With the recent push back against evidence-based medicine and a growing belief that anything “artificial” is inherently harmful to the human body, more people are beginning to back away from nutritional supplements. Since their invention, fitness nutrition has incorporated supplements as part of the athlete’s diet. But critics and even some health care professionals insist – with almost religious fervency – that no one needs supplements. However, the long-standing fact of the matter is that many people do. And this is especially true for the physically active.
What Is Fitness Nutrition?
Put simply, fitness nutrition is an eating plan that relates to your particular fitness goals. It differs slightly for everyone based on their personal goals and exercise routines. A personal trainer can come up with a personalized fitness nutrition plan, but unless you have an atypical medical condition or physical limitations, you can generally find all that you need on your own. Decades of study have led to a solid understanding of which activities create certain nutritional needs.
So Why the Push Back?
The anti-supplement belief comes from two main ideas. The first is that people living in first world countries get all the nutrition they need from enriched food products. The second is that any additional amount of vitamins or minerals is either completely superfluous, or harmful. However, despite many attempts to prove these ideas true, the best any scientific studies have done is to show that supplements don’t actively treat existing medical conditions.
That’s a far cry from saying supplements aren’t needed, especially in the area of physical fitness. In reality, most Americans don’t have healthy diets, and all of the “enriched” white bread in the world won’t fix that. When planning a tailored nutritional fitness diet, you just can’t skimp on supplements.
Can’t I Meet My Nutritional Fitness Needs with Food?
In fact, you might not be physically capable of consuming enough food to meet the nutritional requirements demanded by your fitness regimen.
The entire point of fitness nutrition, as opposed to the typical daily nutrition of the average Joe, is to help your body reach its maximum potential. The human body has an amazing capacity for strength, stamina, and muscle-building. But it can’t be met with a basic every day diet.
So what about the idea that consuming more than the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals is simply a waste? While it’s true that the human body does dispose of unnecessary vitamins, the amount that’s “necessary” varies greatly from person to person.
For example, body builders generally require increased levels of beta alanine to prevent severe muscle fatigue. A person would need to eat unhealthy amounts of meat to obtain those levels through a “natural” diet. So supplements not only give people the nutrition they need, they do so in a healthy way.
How Can I Use Supplements in My Nutritional Fitness Plan?
Very simply, actually. Most supplement retailers have detailed information about their products, including who should use them and how. Nutrition fitness supplements have been around long enough that there’s ample information available on the internet and in physical fitness books. If you have any additional questions, a certified physical trainer can give you all the information you need.