Supplements — Do We Really Need Them?

woman dumping protein powder in bottle

Let’s talk about the word supplement.

A supplement is something that completes or enhances something else that it’s added to. In terms of nutrition, supplements are meant to improve your health.

Do you need supplements? If so, which ones?

Can’t we get everything we need from food?

In a perfect world, yes.

But, the foods we eat no longer contain the vitamins and minerals necessary for our optimal health. Today’s soil has been depleted of nutrients, plants are being treated with pesticides, and animals are cooped up instead of free roaming.

Not to mention the facts that we live with too much stress, are sleep deprived, and don’t move enough.

So does this mean I should skip the veggies and pop a pill?

A supplement won’t fix an unhealthy diet. Supplementation is an add-on to an existing proper diet and should be taken to fill in the nutritional gaps.

Three Common Nutritional Gaps

According to John Berardi, PhD, of Precision Nutrition, there are three basic supplements that athletes should consider taking along with their diet to help fill nutritional gaps.

1. Greens Supplement

If you joined our #800gChallenge in September 2020, you have experienced how easy or difficult it can be to get our daily fruits and veggies in.

However, most of us do not eat enough vegetables at each meal. It’s believed that we need to eat five times the amount of vegetables than our grandparents did to get the same daily benefits.

A green supplement can’t replace a diet sufficient in vegetables. But, the blend of antioxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals in these products can be helpful.

2. Protein Supplement

Food is always the best way to get protein, but most people are crunched for time and do not get enough quality protein in their diet.

For those who exercise, a good protein powder has many benefits such as increased muscle development, speed of recovery, and reduced soreness. I am a big fan of a post-workout protein shake.

3. Fish Oil Supplement

The body does not make enough Omega-3 fatty acids; it’s something you can only get from your diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids do so many fantastic things in the body. A fish oil supplement could be a key source to helping you get enough Omega-3’s. I prefer one with Vitamin D — the sunshine vitamin (something we definitely lack living in South Dakota.)

We Don’t Need Supplements

Many people have reached their fitness goals without the use of any supplements. Eating a balanced diet should be our #1 priority, however, with our busy lives, it’s hard to get it all in and do it well.

With the use of supplements to fill in the gaps, along with daily exercise and good sleep, we are one step closer to the fountain of youth.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to take a deeper dive into the benefits of some of our favorite supplements, vitamins, and minerals here at CPM Fitness. Stay tuned!

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