This is also the case with supplements for your nutrition - they are there to add to complete your RDI's or to enhance your performance.
Aubrey Marcus discusses this in his book -Own the Day, Own Your Life - and states that supplements "upgrade the places in your body that aren't easily optimized by food and exercise alone". They are to help top up any deficiencies a person may have and increase performance. He also talks about using sunlight, sunflower seeds and dark chocolate to supplement. It's an interesting read.
It's up to you to do your due diligence and make your own informed decision. However, this is what I have found.
The state of the soil has led to deficiencies of certain nutrients in foods such as zinc and selenium. Tip: 3 Brazil nuts will give you your RDI of selenium (I heard this on an episode of Rachel Hunter's Tour of Beauty)
Tip: 1 unit of Adrenalin requires magnesium, B Vitamins and Vitamin C to produce so if you are in a chronic stress state supplementing with magnesium is largely a waste of time. You need to deal with the issues that are causing the stress response. I learned that at one of Dr Libby's seminars.
Now, why do agree with the research that identifies our food as being deficient in nutrients?
Because I have experienced both with and without supplementation.
I used to think that supplements were a crock of shit. Why would I waste good money on vitamins and supplements when I could just eat healthy and exercise? Right? As a single mum raising three children, what money did I have leftover at the end of the week?
So that's what I went about doing. Exercise, predominantly healthy eating and 6 months later not only hadn't I lost any weight but I had gained an extra 2 kilos. Winning! I was always tired, so my moods weren't great. Definitely needed my 8 hours sleep or watch out the next day.
So after witnessing all of the good results people around me were getting, I decided to give it a go.
I didn't have an immediate energy shift. For me, it was a lot more subtle than that. It wasn't until 3 weeks later when I was watching my daughters swimming lesson that I realized I wasn't yawning as usual. In fact I didn't feel like I needed to go home and blob out in front of the couch. I had a few more hours left in me at least!!!
That was exciting for me.
I lost 7 kilos in 10 weeks (disclaimer - results not typical individual results may vary) a visceral fat point in the first month which hadn't moved at all in the preceding 6 months.
I've kept the body fat in a healthy range. If it rises a little bit, I know exactly what to do so I'ts no big deal. If need be, I can get by on 6 hours sleep and not turn into the hulk the next day.
My moods are better, I'm calmer, it takes longer for me to get angry. That is my most important win.
2016 was the year from hell for me. I'd left my job to be at home with a child who was going through some challenges of his own and needed more support. As a result, I was definitely living on the bones of my ass.
But I always made sure that we had healthy food (which meant there was no extra money for junk food) and as I had achieved a really good discount through my company I was able to get my shakes and supplements virtually for free so I could keep my nutrition on point. I truly believe that if I hadn't, I would most definitely had a nervous breakdown and ended up on prescription medication for depression or anxiety or similar.
The good news is we're out the other side of that struggle. It's not perfect, but definitely, hugely improved.
So, what's the answer to the question "should you use supplements?" That is entirely your choice but if you're on the fence, why not give it a go and see what happens for you.
As for me, I'm speaking from a place of at first being a skeptic and then personally using supplementation and the results I've had speaks volumes for me. That's my experience...and I won't change it.
Thanks for reading this blog post. If you got value from it please share on social media and I would love to hear about your experiences.
If you are sitting on the fence about supplements for health & well being then a great way to dip your toes in and see how you feel and if it's a fit for you and your lifestyle is to give our 6 Day Healthy Breakfast Challenge a go.