When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, the staple necessities are nutrition, training and sufficient rest and recovery. But…given that we’re eating, training and sleeping well, adding supplementation into the mix can help to hand us a boost along the way as we sail through our fitness journeys.
Supplementation comes in different forms, from protein powders to vitamins to pre-workout formulas…these days, there is a supplement for every occasion and purpose.
Join as us as we specifically explore the world of vitamin & mineral supplementation and the benefits of some of the stuff that’s currently out there!
So, What Actually is A Vitamin?
A vitamin is an organic compound that people require in small quantities – due to most vitamins either not being naturally produced by the body or only being produced in tiny amounts, our nutrition must provide us with our vitamin intake!
Vitamins are present in minute amounts within natural foods – and it’s no surprise that the healthiest foods are the most vitamin-rich. They play a key role within body processes where food is converted into energy, with this being said, a low vitamin intake can leave us feeling fatigued and demotivated.
And What About Minerals?
Whereas vitamins are organic, minerals are inorganic. Interestingly, certain forms of food preparation can actually reduce a certain food’s vitamin content, however, this is not the case with minerals that are present in natural foods as they’re unaffected by food preparation methods.
Collectively, vitamins and minerals are essential for our health due to the pivotal role they play in facilitating vital body processes. From strengthening hair and bones, to creating energy, to healing wounds and repairing cellular damage…without vitamins and minerals our health would be in tatters.
But…if we can extract vitamins and minerals from natural food, then why use supplementation?
Well, we’re all different and it’s normal for natural individual deficiencies to be present from person to person. Additionally, our exposure to certain vitamins and minerals can be altered by the weather, by food preparation processes and also by internal body processes. So, in this sense, vitamin and mineral supplementation provides a way to cover all bases.
It’s key to note, that when it comes to our nutrition, absolutely nothing can and will be more effective that natural healthy foods – and as long our diet is in check, vitamins can be added to our lifestyle to support fully functioning body processes.
Right, let’s take a look at some great vitamin and mineral supplements that’re currently out there!
Keep Your Health In Check With These Vitamins & Minerals
Iron plays a vital role in supporting a healthy formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. It’s also crucial for aiding and preserving our immune system. A lack of iron in our diets can cause serious issues – low iron levels in the body prevent cells from getting sufficient oxygen, leading to tiredness and fatigue.
For those suffering with a lack of energy due to low iron levels, iron supplementation (usually capsules) can provide a great way to create a boost in energy.
A crucial element of vitamin B12’s role is breaking down glycogen into energy. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to a host of horrible problems, including both physical and mental issues. Physical issues can include tiredness, impaired vision and skin issues, whilst mental issues can include memory loss and depression.
In the case that you’re suffering from any of these symptoms the best thing to do would be to see a doctor and arrange for any necessary blood tests. Vitamin B12 supplements are ideal for vegans and vegetarians as the vitamin naturally occurs in animal products.
Vitamin D AKA the sunshine vitamin is produced naturally when we’re exposed to sunshine. This is great for those who happen to live in hot, tropical, exotic places…but for those of us residing in the rainy UK, consistent sunshine is sometimes a luxury.
Vitamin D is believed to ward off the risk of several cancer types. It also supports bone health and immunity, making it absolutely crucial for our overall health. As vitamin D is not present in many food sources, supplementation can be a great way to keep our vitamin D levels in check!
Suffering from an inability to get a good night’s sleep? If you are, then magnesium supplementation may just be an option. Magnesium brings balance between neurotransmitters and melatonin in the brain and nervous system. This balance ultimately facilitates sleep cycles- magnesium is often a component of sleep medication formulas for this reason.
In addition to supporting a better sleep, magnesium also supports the process of converting food into energy.
As we age, the natural production of collagen within our bodies slows down. Collagen’s presence helps to fight aging tissue, ligaments, joints and tendons-issues that can ultimately contribute to diseases such as Arthritis. With this being said, collagen supplements can be a great way to make up for the slowing down of natural collagen production.
Vitamin & Mineral Supplementation For That Extra Boost
A healthy diet as the main source of our nutrition is truly undefeatable…however, vitamin and mineral supplementation, if used effectively to support the body in areas in which it’s lacking can be a fantastic way to cover all bases and keep everything in check. Remember, before putting anything in your body, be sure to do your research and seek medical advice. We hope that you all found this guide useful!