Essential daily supplements you should take and why
With the stress of modern life, even the best diet can use some help. No, your average multivitamin does not count. It is vital to supplement yourself so you can supercharge your energy and health. Supplements are the minimum effective dose of kicking ass during the day and getting in greater control over your human machine.
Why should you take supplements in the first place?
Imagine living a thousand years ago. You sit around a campfire with your tribe, all skin kissed from the sun, roasting the hunt of the day above a roaring fire. You will eat the whole animal, organs and all. As for snacks, you found some foraged roots, berries or leafy greens, grown in mineral-rich soil. The water you drink comes from a nearby stream or captured rain. You are eating animals that fed on wild vegetation full of nutrients, plants that are grown in fertile soil and fish caught from streams. Most likely you are in an excellent and deep squat position before going to sleep with the darkness just as you woke up with the dawn, all in rhythm with nature.
Fast-forward ten thousand years. You cut up some pesticide-aided vegetables and throw them with some factory farmed eggs in a pan. Once your breakfast is done and you have gulped down your meal, you dash off to work. You go from your climate-controlled home to your climate-controlled office, where you will hunch over or stand in front of a screen all day. Compared to our ancestors, this artificiality and hypersterility rob our bodies of the natural conditioning and necessary bacteria that come from being outdoors and eating food that grew in the earth or ran, swam, or flew on it. In our current sterile way of living, we are surrounded by processed food that even some insects won’t eat. We have become prey to the bacteria and are more vulnerable and get sick more easily.
Roast of the day in 2019
The above two scenes point exactly to two main reasons why you should take supplements. The first reason is that we face different and more stresses than our ancestors; they did not deal with chronic stress, had to stay up late to answer emails or eat korvapuusti as a snack. Second, our environment is robbing us of a lot of nutrients and minerals that used to be part of our food intake by default. Even just decades ago, grown fruits and vegetables were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the ones most of us are getting today. This all makes sure that our food supply and the environment leave our body at a disadvantage.
Correcting the disadvantage
Supplements can help you because good supplements work. What supplements do is upgrade the places in your body that are not easily optimized by food and exercise alone. If done right, supplements can bring you better health, clearer thinking, and energy that our ancestors would have been jealous of. Supplements stack the odds in your favor - you will survive without them, but you will thrive taking them.
Everyone needs a balanced range of vitamins and minerals in their food intake, and the best way to do that is to eat with variety and consume different earth-grown foods. It is not always easy to maintain this variety. Grab a multinutrient “green food” mix, which will cover a lot of your nutrient bases. A good green blend is nutrient-dense and will have a good mix of freeze-dried foods, as well as enzymes, antioxidants, herbs, fruits, grasses, leaves - i.e. stuff you probably never put in a salad yourself. Go for a quality greens mix so the vitamins are delivered into your system similar to how they arrive in your regular food.
Taking magnesium as a supplement will give you less: less stress, less static, and less anxiety throughout your body. As we noted before, magnesium citrate is ideal to take before going to sleep and feel relaxed. Magnesium will also help you fight inflammation after for example a heavy leg day.
Krill oil - Omega-3
Many breakfasts today are high in fats: they contain chia seeds, flax and other nutritional sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Even though it is hard to find, organic fish oil is an ideal supplement. Even better is krill oil: the omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) will reduce inflammation in your body, while krill oil is also more potent than fish oil.
Over a billion people are lacking vitamin D and the list of consequences is extensive. People are sicker and weaker than they need to be, as vitamin D is a free supplement through lovely sunshine. Living in Finland, days with sunlight can be counted on one hand during winter times, so it becomes essential to supplement ourselves with vitamin D.
Active B Vitamins
B vitamins are involved in loads of bodily processes and regulating your energy levels. When taking vitamin B, you will feel it: more energy, more resilience, more bounce in your step. Not everyone handles the absorption of B vitamins well, so pay attention to your body and make sure you supplement with the ones that are packaged the best for your system.
Not all supplements are created equal in quality. The key is to find a good company that makes quality products. In general, try to avoid supplements that make medical claims (because drugs treat medical conditions, supplements do not), companies that do not perform clinical trials on their own products and watch out for supplements filled with caffeïne. Caffeïne is added to pretend the “effect” of the supplement while actually covering up the weaknesses of it.
A first change should come from improvements to your food intake and lifestyle. But sometimes this is not enough. Bridging the gap between deficient and optimal is a good reason to take a supplement, so you can conquer mineral and nutrient deficiencies. Keep in mind that supplements are not a substitute for solid food and physical activity. A pill of vitamin D will not prevent you from ever getting sick again, neither will a supplement replace something entirely or act as a substitute. By taking supplements, your goal is to boost your nutritional profile and increase your daily performance over time.