Coq10 increases cellular energy. You see, the conversion of energy from the carbohydrates and fats that you consume is called adenosine triphosphate or ATP; this process fuels almost every cell action in our bodies. CoQ10 supports muscle cells to become more efficient and effective at producing and using energy. What does that mean for you? CoQ10 enables the human body to restore the rate of mitochondrial respiration, muscle strength, coordination and exercise tolerance. As an athlete, you demand a lot more from your cells in order to supply the organs, tissues, and muscles with the appropriate nutrients and energy required to perform at a high level for long periods of time.
Are You Getting All The Nutrients You Need From Your Diet?
The answer is NO, nobody is. It is up to you to develop a relationship and a synergistic partnership with your body to live at your highest functioning levels. It’s time to demand more from the world around you, demand more from yourself, and get serious about spending the time you are gifted the way you are meant to.
Ready To Take Your Health And Wellness To The Next Level?
SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform.
We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.