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The Whole Truth About Supplements

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Throw a rock in any direction and you’ll inevitably find a dozen different diets, diet pills, fitness fads, and outrageous claims promoting supplements to be the newest “quick fix” to all your wellness woes. The hard, unadulterated truth is this: there is no quick answer. There is no magic pill. Supplements will not do your body justice if you take them incorrectly. And for Pete’s sake, please don’t waste your money buying things because you saw them on television.


Now that we have covered that, I want to explain to you what does work. Eating raw, unprocessed, clean foods and drinking clean water. Cook your food, allowing your senses to smell it, taste it, touch it before it even hits your mouth. Forego the fast food, pill forms of your daily serving of protein or veggies, and chew delicious, healthy, homegrown goods. Sounds easy, right? Let’s break down some of the science of why these “simple” rules work so well.


Supplements like whey, casein, pre-workout, etc. are only as good as the cash you waste on them. Though top shelf whey proteins can boast hefty doses of hydrolyzed protein for your body to break down, they’re missing one very key ingredient for boosting your metabolism and giving you gains: digestion. The misguided health movement claiming that whey is just as acceptable to your body as ingested protein is a marketing ploy to sell you a product.


Digesting your food in whole forms allows for correct homeostasis of your digestive system. In other words, your body has the ability to absorb the correct nutrients in various parts of breaking down the molecules in your food. Without the ability to digest and absorb nutrients over time in this fashion, your digestive system loses its ability to extract all of the potential nutritional value of the supplement in question; what you don’t use, you’ll lose in the form of excrement or urine. Studies by the European Nutrition Counsel suggest upwards of 80% of common, top-shelf nutritional supplements are excreted in near whole, undigested form. So the $60 you spent on a 3-lb bag of whey protein? Perhaps $12 of that was actually utilized in your body to produce the muscle hypertrophic response you want.


When you take a pill form of a key nutrient your body needs, often it is broken down by your stomach’s acids and enzymatic functions before entering your small intestine – the real champion of harvesting nutrients in the food we eat. Supplements are already simple to digest, therefore robbing your body of its basic metabolic process to break the food down (which also expends energy, therefore increasing your metabolism over time), extracting the nutrients and absorbing it into the bloodstream to be used by other systems of the body, such as your endocrine and nervous systems.


So don’t take the hard work out of your body. Eat whole foods, often. If you have a choice between a real protein source and a whey shake, take the real protein source and don’t sell yourself short.  You’ll save money in the process and give your body the ability to utilize all its resources in extracting those vital nutrients you need to fuel your fitness. Our bodies are amazing works of science, and when given the chance, perform extraordinary feats.

If you are interested in learning more about how health, fitness, and your nutrition are all related, give us a call at (302)990-2352.

Here’s to your health,

Coach Antonia Hernandez