Over the years, I've struggled with whether or not to supplement with vitamins and minerals. I believed that I should be able to get the nutrients I need through food. Therefore, by eating clean, I should be getting everything I need and be able to perform in sports at my full potential. After much research, I have concluded:
Food is no longer enriched of vitamins and minerals:
Food is being transported across the country or sometimes-even continents before it arrives on our table. So that the fruits and vegetables can survive transport and remain in perfect condition for us to eat, they have to be modified and in turn have reduced nutrients. No one wants to buy bruised apples or tomatoes at the grocer.
Athletes need more vitamin and minerals than the average person:
Athletes are working out longer hours or pushing intensity during work out sessions. Because of that, they are burning more or losing more minerals through sweat than the average person. It can be impossible to eat naturally and replenish what has been lost. As an endurance athlete, I am burning a lot of calories, sometimes over 3,000 calories in a workout session. I am usually training or at the office so I find it difficult to eat the amount of good quality nutrition that I require to get through the day.
You may not be absorbing as much as you think:
Everyone is different. I found that when putting my body in high stress workout conditions it changed the way that my digestive system worked. I have modified my diet during the peak of my training program. As well as adding meditation to my weekly routine, this helps keep my digestion optimized.
So what did I decide?
After many years of trying to achieve my optimal performance through good quality food, I decided to supplement some of my vitamins and minerals. By taking supplements I have increased the quality of my workouts and energy levels throughout the day. I recover faster so my performance has improved significantly.
Knowing what supplements to take and when to take them depends on the individual; this is a topic for another post. In the meantime, if you need help to determine what is right for you please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.