Ever heard the phrase ‘just eat real food?’ This is the mantra that we adopt here at the gym. We advise our clients to try and stay away from processed foods and anything out of a packet. Eat as many vegetables as you can, is also something that we tell all clients as they are packed with heaps of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. All of these helps us to function optimally, vitamin A helps keep our skin healthy, vitamin K help to transport lipoproteins around the body. Magnesium helps our muscles relax and aids with our sleep. To name but a few of the things that eating real fruit and vegetables can help with in the body.
However, in today’s busy work/life imbalance, people are very much deficient in getting enough fruit and vegetables in their diet and that in turn leads to people becoming deficient in a lot of nutrients that help them to live a better and healthier life. Creating poor sleeping habits, anxiety, skin conditions and general poor health.
So, what to do about this? The best piece of advice we, as personal trainers can give is to eat a varied diet of an array of vegetables every day, making your plate half full of vegetables with each meal and making it as colourful as possible. Each meal should be different giving you a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients with every meal. However, this is not as easy as it appears. In our busy schedules, financial restrictions, time constraints a lot of us struggle to get the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, let alone maintaining that each meal is always varied and colourful. And each person will need slightly more of some nutrients than others, we all differ in what we absorb, transport and use. So, what do we do?
There are plenty of supplement companies out there, it is a very lucrative business nowadays and while we do not encourage supplementing eating a diet rich in nutrients, we do encourage our clients to try and take on nutrients that they might be lacking and if they cannot get this from food, then we do on occasion suggest a supplement. If people are having trouble sleeping are feeling more anxious than normal, taking a B vitamin or magnesium powder may help. It may not but we think that sometimes it is worth giving it a go!
If you think you may be deficient in certain nutrients, then we strongly advise that you consult with your doctor and have some tests done and talk to them about how best to improve getting more of what you need! If you want some guidance on what supplements we use at the gym then just ask, we have brands that we have tried and tested as with anything, some are better than others.