In a world where 1 out of 4 is buying supplements to keep us healthy, we are forced to take a good look at what supplements actually do. Today's topic is on diet and what you can do to become a better climber through nutrition.
As many of us are told what to eat by advertisers and sales people, often we wonder what we SHOULD be eating and if any of it actually makes a difference. Absolutely the right foods make a difference. If you are not eating healthy, you need to supplement with real foods and nutrients in your cabinet. If you subtract these health foods out? We get injured easier, get sick easier, and our bodies aren't able to heal as well as they could.
A closer look at your vitamin: Man made vs. Plant Based.
Did you know that most vitamins on the market are man made? Your handful of grocery store vitamins are what I am talking about. On a scale of 1 to 10, Costco vitamins are a 5 (Kirkland Brand) and all the ones you get at your local grocery store are likely a 2. Take Emergen-C for example, it is completely chemical in nature. If you don't believe me. Eat a bunch of oranges and look at your urine. Then take two emergen-Cs and look again. The color is absolutely different (more orange than green-yellow like the natural type). If you aren't paying attention to your diet, your added supplements are likely needing a lift. Why would they use chemicals instead of the real deal? Cost. We haven't been able to copy plant based nutrients, not even close. The market is ridden with man-made supplements that you need to recognize, as cheap vitamins are more likely to be toxic than helpful.
My favorite brands that are tested and labeled as REAL vitamins right from their natural source include brands such as: Xymogen, Designs for Health, Pure Encapsulations, and Thorne to name a few.
Dietary changes: What you can do NOW.
For those of you who have junk vitamins. Throw them out. Beef up your diet in green leafy vegetables (I just freeze them and put them in my smoothie, don't taste a thing). If you don't eat well for lunch, and don't like to cook, I recommend substituting a smoothie in with a powdered protein and nutrient combination.You can merely mix with water and boom, high-value diet.
I myself use Xymogen Fit Food Lean. At roughly $2 per pouch, add in a little water (and a banana in my case), you get a nutritious lunch that is probably more healthy than anything you can make for dinner. All plant-based natural nutrition from the source, this stuff gives you a kick that coffee can't touch. Oh, did I mention you heal faster because you have the nutrients to rebuild what you break down? As climbers, we blow through protein, and even though we are trying to keep our weigh down, we need to eat to replace what we break, or we are... Broken?!
Cheaper vitamins are not better, its quite the contrary.
We have been preached at for years that antioxidants are good... but are they?! Studies are showing that patients given low does of just 400IU/day of "antioxidants" such as ascorbic acid and alpha-tocolpherol (man made vitamin E and C) actually have HIGHER stroke and cancer rates...
The researchers were hoping to prove the opposite, but alas, risk rates popped through the roof...could you imagine believing in a vitamin as the researcher and having your work show the opposite, that it's damaging to the body?! It must have been devastating, especially since we have been preaching them for so many years as a cure-all.
Why is This? Ascorbic Acid is NOT vitamin C. It's used as a preservative. With over 90% of ascorbic acid in this country is manufactured at a facility in Nutley, New Jersey. Owned by Hoffman-LaRoche, ascorbic acid is made from a process involving cornstarch and volatile acids. Most U.S. vitamin companies then buy the bulk ascorbic acid here. Occurring naturally, less than 20 mg of ascorbic acid in a potato can prevent scurvy. It can even cure it in its advanced state. Man made doesn't.
Beefing Up the Basics. Iron and Vitamin D
Most of us have the very basic need for Iron and Vitamin D. Let's cover both separately. Iron is needed for or blood, it helps us carry oxygen to our cells and is part of our musculature. If we need oxygen, we need Iron (to help carry that oxygen). This is the highest most likely missing element in our bodies (and diets). My favorite source of iron is Thorne Iron BisGlycinate, a bioavailable form of iron that is absorbable without the stomach pain. This is something we want to keep an eye on. If you are naturally high in iron, you don't want to take it in supplemental form as it may create problems. My husband is genetically high in iron and I am genetically low. I supplement it while he should stay away from excessive amounts in his diet. Ironic.