Do we need to take supplements?

YES!  We all need to take supplements if you want to feel and perform your best, and prevent disease.

Even when we eat impeccably well, there are a number of nutrients we are missing out on due to farming, digestion, absorption, and lifestyle behaviours.

Modern industrial farming practices such as hybridization, artificial fertilizer use, transportation over long distances and long storage times all result in very nutrient depleted food.  So even if you are one of the few people who actually eat 7-10 servings of vegetables per day, you are still not getting the right amount of nutrients your body needs.

The saying “you are what you eat” should really be, “you are what you absorb”.  We can eat all the healthy food we want, and even take all the supplements we think are great, but if we aren’t actually absorbing what we are consuming, then it’s a lost cause.  There are a number of things that can affect the absorption of nutrients; certain medical conditions, medications, heavy metals and stress to name a few.

High stress levels not only affect the absorption of nutrients, but they also increase the excretion of nutrients.  Considering current economic situation in Alberta, I think it’s safe to say we’re all at least a little bit stressed!

Intense athletic training is another lifestyle factor than depletes nutrients.  CrossFit especially is very demanding on our bodies and requires us to replenish what we deplete each workout.  And not merely with heaping scoops of protein powder.

So what supplements do you need to take?  There are a few supplements that I recommend to all of my patients, such as fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium.  One thing to note is that quality and form really do matter.  I do not recommend heading out and buying just any fish oil, vitamin D or magnesium.  There are a lot of poor quality supplements on the market – and as mentioned, if you aren’t absorbing what you are ingesting, you’re just wasting your money.

With all the conflicting information online, in magazines, on television, and from nutrition “experts”, it is very difficult to figure out what supplements you should be taking, let alone how much, how often, and simply how.  It is my job to assess your diet, your lifestyle, your medications, use the best available evidence, and work with you to develop an optimal supplement regime to get you feeling and functioning at your best.

If you would like to learn more about how supplementation can improve your health and performance, book an appointment with me by clicking here 🙂

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