And finally if you're an athlete the RDAs for certain nutrients such as protein and various vitamins and minerals mean very little. As well, certain nutritional supplements provide an anabolic edge and should be used if you're into any serious exercise program or competitive sport.
Why I Recommend Supplements...
I recommend nutritional supplements to athletes for various reasons.
The first is to help your body make up for any deficiencies it may have. This is true even for those who consume a relatively healthy diet without the junk food that makes up the diets of many people today.
However, with the preponderance of fast food in today's diet and the nutritional pitfalls this can bring, supplements are a necessity if you're going to get even the maintenance levels of certain vitamins and minerals. Many meals, especially breakfast, may even go entirely missed during the day creating an additional need for nutritional safeguards.
Similarly, the increased exercise you'll do in conjunction with my Metabolic Diet may create an additional need for certain vitamins and minerals. Significant quantities of potassium and zinc, for instance, can be lost through sweat and urine. Magnesium, sodium and iron may also be negatively impacted in people who exercise for prolonged periods of time in hot weather.
Chromium, which has been shown to be essential in both carbohydrate and fat metabolism, can also be a problem. Since the need for chromium increases with exercise and modern diets provide little of it, it can become depleted among more active people. I would prescribe it to anyone who exercises as a precaution against any possible deficiency affecting fat metabolism.
By using supplemental vitamin and mineral compounds, we hope to clear up any deficiencies that may arise in these areas. As such, they can serve as a kind of nutritional insurance policy. If you do have deficiencies, supplements will clear these up. If you don't, the compounds you'll be supplementing won't hurt you and they'll give you the security of knowing you won't have to worry about nutritional problems that can negatively affect your health.
Aren't Good Whole Foods Enough?
Sure, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meats and dairy products have many benefits that you can't find in a bottle but then again is the Recommended Daily Averages (RDA's) of these foods enough for athletes today?
The answer is no. In some cases athletes need certain nutritional supplements that are ten to fifteen times the U.S. RDA's to help them maximize the anabolic and bodyshaping effects of their training as well as for health reasons.
In many cases the RDA's, set up mostly for our couch potato society, are simply not applicable to the increasing demands put on a diversified general public let alone the competitive athlete.
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