Supplements & Nutrition
While you may think supplements are a modern invention, people have been finding ways to add natural benefits into their diets and their lives for thousands of years. In the modern sense, supplements are pill or powdered forms of nutritious substances that may offer additional benefits to the average person’s diet, like BCAA or CLA. In many cases, supplements are used to supplement the standard American diet (SAD), hence their name. Supplements are not regulated the same way as medications, and are instead treated as a food. There are over 50,000 unique supplements for sale in the United States alone, and in many cases the average person takes a multivitamin or other supplement as part of their diet. While many people associate supplements and a nutritional mindfulness with a certain lifestyle, everyone can benefit from being conscious of what goes into their body.
Supplements can offer many benefits to the average person. They may be able to help increase energy (creatine), reduce inflammation (astaxanthin), boost your immune system, or provide essential vitamins and minerals you’re not getting from your diet. A good example of this is iron. For people with anemia, they may not be getting enough iron in their diet. In this case, iron supplements are usually recommended or prescribed in order to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Supplements and other nutritional benefits have long been associated with a health-conscious lifestyle. Many supplements are derived from natural ingredients that have been used for hundreds of years to treat different maladies and bring balance in your body, like hemp protein. While it is always important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a supplement, as certain supplements can interact with medicines or other health problems, most supplements offer plenty of benefits to outweigh any side effects, and can be helpful in regulating your body over all.
Nutrition, on the other hand, keeps track of everything that you put into your body and what your body can take out of your food. Having a general knowledge of nutrition is an important part of having a healthy body. If you’re not getting what your body needs and are getting too much of other things, like unhealthy fillers, bad fats, or an excessive amount of carbs, you may find yourself with less energy or gaining weight. Nutrition and nutritional products are also associated with people who are looking to have a healthier lifestyle or are looking to make drastic lifestyle changes.
Many meal replacement shakes, powders, and additives are geared at helping you build muscle mass or lose weight. They do this by either supplying protein into your diet, or offering you all of the nutritional factors you need in order to replace a meal. Nutritional mixes can also be used as both pre-workout and post-workout formulas, which help you perform better and recover faster, respectively.
All of this comes together to help you take control of your health and really value what your body can do for you. Both supplements and nutritional guidelines help you realize that your body has an ability to heal itself, and that you have control over your health. That’s why we here at Scoopeo we’ve taken the time to put together some of the best supplements and nutritional aids on the market, so you can find what works best for your unique body, and achieve a healthier you.
A Brief History of Supplements
When it comes to supplements, there is a fine line in history between what is considered a nutritional supplement and what was considered medicine at the time. Before the advent of modern medicine, doctors worked with a natural world to try to find ways to positively impact their patients’ health. Now, this did not always have positive side effects, and without modern medicine we would be much worse off than we are now, but the idea that the natural world offers us things that help us take control of our health and our lives is nothing new. A good example of an ancient supplement that at the time was just treated as a part of the daily diet was spirulina. The Aztecs used spirulina as a part of their daily diet, and in many cases this health-boosting algae was made into small cakes to be consumed as part of a meal. We still use spirulina today as a source of plenty of minerals and nutrients as well as amino acids, but back in the time of the Aztecs, it was just a part of their natural food supply.
Around the 1800’s is when the idea of a dietary supplement really comes into the mainstream. Cod liver oil, which you may have heard of, was one of the mass-produced dietary supplements on the market at this time. The idea that you weren’t getting enough from your diet and may need to supplement with something that was more nutritious was really gaining hold at this time, around the time of the Industrial Revolution where everything became more processed. It’s no surprise that our modern diet has led into even more supplements, as the further we move away from natural sources, the more likely it is we will run into health issues.
Today, while supplements are not regulated the same way medicines are, they still are held a certain manufacturing standard to ensure that they are pure, and they are not harmful. While most supplements are at worst, harmless (like probiotics), and at best beneficial, it is always a good idea to talk with your doctor before starting a new supplement. However, certain classes of supplements may be riskier, such as testosterone boosters and fat burners.
A Brief History of Nutritional Aids
The idea that you can consume something and use it to become a better athlete is nothing new. There are plenty of cases throughout history where people would consume some part of an animal or plant in hopes that it will give them superhuman powers or help them to perform better. For example, maca root, which grows in the Andes of central Peru, used to be used by indigenous people as something they took before going into battle to give them strength and stamina. If you think about it, we’ve done something similar in the modern day with our preference for coffee and caffeine, giving ourselves a level of fortitude against the workday.
Of course, in the modern day we are much more knowledgeable about things that will help us improve our performance and aid our nutritional profile. Things like whey protein powder and other sources of protein has been shown to help improve muscle mass and improve muscle retention. Other nutritional aids have a history in the medical world, providing nutrients you need when you’re not able to consume normal food. Some of these can be even traced back to the first infant formulas, which were produced in order to help mothers who had not yet started breastfeeding or to feed orphaned infants.
Modern nutritional supplements are especially balance in order to provide the full range of nutrients you need, without missing out on anything. Because of the uniqueness of the human body, it can be hard to replace all of your nutrition with a supplement such as a protein bar, shake or other beverage, but as far as improving your workout performance goes, there are a wide range of nutritional products that are available to help you perform at your best.
Even for people who are not athletes, many nutritional options focus on getting you the purest, most natural form of food possible. While this may include adding powders or supplements to your diet, in general nutrition is just making sure that what you eat is as healthy is possible, and making sure that your body gets all of the minerals and nutrients that it needs to function at its best. While the idea of looking for a nutritional product may seem mind-boggling, nutrition at its core is making sure that you’re aware of what you put into your body and what your body is asking for. In many cases, keeping a healthy diet and in one or two supplements can give you all of the necessary minerals that you need. Being aware of what calorie count and carb level you should be hitting for your exercise goals or just in general for your own diet can help you feel more control over your health and can help you feel better on a daily basis.
Fuel Your Body
Whether you’re looking for something to give you that added bit of your missing from your life, or you’re looking to balance your diet and improve your exercise routine, there are plenty of supplements and nutritional items out there to help you gain control over your body and your diet. With over 50,000 supplements alone on the United States market, it’s reasonable to feel overwhelmed when faced with all the choices. That’s why we here at Scoopeo work diligently to bring you updated information on all the various supplements and nutritional products out there, so you can make an informed decision for what works best for your health.
No matter if you’re looking to get one more rep in at the gym or are just hoping to boost your energy levels that you can make it through the day without feeling like you’re going to crash, there is a supplement out there that will work for you. So no matter what your goal is, remember to fuel your body with the very best foods and nutrients available, so that you can go out and do your best at whatever you do. Your body is a complex machine, and if you make sure to give it the right fuel and take care of it, it will support you throughout the rest of your life.