Sound Approach To Supplements

I am amazed by social media. What was once a great way to reconnect with old friends and share pictures with distant relatives, is now an internet flea market. And how does Facebook know that I’m a 45-year-old bald man with a wife and three kids? Kinda scary! I am also amazed at what people are willing to share. From far right and left political ideas to passionate stances on vaccinations to very personal medical issues, it seems that nothing is out-of-bounds when it comes to an internet rant.

Over the last few months I have seen a growing number of Amway-esque products being hawked by my Facebook friends. You know the names – Lue La Rue, Plexus, Advocare, Shakeology, etc. I am particularly fascinated by the nutritional supplements. Nothing against any of you that are really into Advocare or Plexus – I’m sure they are fine products but I think you guys are missing the bigger picture. The reason that these products make you feel so incredible is that most of your diets really suck. If I take someone who is deficient in several key nutrients and then give them a supplement that complements those deficiencies, they are going to act like what I gave them is the Fountain of Youth! There is a much more efficient way to get the same feeling – stop eating crap and eat real food (it wouldn’t hurt to stop smoking and/or drinking to excess either!). When you get nutrients from food you get much better absorption of those nutrients because of the form they are supplied in and the slower processes of digestion and metabolism. Liquid nutrients speed through the digestive tract and are not as readily absorbed – which means you have some really expensive urine!

Supplement: something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole.

Now what most folks need to do in order to improve their health is usually quite simple – that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easy, but it is simple. The typical American diet is abundant in processed foods, hidden sugars and saturated fat while deficient in many key vitamins and minerals. Combine a poor diet with a lack of sleep and a lack of adequate hydration and it’s a recipe for feeling lousy (i.e. sick and tired). Before you shell out $60 a month on a nutritional supplement, I want you to try this:

Eat a colorful variety of vegetables and fruits everyday.

Drink at least 64oz of water everyday.

Turn off all electronics at least 1 hour before bedtime and get 8 hours of sleep everyday.

If you do these three things consistently, you will be amazed at how much better you feel in just a few weeks. I’m not saying there is no place for supplementation. There are many instances where nutritional supplements would provide great benefits for certain individuals. My point is that if you eat junk, don’t sleep and don’t drink water, then spending money on expensive shakes is not the first step. Fix your diet first. Supplement when you need a little more help.

Just my two cents.

Chris Ullom, Director of Training, Wareing’s Gym