I believe that there’s a lot of controversy over whether taking supplements is the right thing to do, some people believe that if your diet is filled with the right nutrients that you shouldn’t have to supplement these nutrients into your diet if you’re eating correctly. However from a vegan and fitness perspective I know that for myself personally I need these supplements in my diet to help assist the other nutrients that I am eating to get the best performance out of my workouts and also feel amazing too. I don’t take supplements to replace anything in my diet and I don’t take them to magically make me fit or healthy, that’s something that I think a lot of people forget when taking supplements, that they are there to help you get the best out of your workouts not to take the hard workout away. They don’t work themselves, you have to put the effort in and the supplements can help you get the results you are after.
Here’s a few reasons why you should think about adding supplements to your diet:
Reason 1: SOIL DEPLETES OUR FOOD
The soil that the plants we consume are grown in have become heavily depleted in the nutrients that are essential to our overall health. This means that the plants which were once rich in minerals and vitamins are less dense in these nutrients now. This is why it can be important to supplement to get these essential minerals/vitamins. It is especially important for vegans such as myself to supplement some of these nutrients into my diet in other ways than just fresh produce etc. For example kale and spinach are amazing sources of iron, however eating enough to get my 10 mg of iron per day might not always an option, so taking supplements can fill in the nutrients that I need without having to eat bucket loads of the foods that provide these nutrients. I’m not saying that cutting out the fresh produce is the way to go but if you find yourself deprived of certain nutrients supplements can sometimes be the way to go.
Reason 2: EXERCISE INCREASES THE NEED FOR NUTRIENTS
To get the most out of your workouts it is important to take supplements such as pre-workout which gives you a boost of energy to help you get the most out of your workouts, protein powder to help with muscle recovery and also help with maintaining and building muscle mass. Plant based protein is especially good for the body as it is well tolerated and also doesn’t over acidify the body in the process. Protein powder can be taken before or after a workout and can also be used as a meal replacement/ snack. BCAA’s are amazing to take while you are working out as they help build muscle mass but also provide and deliver your muscles with the essential amino acids while you’re working out! Taking sport supplements can help you with performance during your workouts and also help you to reach your goals faster.
Reason 3: BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Vitamin C can help shorten the time that you spend with a cold/flu as it can help to boost your immune system, in doses of at least 1 gram per day it can even help to prevent the sickness (this is debateable). Zinc lozenges can also help to shorten the time spent sick. Garlic is an amazing natural way to boost the immune system, help viruses and also lower the risk of catching a cold. However it’s best to talk to a health professional or your GP to find the best remedy/ prevention for you.
Reason 4: WOMEN’S HEALTH
Vitamin B12 and folate help with metabolism, preventing fatigue and boosting cognitive functions. They help with many cellular processes, growth and energy expenditure because they work with other vitamins like iron to make red blood cells and help turn the calories you eat into useable “fuel.” Folate (or folic acid) is critical for a healthy pregnancy, developing fetuses and preventing birth defects since it helps build the baby’s brain and spinal cord. That’s why folate deficiency is extremely dangerous for pregnant women. Iron is important especially around the time of the menstrual cycle as iron is lost significantly during this time. Calcium can offer protection against some of the biggest threats to women such as: heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer. Magnesium, especially for older women as they are at a greater risk of deficiency. Vitamin D is important for maintaining hormonal balance, prevention of mood disorders and bone health. Vitamin A, C and D help prevent aging.
Reason 5: CHEMICALS, HERBICIDES AND PESTICIDES
Although we like to pretend that all our food is chemical free and fresh as can be the large majority of our fresh produce is actually covered in pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals unless you buy only organic and land yourself with a massive grocery bill. The Pesticides and herbicides found in the modern food supply are combined with chemicals in water, environmental contamination from elements such as degraded plastic, air pollution from carbon monoxide, lead and mercury. This increases our need for extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to combat the attack upon our metabolism and immune system.
So what supplements do I take?
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Flora restore (a probiotic designed for women)
- Women’s Best Vegan protein
- Women’s Best BCAA (Branched Chain Amino acids)
If you’re seriously starting to consider adding supplements to your diet, go for it! Research and find supplement brands that stand for what you believe in and see the benefits of what supplements will bring to your life. I highly recommend Women’s Best supplements if you are looking for a sport supplement as they do have vegan options and they stand for providing Women with amazing products.
– Tash xx