BENEFITS OF SLEEP READY IN THE BOX
I often get a lot of questions regarding our Sleep Ready product and how it can truly benefit someone’s performance in the CrossFit box, so I wanted to write a quick blog post about what it has done for me. Before I talk about the product, I want to fully disclose that I do in-fact work for Mission Ready. But I also am a 100% believer in the products we sell. I would never attach my name to a product I didn’t personally believe in. So much so that before I accepted the position for Mission Ready, I asked to try both the Sleep and Omega product. It just so happens they were not just good – which is what I expected, but the best I had ever tried.
If you are unfamiliar with Sleep Ready, it is a 100% vegetarian, 100% natural, gluten-and allergen-free, non-irradiated, sleep product. And it is proudly made in the U.S.A.
Unfortunately, I have had sleep problems for most of my adult life. My problem isn’t falling asleep; it’s STAYING asleep. Having exhausted all options of over the counter sleep aids, and being sick and tired of groggy medicated “sleep hangovers”, when I was first introduced to Sleep Ready I was a little hesitant on taking yet another sleep product. However after the first night of taking just ONE Sleep Ready, I realized this product is in fact different. For the first time in a long time, I woke up feeling very refreshed and revived. I didn’t wake up with a headache and burning eyes from the irritating formulas found in most over the counter sleep aids.
Since taking Sleep Ready fairly regularly, my performance in my CrossFit box has increased dramatically. I am no longer having problems doing those dreaded early morning WODs and I am feeling better than ever in the box. I am falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer, allowing my body a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night. It has truly changed my workout regiment and allowed me to keep striving to reach my full potential. When I combine the Sleep Product with our Omega Ready product, I get even better results. In-fact our original sleep formula, included Omega-3’s in it, due to the fact it can enhance the effects of the sleep pill. When we realized there was an equal need in the CrossFit world for a better solution to inflammation and recovery, we split them apart, creating Sleep Ready and Omega Ready.
DOSAGE: Although our recommended dosage says take 1-2 pills, I recommend getting yourself acclimated with Sleep Ready and just starting with 1 pill. I have found that 1 pill actually works best for me. In fact, since being on Sleep Ready, I haven’t had to take 2 pills. Each bottle comes with 60 pills, so if you find that 1 pill works well for you, you will have a full 2-month supply with just 1 bottle! And hopefully you wakeup feeling as refreshed as I do, ready to attack the WOD at your CrossFit box!
I encourage you to try the product and let me know your results. I would love to hear from you.
Director of Sales and Product Development (CrossFit Market)
Co-Founder Pete “Bullfrog 13” Wikul’s Inspiration to start Mission Ready
The inspiration to start Mission Ready arose from my personal experiences as a former Navy serviceman and U.S. Navy SEAL for 39 years.
Like many other SEALs, I have had my fair share of injuries in my career. The worst case was in 1984 in South Lebanon. I was on an isolated United Nations Observation Post (OP) at Chateau Beaufort trying to help a fellow United Nations Military Observer in danger when a leaking butane gas cylinder ignited and exploded 10 feet away from me. I suffered burns to 75% of my body.
The explosion and my injuries from it led to a number of other health issues including PTSD, which was misdiagnosed at the time as mononucleosis. PTSD mixed with the other stresses of a military career caused significant sleep problems. Other health issues included a botched medical procedure that caused an internal infection for a number of years, which led to chronic fatigue and more bad sleep. My sleep issues were further worsened by obstructive sleep apnea and age, which meant that for 12 years I had very little REM sleep. Without sleep, it was nearly impossible for my body to heal.
The inability to get the sleep your body needs is a miserable experience. I personally struggled with mood issues and felt like I was unable to be my best at all times, something that was critically important to my survival during my 39 years of service. Most of the time, I just put on my team guy face and powered through it with a smile.
I kept searching for a solution, trying everything that was out there, including various pharmaceutical sleep medications but it became obvious that they were not the answer for me. I recently read a Scripps study about the increase in death rates just from taking sleep medications, which drove home the point that sometimes prescription sleep medication can cause more problems than it solves. I can identify because drowsiness can be life-threatening for a SEAL. Well-intentioned and dedicated to their profession, traditional MDs did everything they could to help but their solutions were temporary at best and I continued to suffer from the many health impairments that arose from my sleep issues, just like millions of Americans experience every day.
My journey into nutrition, supplements, and nutraceuticals began early when I was in SEAL Team TWO in 1975. One of my teammates was spreading the gospel on eating right, supplementing diet with vitamins, minerals, and herbs as well as performing resistance exercise with correct form and breathing. With his inspirational leadership, I became fascinated with the whole subject of health and I became his disciple so to speak. My teammate was way ahead of his time and he voraciously read everything about health, and so did I. The first two books I read were Adele Davis’ “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit” and “Let’s Get Well,” and I haven’t stopped reading since, amassing an extensive health and nutrition library.
Having failed to find a solution to my sleep issues through traditional medicine, my hobby of studying nutrition and alternative medicine became a passion as I continued my search for true healing. It became a mission. I needed to be “mission ready” all the time, not just some of the time.
The All Important Omega Ratio
Everyone is talking about omega-3 fatty acids, but why all of a sudden? All the noise makes us wonder what the big fuss is about. One of the biggest problems with supplements is that so many new ones enter the market each year, and some study debunks them the following year.
Some folks even took aim at omega-3 fatty acids last week. In a study whose biases were uncovered only a few days later, researchers claimed that omega-3 did not reduce the risk of dying from heart disease nor provided much else.
Well, the American Heart Association still recommends Omega-3 supplements. The AHA studies a lot of the deaths in America, and many of which have been attributed to a poor omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. The study never discussed the ratio.
The omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is literally the ratio of two polyunsaturated fats in the blood. In one serving of factory-farmed beef, for example, the omega ratio is 1 omega-3 fatty acid for every 20 omega-6 fatty acids.
For years, and often without knowledge of the omega ratio, doctors in America recommended that their patients limit their beef intake. Heart disease claims more lives in the U.S. than lung disease, breast and prostate cancer combined. Research shows that a modern diet, known as the meat sweet diet, puts more strain on the heart and arteries. We’re not necessarily making that recommendation because we’re not trying to change your life, but we do want you to have the facts.
According to health professionals, the optimal omega ratio is somewhere between the Paleolithic ratio: 5 omega-3s to 4 omega-6s, and 1 omega-3 to 2 omega-6s. So it would probably help to change your diet and add a high quality omega-3 supplement to your daily regimen.
Most people are aware of omega fatty acids, but perhaps less aware of how important it is to have a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6. The Western diet has an imbalance of omega-6 over omega-3. This imbalance causes inflammation and can be linked to cases of stress, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.
We know some athletes say all that talk about blood lipid levels (one example would be the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio) doesn’t matter, in general. The evidence speaks for itself. Icing after a workout is good if you don’t have another event or training regimen to complete in the coming days, but omega-3 fatty acids go a long way in preventing deeper more dangerous inflammation for the long haul.
We turned to Superba™ Krill Oil, sourced from the pure and pristine Antarctic waters. It is more easily absorbed than fish oils. Omega-3 Ready delivers EPA and DHA directly to the bloodstream via the villi, so there are no burps or fishy aftertastes. It even comes in a small and easily to swallow pill – not a horse pill.
Sources: Chris Speed, MDN NPD, Food and Nutrition Strategies, LLC; http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/sns-rt-us-heart-omega3bre88a1c0-20120911,0,1161145.story, http://www.drugstorenews.com/article/crn-debunks-omega-3-meta-analysis-inherently-inconclusive?utm_source=GoogleNews&utm_medium=Syndication&utm_campaign=ManualSitemap, http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/09/18/fish-oil-supplements-straight-talk-on-the-heart-health-benefits-of-omega-3-fats/
Many CrossFit athletes and people in general don’t know enough about omega-3 fatty acids or its importance to overall health. Even fewer people know about krill.
A few weeks ago, I highlighted a couple of key takeaways from the CrossFit Festivus Games in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Here’s my third key observation, which really surprised me:
Many CrossFit athletes and people in general don’t know enough about omega-3 fatty acids or its importance to overall health. Even fewer people know about krill.
I walked around the Festivus Games with a clipboard to garner some signups for our monthly Mission Ready newsletter as well as to introduce our wellness company to all these people committed to personal wellness. They all seemed to respond similarly to the question: What do you know about omega-3 fatty acids?
I was talking to dedicated and informed athletes. Most of them knew about omega-3s and the associated benefits, but few people knew about the omega-3 omega-6 ratio, where many Americans, even seemingly fit ones are out of balance. That’s the real problem!
Don’t feel bad CrossFitters, many of your doctors don’t think critically about the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and an inexpensive take-home test only became available recently. Medical researchers suspect the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is the culprit behind a growing number of heart ailments and other inflammation related maladies.
That’s why Mission Ready will be at The Beast of the East Fitness Festival (a CrossFit elite athlete event) in Durham, CT from the 10th to the 12th of October. We need to continue educating everyone about the importance of Omega-3/6 balance. We will also commission a sleep study for those who qualify. A good night’s rest can be very helpful in an athlete’s recovery.
I think getting your Omega-3/6 right is among the few most important actions you can take for your health if you eat a Modern Western Diet. I typically tell people sleep and exercise, but after visiting my doctor and realizing an alarming improvement in my cholesterol levels, I know how much help omega-3’s lend everything else, including rest/recovery and exercise. We have also found that many who supplement their sleep aid with Omega-3 see better results.
The science is there and the results are clear. More omega-3 is good for all of us, and probably even the guy or gal eating lots of fish already. Take a look at this brief recently published by the University of Maryland Medical School (http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/omega-3-000316.htm/) if you’d rather get your health information from a doctor instead of @MRSteveLinn.
CrossFit- Commitment to Community and Health
Two weeks ago, a few folks from the Mission Ready team attended the CrossFit Festivus Games in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Each of us was thoroughly impressed with the work ethic and raw talent demonstrated by the athletes. Their supporters and the box owners also provided a unique spark to the energy at the Festivus events.
While I can’t speak for every team member’s complete experience, I’d like to share my observations from the event in a two-part series. This week, part one looks at two takeaways that made me realize the degree of commitment and sense of community amongst these athletes. Next week’s post will focus on Omega fatty acids and how athletes, and most people in general, know little about its importance to overall health.
Here are my first two observations from the CrossFit Festivus Games:
1– CrossFit is intense
I consider myself to be in decent shape for a guy in his mid-forties. I work out. I eat fairly well. I supplement my dietary requirements in areas where I don’t do so well, but I cannot perform many of the exercises the CrossFit athletes perform with ease. When I tried, I slowly completed the workout BUT COULDN’T LIFT MY FREAKIN’ ARMS AFTERWARDS. I guess I didn’t try to lift them higher than my driving position until much later, but after I’d made it home I couldn’t even lift my fork.
With that said, I admire you CrossFit athletes out there for sacrificing your ability to move limbs as a result of your commitment to wellness. Although, I wasn’t at first, I am now completely committed.
In case you’re headed to the gym or do your workouts at home and you want to find out for yourself, here is what I did:
Part 1 of the WOD (workout of the day) was called “Cindy.” It is 20 minutes of AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, 15 squats. If that wasn’t enough, Part 2 was 10 minutes of Box Jumps and something they call “Burpees.”
You think you can meet the challenge?
2– CrossFit is community
When I first arrived at the Festivus Games in upstate New York, I had no idea what to expect beyond a couple of people with muscle and a few athletes with hustle. I did not expect to see an extended family of athletes, their supporters and box owners building camaraderie around living well, eating clean and doing what’s best for the individual. I heard so many athletes sharing health, nutrition, and exercise tips. Even if they were competing against one another, the majority of the CrossFit athletes wanted to help each other be better.
In the afternoon, a man walked up to my table and picked up a bottle of Sleep Ready and clenched it tightly in his hand. He looked me in the eye and said, “Will this help me get to sleep?”
Of course I could not say yes definitively because I didn’t know why he couldn’t sleep. I simply felt fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with the guy and talk about his sleep, a sore subject for him because he had not slept well in 20 years. Since he had been experiencing sleep problems for so long, he was emotionally exhausted by the search, high and low, for sleep solutions out of desperation. So I wanted to give him sound advice.
After pressing him with the hard questions about his self-reported activities and his symptoms, I think I got a sense of his sleep problems. I shared some sleep tips with him that I think will help everyone. I’ve embedded my favorite seven below as I have posted them on our Sleep Ready website, so that any member of the Mission Ready community can view them whenever she needs reminders on what might help her get some sleep.
*The athlete I spoke with eventually sent me a product review directly and he thanked the Mission Ready team for helping him to get a good night’s rest, not a prescription-drug induced zombie nap, for the first time in a very long time.
Stay tuned for next week’s observations from the CrossFit Festivus Games.
The Benefits of Exercise
by Dr. Kevin Pett
Dr. K here today to talk to you about some of the wonderful benefits of exercise. The human body was designed to perform a host of physical tasks on a daily basis. When we exercise the body regularly, the following major benefits are recognized.
- Mental acuity is improved
- Bone health and density are strengthened
- Cardiovascular function is improved
- Detoxification of the body occurs
- Tendons and ligaments are strengthened
- Stress is released
- Energy levels are increased
- Sleep is improved
Regular exercise is a key to good health and a longer life. The principal goal is to make exercise a part of your daily/weekly activities. Make time for it, and you will enjoy many positive benefits. It is important to rotate or combine activities on alternate days that involve cardio, strength, and stretching for example like:
- Running, cycling, swimming
- Weight training / resistance training
- Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi
This exercise rotation can keep the body functioning optimally. The key here is regular exercise, like for example: 2 to 3 days of Cardio based exercise (running) combined with 2 days of stretching and toning (Yoga). One day a week of something is just not enough. Try for a minimum of combined exercise forms, for 3 to 4 days a week, in order to achieve optimal results.
Enjoy the benefits of exercise! Better health and a longer life!
Be your best you!
Dr. Kevin R. Pett is licensed as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) in the state of New Mexico. He holds a doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (DAOM) from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, the first accredited DAOM Doctoral program in the U.S.
By Steve Linn, CEO, Mission Ready
I’d like to thank Bullfrog 13 and Gloria for giving me the opportunity to guest blog this week. Some of you may have heard this message, as it was the topic of our Mission Ready Monday podcast last week. But, we believe by sharing a message about everyday heroes to a broader audience, we may inspire more to celebrate their own everyday heroes.
Today’s message is inspired by a trip to the movies and a visit to the Catskill Mountains in New York state. Last weekend, my wife and I went to see Spider-Man. I’m not going to share too much about the movie, in case you haven’t seen it yet. But, while watching the movie, I began thinking about superheroes like Spider-Man, Superman, Batman and others.
In the movies, and in comic books, Superman, Spider-Man and Wonder Woman save the world every day. They excite kids of all ages with their super powers, costumes and one-liners.
Stan Lee, the creator of some of our favorite comic-book heroes, believes, “now more than ever, we need the heroic deeds of real people from the real world.” When asked, most people will list our soldiers, police, and firefighters as heroes. And they most certainly are.
But heroism is not limited to these uniformed forces. We all know of the true acts of heroism performed by everyday people on Sept. 11, 2001. At times, I wonder if I could have done the same. Stan Lee defines a hero as “someone who is concerned about other people’s well being and will go out of his or her way to help them – even if there is no chance of a reward. That person who helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do, is indeed, without a doubt, a real superhero.”
This is where the Catskills come in. Last Saturday was visiting day at the camp where my son, Ryan, is now a counselor’s assistant after having been a camper for the past 8 years. During our visit, we inquired about our neighbor’s son, who is a first year camper. Ryan shared that our neighbor’s son has been struggling all summer. This young boy may not be as “cool” as some of his bunkmates, and therefore gets picked on. So, Ryan decided to talk to the bunk and asked the kids to cut him some slack. Why is this act heroic? After all, isn’t that the job of a counselor? Well, you see, Ryan is not the counselor of that bunk. No one asked him to help, and there was no chance of reward. It was just the simple act of an ordinary person going out of his way to help another. My son is a hero; my son is MY hero.
There are many definitions of a hero. In your quest to be your best you, we hope that today’s message inspires you to be somebody’s hero.
If you’d like to share any thoughts with us check us out on Twitter @getmissionready, like us on Facebook, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are starting a simple Everyday Hero campaign soon. Stay tuned for more details on our Facebook page.
Thanks for being a part of our growing community. Until next time… Be Your Best You!
Achieving Your Peak, the Navy SEAL Way
If I want peak performance, I think about the Triad of Wellness: nutrition, exercise, and sleep. You can find this at www.getmissionready.com. If you eat the right foods, your brain will function properly and then everything else in your body will work optimally. You should maintain your fitness with exercise, and always have a good night’s rest to wake up refreshed. To me, those are the three main areas of focus.
However, with the way we live our lives in this fast-paced society, you can’t always work at your own pace or follow an exact plan. World events, the weather, and information are constantly changing. For example, in the 1980s when I was a U.S. Navy SEAL in a “training pace,” so-to-speak, and we got called for a mission on 24 hours notice and deployed for many months. That meant we weren’t getting much if any sleep that night and many more to follow. Instead, we were preparing to deploy overseas. And the few hours we did try to sleep, our minds were still racing with thoughts of planning and coordination—considering every contingency we could think of.
A lot of the time, when SEALs go on missions, whether they are training or real, they have been up for a very long period of time. It’s not a football or baseball game with a set number of hours or a marathon or triathlon where you know the distance. All our missions were fraught with danger— we lost men in peacetime training, honing skills for war. Unlike the sports you see on television, our “game” can last for days, and instead of tearing an ACL or bruising muscles or breaking bones (which we do routinely), some of our SEALs are severely wounded or killed in action. In sports, the players get a pre-game night’s rest and a hearty meal. In the SEAL business, you just might go to “the game” with no sleep and eating field rations along the way. At the end of “the game” you don’t get interviewed on radio and television along with a victory celebration, but instead you can get orders for a follow-on mission. It happens.
As a former Commanding Officer of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team TWO, our team participated in the most mentally and physically challenging and complex missions in special operations. We operated SEAL Delivery Vehicles (SDV) using submarines as a host platform. Any time you’re working with submarines, you at the least double the complexity of the mission set, not to mention that the maritime environment is the most difficult to master.
SDV and submarine missions are very long. SDVs are wet submersibles, which mean the SEALs operating them are actually in a dive status breathing SCUBA. Despite wet and dry suits providing thermal protection, it can get really cold. Piloting and navigating the SDV is also a mental exercise because you’re potentially driving for six hours or more. For a pilot flying a plane, he usually has a visible horizon and can look out the windows and see the land or ocean below and at night see the starts. In an SDV, you’re underwater, on dive status, driving a relatively slow moving vehicle with absolutely no horizon, with nothing but instruments in front of you.
And that is what Navy SEAL trains to do. In our basic training you learn how to mentally push through all forms of adversity. We accepted difficult challenges on a routine basis as the norm and that included lack of sleep. We performed optimally in all our mission sets because we were in great physical shape and our training gave us a mindset and discipline to power through the most difficult of circumstances. Most of us ate really well and a lot too. The disrupter at home was the fact that, even when we were not deployed on a training exercise or in a combat zone, two or three times a week you’re still working nights planning, coordinating, and executing training missions with the discipline and diligence you would in war. You train the way you will fight. So, you go back and forth between working days and nights, and you do this throughout a career. Meanwhile, your body is always trying to catch up on sleep.
When I was first in this business in the early 70s and 80s, we didn’t have a lot of administrative, technical, and combat service support, so we had to do everything. We had less sleep. Now, SEAL teams have a lot of support troops and technicians that help them do things that we used to do on our own. The SEAL operators of today are able to get some more sleep than we did, which is the better for them.
I was trained to do all parts of the “peak performance triad” over the years: be in the best shape you can be—i.e., have good strength and endurance, eat well, and get good quality sleep when I could get it. I would always try to do this to my best ability. There are other components to peak performance like training, discipline, and mental focus. We’ll talk about them in a future blog. But for now, if you focus on the triad, you’ll be able to achieve peak performance, too.
Does Quality Sleep Equal Success?
We all want to do well – on the job, with our families, in our community. Quality sleep is an important part of this, without it we simply can’t do our best. Today I’d like to talk about how sleep impacts our performance, everything from emotional intelligence to mental acuity to physical ability. Let’s walk through a typical work day, and see how sleep impacts your success.
You arrive to your job, and immediately see your manager. With that first glance you each get information about the other that’s going to shape your day. If you are sleep deprived, you are less able to read the emotions in your manager’s face. Without accurately reading his emotions you may say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Your manager is also getting information. If you are sleep deprived, he is going to assess you as less healthy, more tired, and less attractive than when you are well rested.
Now it’s time to sit at your computer and get a little work done before going out into the field. With a good night’s rest you are able to concentrate on the project, and notice a detail that’s not right. Since you are well rested you are able to think outside of the box, and do some creative problem solving that you wouldn’t be able to do without adequate rest. A good night sleep improves our ability to concentrate, pay attention, and do complex problem solving.
With the computer work done, it’s time to head out to the project site. Driving down the road, you remember the last trip when you were so sleepy that you swerved off the road, almost having an accident. About 37% of drivers say they have fallen asleep at the wheel in the last year. Just 2 hours of sleep deprivation has the same negative effect on driving as 2-3 beers. Many people have to drive as part of their job, so sleep deprivation can be a major safety risk for them. Poor sleep impairs our coordination, reaction time, and agility.
For me, this is a good example of the age-old “quality vs. quantity” dilemma. Would you like to have more hours awake when you can’t concentrate, feel mentally slow, and are in danger of drowsy driving? Or would you rather be awake fewer hours when you are mentally sharp, energetic, and at the top of your game?
I’m solidly in the camp of quality days, rather than more hours awake. If you’re on the fence, and still not convinced of the impact getting healthy sleep will have on your day, do a little experiment. Remember a time when you were really well-rested and doing your best on the job. How much sleep were you getting then? Now, for the next 10 days, get all the healthy sleep you need. The last three days, really pay attention to how you’re doing on the job and with family. You’ll find that optimal sleep really does make for optimal performance.
Reaching High Performance Through Nutrition
By Lori Tubbs
The best way I can describe nutritional high performance is the ability to perform specific physical skill sets optimally without chronic fatigue and/or lower performance measures. An example would be a runner adding miles to a weekly training schedule. Eating the right nutrients and calories in a timely manner to recover efficiently indicates a level of performance that can be challenged with intensity and/or duration increases without overall fatigue.
Consuming the proper nutrients in a variety of foods is an important aspect of high performance eating. There are six nutrients we need everyday. Fluids, and particularly water, are vital to optimal health performance and considered the most important. Hydration is a huge factor in maintaining high performance. Active muscles that are dry instead of wet are a sure sign of potential poor performance. Think about a sponge. When we buy dry sponges and add water to them notice how they expand significantly. Hydrated muscles are those wet sponges that indicate healthy cells able to functionally work optimally.
Did you know that a lot of people think that they’re hungry, when in fact they’re really thirsty and it is water that they need? In 2004, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies set general recommendations for water intake. Adequate fluid intake levels indicate that approximately 2.7 liters (91 oz) for women and 3.7 liters (125 oz) for men is recommended for healthy adults. These numbers represent total water from all beverages and foods. Those physically active and who live in hot and humid climates may need more water. About 80% of people’s total water comes from drinking beverages and the other 20% is food derived. Before eating the next large meal because of hunger, assess how much fluid in beverages and foods (fruits and vegetables) have been consumed in the hours beforehand. There may be the that drinking a glass of water will curb that appetite.
The other nutrients include vitamins and minerals, which are the catalysts to the other three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
When you combine all six of these nutrients in the proper amounts, you have an optimal daily meal plan. Meal planning should always include all three macronutrients. Including a little protein, carbohydrate and fat satisfies hunger while providing vitamins and minerals. Keeping calories under control by emphasizing nutrient dense foods in the meal plan will ensure control of unnecessary body weight and body fat. Nutrient-dense eating is a way to consume food for the purpose of optimal health. The more highly nutrient-dense a food is, the more nutrients it provides per calorie. Vegetables and fruits have the highest nutrient scores followed by grains, dairy and protein. Examples of low nutrient density foods include candy, cookies and chips, usually high in saturated fats and sugars. If you are focused on eating nutrient dense foods, you’re likely getting the vitamins and minerals that you need.
A good general reference to help guide you in developing good dietary habits and meal plans is the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. If dietary supplements are in question for better performance, it is recommended to see a Registered Dietitian (RD) first. RD’s can assess your nutritional needs and daily expenditures. They can help you get your diet in check with the right amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fat. We can usually fix the problem when it comes to an optimal diet. The first course of action is always looking at the meal plan and then supplementation.
With the right effort, you will find both mental and physical rewards in performance. When you add in proper sleep and restoration, you can achieve the high performance you’re looking for daily or any athletic event planned for. In a perfect world, proper eating, physical training and getting the right amount of sleep leads to performing optimally every day.
My next post will be focused on promoting good health and reducing the risk for major chronic diseases through nutrition and physical activity. Until then, here are a few great resources, if you’re thinking about supplementation as a part of your nutrition program:
USP.org – The United States Pharmacopeia is a third party non-profit organization, which uses a validation process for basic testing of vitamins to prevent contamination and to make sure products are developed purely and labels are correct.
NSF.org – The NSF is a public health and safety company that protects consumers by certifying products and for writing standards for food, water and consumer goods. Their health commitment is to encourage consumers to live safer.