Micronutrient Deficiencies, Supplements, and My Shameless Plug (Part 2)

“To all my little Hulkamaniacs, say your prayers, take your vitamins and you can never go wrong.”        –  Hulk Hogan

Here in part 2 I really want to make you aware that supplements, both the vitamins and protein shakes, are just that: they supplement your diet.  They do not become your diet.  You should still eat as well as you can.  Supplements can just help out where your diet might be lacking.  If you are extremely active, it might be tough to meet some of your protein needs.  A shake will help.  If you live in Canada or Norway or anywhere north of the Tropic of Cancer, half the year it will be really tough to get enough vitamin D from either the sun or your diet; a vitamin will help.  So let us be clear that these products are only there to augment or top off your nutrition, not completely replace it.  Also, depending on how well you are eating, you may not need them at all.  But according to the latest statistics I’ve come across, (part 1) the majority of us are deficient in several. I have included a link to the Linus Pauling Institutes breakdown of the essentials and what their recommendations are to avoid such deficiencies, which result in accelerated aging and chromosome breaks etc.  It’s a handy tool.  I have also included two charts from fitday.com These charts shows some great foods, there amounts, and then breaks down the micronutrient intake and break down of macro nutrients (Fat, Protein, Carbohydrate.)  Spoiler alert! It involves a lot of cups of vegetables.  This is good, but let’s be honest… it is hard to do.  We don’t get to chew on bamboo shoots all day like a gorilla,  so I will admit there is a level of practicality/life/modern day circumstances that will make this tough.  I will also remind you that the “RDA”   is based on the minimum of each nutrient to avoid such deficiency diseases such as when you are so low in vitamin C and get scurvy, or way too low in vitamin D and get rickets. They are not based on what the optimums are.  Fair enough; as I pointed out in part 1  we are just now really starting understand the gravity of “age related” diseases and Chromosome breaks which are occurring when our nutrition is not optimal.

I have also included a link to the film, “Food Matters.” This film explores the advantages and benefits of what can be described as mega-dosing of various nutrients.  These are mega doses by the RDA standards, but are by no means putting you at risk for overdosing, which is possible.  As stated before too much of something can be just as harmful as too little.  We have had this discussion as it relates to exercise, and it certainly holds true for supplementation of the essential nutrients and minerals.  You can overdose on iron.; it is hard to do, but can happen.  You can overdose on vitamin D; it too is also really hard to do, but it can happen.  So I just want it to be clear, as it pertains to mega-dosing, for the sake of this post, that I am not recommending overdosing, and want it to be established that you will find it very difficult to find any supplement, when following the serving size directions, that will put you anywhere near being at risk.  But you should also be aware, because accidents can happen.

Now for my shameless plug.  Three years ago, I was approached by a gentlemen who represented a company that sold a product, called lifeshotz, that was designed to be a natural alternative to the energy drink market, such as your Redbulls and Monsters.  At the time, I was working for a chiropractor, who was part of a franchise that had their own line of supplements, so my first reaction was, “No, sorry, I already work for a company that offers something like this…. Wait a minute! I’m not going to be working for him anymore. I’m moving to Korea!  Sure, I’ll meet with you.”  So I did.  Now, since working for the Maximized Living company, I was already aware of the research and benefits of optimal supplementation, so I did not need a breakdown of the science behind it.  When I got to look at the vitamin D and vitamin B levels, I was already sold.  My only problem with Maximized Living, as a franchise, is that you have to be a chiropractor to join.  So, there would be no way I could make a real living working for them and selling their products.  But what this gentlemen was offering me was that solution.  He was the first person to explain to me how referral marketing really, at its core, works; why Mary Kay and the like have been so successful, and how, when it is done right, you can be quite successful, too.  Okay, now this wasn’t the first time I have had someone try and sell me the dreams of financial success and freedom, but I was very interested in the product.  So I bit and I tried it out for a couple of months.  I also had something to compare it to.  My rugby season was starting up and I know how I feel when I play those first couple of games.  The next day I would feel like I had been hit by a goddamn truck, and would be hungover to boot.  So if this product was even remotely beneficial, surely I would be able to feel a bit of a difference.  I’ll spare you the suspense. I did.  I took the product for a week as they recommend before I  played rugby that weekend.  Then, I went out with the team and drank.  That’s kind of normal for many rugby players.  Now, I had also played more than one game that day, which was extra taxing on my body, especially being the first big weekend of the season, so knowing what I’ve been like the next day for 15 seasons or so before, I figured my Sunday would be a hungover, hit-by-a-truck feeling, write off.

This is what sold me.  The next morning, I woke up and I got out of bed.  That’s it.  No amazing feelings of feeling like Superman, no euphoric states of enlightenment.  I just got up and made a cup of coffee.  That is what surprised me.  I felt a little stiff, I could tell I had worked out or played, but otherwise, I felt okay.  I also didn’t have a hangover.  Considering I had my fair share after the game, that also pleasantly surprised me.  Now, before writing this post and my shameless plug, I have been taking Lifeshotz fairly consistently for nearly 3 years.  Before I decided to pursue it as a viable business opportunity, I convinced my parents to give it a go.  They do not eat as well as I do, nor are as active, so they would be a great test to see if it helped them.  It has! My mum generally works 10- 12 hour days.  What she found was instead of feeling that energy boost and energy crash that the “energy drinks” offer, she had endurance. She now, for the last 3 years, works all day, can come home, and instead of wanting to just go to bed, has a glass of wine, and then enjoys some dinner and relaxes, and then she goes to bed.  My old man experienced the same thing; not an energy jolt, but just an overall feeling of well-being and the capacity to do more in a day.

Now, my grandmother was a great example.  She’s 89, and what we were discovering is a large number of her “prescriptions”  were prescriptions for vitamins.  She had a prescription for vitamin D, vitamin B,  and a few others.  The prescriptions are not cheap.  A lot of what she was getting from the pharmacy is in Lifeshotz, so she made the switch.  Lifeshotz is a premium product, but she is saving a lot of money taking it.

Now I will admit a drawback, it is not a complete essential nutrient solution, there is no fish oil or all of the essential minerals, so in that, it is not as good as the “CHORI Bar”, which is.  However it does have a lot, and in the long run, is a savings compared to trying to buy all the nutrients that are in lifeshotz individually.

I would like to conclude this post with the anecdotal tale of the Chicago Blackhawks winning their last Stanley Cup back in 2010, again in 2013, and they just did again in 2015. Yes, they have a great team, great coaching staff, and so on.  But they also have a team physician prescribing the players 5000 IU a day of vitamin D3.  They were the “First Professional ‘D3’ Team.”  As a result, the players felt like they had more energy, more stamina, and felt like they were recovering more fully from each game.  Before, they were experiencing a myriad of issues and injuries, all symptomatic of having a deficiency. Since starting the supplementation protocol, players on the Blackhawks squad are performing better and doing a better job of withstanding the punishment of both the ridiculously long regular season (82 games) and the three best-of-7 playoff rounds before getting to the 4th and final round of the Stanley Cup. That is a lot of hockey, and it definitely takes a huge toll on the body.  As I was writing this, the Blackhawks have just one their third cup in six years. Here is a short quote I snatched from the MSN article.  “As the series turned into a battle of wills, Tampa Bay put forth their final burst of desperation facing elimination. But with several players dealing with noticeable injuries, they didn’t have enough to push back against the playoff-tested and healthier Blackhawks.” (Canadian Press, Stephen Whyno)  (I bolded the healthier part)

Now, depending on your activity level, 5000 IU might not be as necessary, but you don’t overdose until you reach 40,000 IU’s a day, so you really do not have to worry about reaching the overdose limit.  I will conclude this post by saying that there are a lot of positive benefits to supplementation, those that say it is a big waste of money don’t have the whole picture.  If you could get from all your food, that would be preferred, but that is hard to do and not everyone is deficient in the same nutrients.  But if you work a lot of hours or are super active, supplementation can help.  That being said, though, it is a waste of your money if you don’t do the basics of eating better and exercising first.

Now, to finish with my shameless plug and sales pitch, I’m not selling the business opportunity. It is there, but I’m more concerned with recommending the product.  So if you are feeling run down and feeling like your nutrition could be lacking, do your homework.  That part is a pre-requisite. There are lots of brands out there and more being created every year, and your needs will be different, and you will need to look really hard at that, too.  But I like this one, so I’m sharing it with you.  You might not need it, but it is here just in case.