Supplements are exactly as they sound, they supplement the body with nutrients that you may not be consuming through food. Unfortunately, many of us do not and cannot get in adequate nutrients through our food. There are many reasons for this; soil degradation, environmental pollution, lack of diet variety, and poor dietary choices to name a few. When we add exercise to the mix our bodies use more of the nutrients we are already lacking. This is where supplements come in!
Fun Fact: Brian Halweil at the Worldwatch Institute discovered that onions and potatoes no longer have any trace of Vitamin A. Also, the iron content of meat has been halved, the calcium in broccoli divided by four. As for apples, you need to consume 100 to get the same amount of Vitamin C from just ONE apple yesteryear. Additionally, he found that one orange from the 1950s is equivalent to 21 oranges today.
The above research came out in 2015, so with the rapid decline in nutrient-dense foods, we can assume that supplements are pretty important for maintaining AND improving our health.
These aren’t the only reasons to add supplements;
Junk Food - Junk food surrounds us everywhere, and even if we don’t think we are consuming it. The chances are you’re picking up something that is less than ideal. Typically this food is heavily processed in order to make it cheaper, and lacking nutrients.
Pollutants and Contaminants - Unfortunately with the rapidly increasing population, the need for more “things” we have increased the pollution we breathe in and many other toxins that we absorb through plastics, products we apply to our skin, use to wash our clothes, and more. So now we have a decrease in the nutrients in food and an increase in toxins lowering our ability to remove/break down the unhealthy poisons.
Tap Water - Our water supply in many major cities is heavily recycled, and unfortunately not all the bad contaminants are removed. Tap water in every state in the USA contains arsenic, copper, and lead. Not to mention the estrogen from birth control pills also makes it into our tap water!
Nutrient Absorption - Nutrient absorption is also on the decline, in particular as we age, add medications due to sickness or disease and we reduce our ability to absorb nutrients efficiently. According to the Poliquin Group, half of the U.S population has inadequate stomach acid, which means the food we do eat isn’t getting absorbed properly.
Exercise - When we exercise our body uses more nutrients for energy production and recovery. Supplements help us to get in the nutrients we aren’t getting through our diet. The more you exercise, the harder you exercise the more your body needs nutrients to function optimally.