Whether it be in a capsule, pill, powder or liquid, nutrition supplements containing vitamins, minerals and other “nutrients” have become popular products for many.
Along with the rise in consciousness about the importance of nourishing and fueling the body, our modern “quick-fix” culture has also instilled the idea that nutrition can be supplemented, enhanced or even replaced by products.
Although slick marketing and advertizing may have you believe that you’re making a worthwhile investment in your health and wellness, unfortunately many products don’t live up to their claim and some may actually do you more harm than good!
To help give a clearer picture of some of the pros and cons of taking vitamins and minerals, we’ve put together this quick guide about nutrition supplements.
What Are Nutrition Supplements?
The primary purpose of nutrition supplements is to provide nutrients that the diet is possibly deficient in. The body needs a full-spectrum of vitamins, essential minerals and other nutrients in order to function properly and be healthy.
Supplements can come directly from actual food sources or sometimes they are synthetic, manufactured or processed via some form of industrial process. There are all sorts of nutritional supplements, most are for vitamins and minerals, but there are numerous varieties containing other ingredients ranging from those that target specific deficiencies to others which stimulate certain functions and activities.
Why Take Vitamin & Mineral Supplements?
So why would you need these nutrition supplements? Many nutritionists often say that a balanced diet has all the vitamins and nutrients we need. Are they right? It depends.
Even if you eat right, get plenty of exercise and sleep, drink enough water and look after yourself, here are some reasons why you might consider taking vitamins and minerals in the form of nutritional supplements:
Overcome Dietary Deficiencies
Many people don't get the right amounts of essential nutrients from their food or fulfil the necessary dietary recommendations for a variety of lifestyle, health and dietary reasons. The purpose of supplementation is to help bridge the gap for any such nutritional shortfall.
Nutrient Absorption Decline
As we age, absorption of nutrients declines because the body does not have the same ability to digest nutrients that it had when we were younger. Older people often tend to take more medications as well. Many modern medications deplete vital nutrients. Supplementation can help overcome this progressive decline.
Modern Agricultural & Farming Practices
This often involves pesticides, hormones, artificial fertiliser, and other unnatural chemicals in food, which research has shown to not only deplete soil but also reduce the amount of nutrition contained in commercially grown produce.
Intense Exercise & Sport
High-intensity physical activity, exercise and sports create a far greater need in your body for energy and nutrients. When you exercise vigorously, your body needs far more of these than at other times. When the need for this is great then extra support via supplementation can be highly beneficial.
Dietary Habits & Convenience
With so much fast food available and many people not having the time to prepare their own healthy meals, nutrition supplements can offer short-term support. It is very difficult for our bodies, when we eat too much highly-acidic food, to get all the necessary nutrients as junk food simply does contain enough and can also wreck havoc on our pH balance. Although vitamin and mineral supplements can’t entirely make up for an unhealthy diet, they can help prevent and repair the damage poor eating habits cause.
Disease Prevention & Immunity
In addition to a healthy-balanced diet, the taking of daily supplements, along with regular exercise, sufficient rest, etc. can help boost the immune system and prevent health issues arising in the first place.
Pros & Cons Of Taking Nutrition Supplements, Vitamins & Minerals
If you already take nutritional supplements or are considering doing so for any of the reasons above, you may want to keep in mind the following pros and cons or vitamin and mineral products...
Common Harmful Ingredients In Popular Brands
Although there are compelling reasons to use supplements it's important to be conscious of exactly what is in them. The strict procedures that most of the world imposes on the release of new medicines do not apply to supplements and as a result not all nutrition supplements including vitamin and minerals products are created equal. Here are a few things to look out for...
Many supplements have additives to enhance taste, color, or weight. Unfortunately, many additives have ingredients like stearic acid, silicon dioxide, MSG, methylcellulose, carnauba wax, and titanium dioxide. These all range from useless to potentially dangerous.
This is a chemical with the name polychlorinated biphenyl. It was widely used but it has been recognised as a pollutant, injurious to human health. Sadly, fish oil, widely used in supplements, particularly those with vitamin E, has been found to contain this. The fish from which the oil is taken has PCB in its flesh. Although PCB has been banned since the 1970s, it is still in the environment.
Many herbal dietary supplements have been tested and found to have small amounts of poisonous substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic. Some of these supplements also contained pesticides. It is vital when getting supplements to use manufacturers of them that ensure safety.
Synthetic Vitamins & Minerals Versus Naturally Sourced
Artificial manufacture does not make synthetic vitamins and minerals necessarily bad for you, however, the body can't use them like natural vitamins, which are derived from a plant or other natural source.
Among the chemicals used as the foundation for these synthetics are nicotine, alloxal, and coal tars, which are toxic. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K, can be dangerous in synthetic form, due to build-up in the fat tissues and liver.
It is well known that vitamins and minerals are essential for our bodies to function properly. Scientists, doctors, and food manufacturers are in agreement about this too, so the scientists create vitamins in laboratories, the manufacturers fortify our food with them, and they and others market them as multivitamins.
The trouble with these synthetic vitamins is that they are not the naturally produced micronutrients our bodies are searching for. Almost all multivitamins are manufactured from synthetics. There are good commercial reasons for this practice. It is much cheaper to make synthetic vitamins than get them from natural sources and they are generally more stable. Meaning they can be on shelves for months or even years without degrading. They can be added to foods in large quantities and packed into small dense capsules and tablets loaded with every type of vitamin.
These synthetic supplements are made industrially using methods vastly different from the natural processes of plants as the source which your body will innately recognize and accept. After all the processing, synthetics are usually unrecognizable to anything found in nature. Numerous studies have shown that these processed vitamins and minerals are not nearly as good as naturally-derived. In fact, the body may consider synthetic vitamins and minerals to be alien, treat them as toxins which can be really hard on the kidneys.
How The Body Processes & Absorbs Vitamins & Minerals
You may have heard the expression,' you are what you eat.' This is not exactly true; it is more correct to say,' you are what you absorb.'
How are food and its nutrients absorbed (taken into) by the body?
The processes by which cells receive nutrients from the blood are quite complicated. All you need to know is that it is the bloodstream that brings all nutrients after digestion to the cells.
It is during digestion that differences between naturally occurring vitamins and minerals and the synthetic versions may be significant.
The actual micronutrient may need what are called co-factors to function correctly. With natural food like vegetables and fruit, these co-factors are present , however, it often occurs that the synthetic version, usually made in a factory, lacks these important cofactors.
A good example is provided by Vitamin C and the co-factors called bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids assist the body absorb Vitamin C.
Similarly with Vitamin E, which is absorbed twice 100% more efficiently than synthetic vitamin E.
Why this disparity?
Synthetic vitamins are made from the derivatives of coal tar or oil. They are not usually combined with co-factors and even if some co-factors are added there are probably many that are not even considered.
Unfortunately, the majority of the food supplements sold today are of synthetic origin. The main reason being that it is cheaper to produce synthetic rather than natural vitamins.
There are other factors, such as the additives to synthetic supplements, which, although not usually harmful, are foreign to our bodies and can combine with other chemicals in ways that can negative effects. By taking in foreign substances, we are exposing our systems to a virtual cocktail of chemicals. Testing may show a single chemical is harmless on its own, however, there could well be damaging effects in combination with others. This effect is compounded when taken frequently and regularly.
How Phenoh Drink Mixes Are Different To Most Nutrition Supplements
Phenoh strives to provide hydration, nutrition and performance supplements of the highest quality using where possible natural and organic ingredients.
You shouldn’t have to choose between what works and what’s good for you.
Our products deliver premium plant-based nutrients and hydrating electrolytes in shelf-stable drink mix products while eliminating the use of acidic preservatives.
Powered by our exclusive Perfect pH system, Phenoh hydrates you faster than water alone – WITHOUT the sugar and acids that work against your body, helping you to quickly replace Electrolytes lost through exercise and movement.
All Phenoh products are powered by body-friendly minerals PHOSPHATE + BICARBONATE for amazing benefits that improve your health and performance.
We never over-process our products. That means absolutely no any artificial ingredients that lower the effectiveness, quality, and absorption of ingredients.
We offer a complete line of Superfood-infused drink mix nutrition supplements for when your body needs them most...
Replenish Hydration SuperBooster
Our naturally supercharged hydration drink goes beyond just Electrolytes with recovery-boosting Superfoods and Antioxidant Support from Complete Vitamin C, D + Zinc so you can quickly bounce back from symptoms of dehydration and feel like yourself again. REPLENISH is specially formulated to rapidly hydrate your body as well as combat joint pain, provide powerful anti-inflammatory support and to promote bone, muscle, and skin health.
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Focus Energy SuperBooster
FOCUS is the perfect product for those desiring more concentration and focus. A Matcha-based productivity drink for all-day energy – WITHOUT the jitters or crash. With Electrolytes, and Vitamin C, B + Zinc, Phenoh FOCUS provides the perfect daily boost for mind + body.
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Defend Immunity SuperBooster
Boost your daily wellness the easy way, remain healthy and recover quicker with superfood ingredients plus, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, and Zinc for the body’s natural immune responses.
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PERFORM Endurance SuperBooster
The Next Generation of Sports Hydration, PERFORM is powered by the revolutionary science of Perfect pH® Rapid Hydration to quickly offset acidic load and rapidly deliver the nutrients the body needs to hydrate and fuel athletic endurance.
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CHILL Relaxation SuperBooster
Introducing a new, deliciously aromatic night-time herbal drink for relaxation and muscle recovery. Rapidly hydrates with 6 Electrolytes and 84 Trace Minerals while maintaining your pH Balance so you can easily find your Zen and recover better after a full day of work and exercise.
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Not sure where to start? Grab our Complete Package and try them out for yourself...