A “one size fits one” approach to food choices and to supplement choices. An individual’s nutritional needs are as individual as their fingerprints, so understanding what causes nutritional needs to be different can help a person choose the best combination of foods and supplements to best meet their needs.
Other supplement companies often take a “one size fits all” approach, combining ingredients in amounts that appeal to a larger segment of the population.
When more information is available, the more precise a supplement decision can become. Recent strides in home testing now provide biomedical information to an individual – a few swabs and finger pricks at home will provide access to a multitude of lab results, a map of the bacteria that make up the microbiome, and an analysis of an individual’s genetic makeup. What would very recently have taken multiple appointments and lab visits is now available at home, allowing a person and his or her health-care practitioner to make more precise decisions and easily track changes over time.
What you can do? Head-to-toe assessment
When assessing your own nutritional needs, following this head-to-toe assessment will help identify gaps in your current fueling ritual and also inform your supplement decisions.
- Check your foundation – Before anything else, basic human needs must be met. Are you meeting your energy (calories), hydration, and essential vitamin and mineral needs? Take time to assess your total calorie needs and whether your current food choices meet your baseline nutrient needs.
- Check your habits – Are you omitting large food groups from your diet, such as meat, dairy, vegetables, nuts, or grains? Identify which nutrients the missing group contains and then identify other sources of these nutrients.
- Check your health – Do you have a health-care practitioner who is an expert in nutrition? If not, then identify one who has a nutrition degree (such as an RD) or a degree in natural medicine (such as an ND). These practitioners can help you understand how combining food and supplements play a role in supporting your good health as well as providing guidance for your health concerns.
- Check your gut – “You are what you eat” can be modified to, “You are what you eat – and what you can absorb.” Support healthy digestion with “good bacteria” from probiotics and enzymes that aid in the breakdown of food.
- Check your activity – As activity increases, the demand for energy and certain nutrients increase. So make sure you account for the extra calories and nutrients to help you maximize your efforts.
- Check your head – The brain requires a lot of energy and nutrients to perform the tasks required of it. Supporting the brain and the nervous system with the necessary nutrients to perform and recover is often overlooked.
- Check your stress level – Stress comes in many forms – physical (training), environmental (chaotic or loud work environments), metabolic, or emotional. Be aware of sources of stress and the demands it places on your body and how your body responds.
- Check your sleep – With a busy schedule, sleep is often the victim of time management and is often suboptimal. Supplements can support normal sleep hygiene by supporting regular sleep-wake cycles, night time cravings, and perceived sleep quality.
The more you know about you, the more personal your supplement regimen becomes. We believe in supporting your body when you’re healthy and when you’re not. A smart supplementation plan can counteract suboptimal food intake, improve your health, reduce health-care costs, and promote your quality of life. Arming yourself with data and information that is personal to you will allow you to truly make sure your supplement regimen is “one size fits one.”