“I think I eat right. So, even if I exercise rigorously, I don’t need to take supplements, do I?”
Here is important information for people who think they don’t need supplements. A rigorous exercise regimen requires more than just the right moves. Yes, it’s about breathing correctly. It’s about eating right. And, it’s also about replenishing your body with the vitamins and minerals you need to keep everything balanced.
Eating healthy is extremely important, but it’s not enough. According to Cynthia Harington, professional nutritionist and founder of the nationally acclaimed Rose Quest Nutrition Centre in Mishawaka. “People don’t realize that the food on their plate is often ‘anemic’– lacking enough of the nutrients we need to support vigorous exercise.”
Harington further explained that the soil used to grow our food no longer contains as many vital nutrients as it once did. “Our farm and range soils are depleted after years of farming without mineral replacement. Certain farming methods, often practiced by organic farmers, can help enrich the soil. For instance, growing crops like alfalfa puts nitrogen, hydrogen and trace minerals back in the soil so they can come through to the food grown later in that same soil.”
Choosing organic food is a plus, but in order to ensure that one has the full range of micronutrients, a healthy food-based diet along with a vitamin and mineral supplement can be a good idea, especially for people who exercise strenuously and lose important minerals in their perspiration. Harington explained, “Sometimes the vitamins and minerals we need are not readily available in the foods we can find. A well-balanced, food based vitamin and mineral supplement can supply what we need.”
Everyone has 103 essential nutrients, according to Harington. “You have 72 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 3 essential fatty acids. We strive to maintain those essential nutrients in the proper balance in order to feel our best.”
What happens when we perspire seriously during exercise? Harington explained that we lose essential minerals. Here are some examples along with the possible effects of their loss if they are not sufficiently replenished.
- Selenium loss in perspiration can lead to low blood sugar, depression, diabetes, or anti-social behavior.
- Chromium loss in perspiration can result in blood sugar instability, low blood sugar, diabetes, depression or anti-social behavior.
- Lithium loss in perspiration can result in depression, manic depression, or even addiction to alcohol and drugs.
- Copper loss in perspiration can result in joint and cartilage problems or varicose veins.
- Gallium loss in perspiration can cause the risk of brain tumor.
- Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Sulfur and Boron all play a role in healthy joints, cartilage and bones. When too much is lost in perspiration, there can be a danger of bone degeneration, fractures, hairline fractures, and arthritis.
People who exercise rigorously on a regular basis can approach their meal planning the way serious athletes embrace their “training table.” Harington explained, “Every good athletic manager knows that athletes can run out of energy if they don’t have the proper nourishment. They know that good nutrition is the key. They also know that one needs enough nutrients, but getting more than one needs offers no performance benefit and could prove harmful.”
The same is true for people who are exercising strenuously to stay fit – a healthy diet and food-based vitamin and mineral supplements can make an important difference, but always use good judgment. A professional nutritionist can provide guidance if you are unsure about what to eat or what supplements to take.
Harington offered two simple suggestions for those who exercise. First, after you exercise, replenish your electrolytes – a little apple juice is a good option. Second, if you haven’t been exercising regularly, don’t exercise more than 30 minutes to start, or you could be sore afterwards. Exercise can offer many benefits, so make sure you exercise responsibly and nourish your body to make the most of your efforts.