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A Case For Supporting Nutritional Supplements In Your Daily Diet

         You may have heard from your doctor or read in a magazine that you don't need any supplements in your diet to be healthy and at peak performance. These people always make the claim that "you should be getting all of your nutrients from a healthy and balanced diet" and that supplements are a waste of money. They are right, ideally we should be getting all of the nutrients from a healthy and balanced diet. Does that ever actually happen? Almost never. Here are just a few reasons why we need healthy nutritional supplements in our diet.

Most Of Us Eat Horribly:

         We (hopefully) know that a healthy and balanced diet should consist of whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, legumes, low-fat dairy, and lean meats. What does the average diet actually include? It ends up being more like a coffee and sugary cereal for breakfast, a fatty sandwich with a soda for lunch, and pizza for dinner. This leaves massive holes in the diet for proper protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake as well as vitamin and mineral deficiencies. What does that mean to you? It means that without the right amounts of these nutrients you will have reduced mental focus, increased fat storage, reduced recovery rates from exercise, poor physical performance, and less immunity to sickness. Even vegetarians (who claim they're healthier than the average omnivore) need to supplement with extra protein and a multivitamin/multimineral because they aren't taking enough in from their normal diet. Healthy supplements such as Whey Protein, Multivitamin/Multiminerals, Tea, Health Bars, and Omega-3 capsules can help fill in these inevitable nutritional gaps.

Optimal Nutrient Intake for Optimal Performance:

        Not all of us have the same nutritional needs. Our requirements are based largely on our genetics and activity levels, not everyone is going to fit in with the Recommended Daily Allowance's minimal range of nutrient intakes. An athlete or very active person is going to require larger amounts of nutrients than a couch potato. It is common sense that somebody trying to put on muscle needs to increase their protein and calorie intake to provide the raw materials for building that muscle. What is the easiest way to boost up that protein intake? A Whey Protein shake, of course. It is a lot easier and cheaper to take 10 seconds and mix up a shake than to cook up some eggs or chicken breasts and then clean up. Distance runners need much larger amounts of carbohydrates than the typical person because they use up huge amounts during a run for energy. Before, during, and after a race they can supplement their carbohydrate levels with quick and effective supplements such as sports drinks, or Gel packs. I'm pretty sure runners aren't going to carry around rice cakes and pasta during a marathon for mid-race carbohydrate replenishment, so once again supplements are convenient, practical, and effective.

Stay Healthy Under High Stress:

       Think about all of the stress we put our bodies through on a daily basis. We burn the midnight oil and don't get enough sleep at night, altering our hormonal balance and making our bodies more susceptible to sickness. We stress ourselves out with busy schedules, last minute cramming for class, and massive amounts of caffeine. Many people put large amounts of toxins into their body and damage their cells by constantly drinking, smoking, and going tanning. Even the water we drink, the food we eat, and the air we breathe is all polluted to an extent! Nutritional supplements can help fight back against all these stresses and free radicals to keep your body healthy. Supplemental protein can help minimize muscle loss caused by lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, and chronic toxins. Whey protein is also an excellent source of glutathione, an antioxidant that plays a key role in the immune system. Green tea contains a chemical called ECGC that is one of the most powerful immune system boosters to be discovered and can help minimize damage from toxins. Multivitamins/Multiminerals will provide you with many of the basics you need to fight off many diseases and poisons we put into our body on a daily basis. I'm not saying these antioxidant nutrients make us impervious to sickness, but they sure can help.

            Skeptics will be quick to point to mixed scientific study results and bogus supplements that promise the impossible, but they are missing the big picture. Some healthy supplements do have strong scientific evidence for effectiveness and most of them don't cost an arm and a leg. They are convenient and potent ways to help ensure your overall health despite a less than perfect diet and a stressful lifestyle. Everyone can benefit from the addition of healthy supplements.

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