Seeing the exponential risk increase with a higher oxygen consumption it is automatic to understand that the subjects most exposed to oxidative stress are athletes. Physical activity is associated with increased oxygen consumption. Only with a sufficient oxygen supply is our organism able to master the necessary metabolic processes. Mitochondria are the powerhouse of virtually every cell in the body and they generate approximately 90% of the body’s energy. When this reaction does not complete to a certain extent, free radicals are formed. These are physiological reactions to some extent. Our bodies need some free radicals to function. But too many leads to chemical changes. Free radicals are highly reactive, meaning they can easily cause changes in the body. Too many free radicals are dangerous because they cause damaging chemical reactions in the body. They are able to make significant changes to our DNA and the makeup of our cells. This causes our cells to die or mutate, which leads to serious diseases. Certain nutritional supplements (antioxidants) can prevent the inundation of the body with free radicals.
When the production of free aggressive oxygen radicals exceeds the capacity of the protective mechanisms, the amount of free radicals increases and oxidative stress occurs. This can be checked and proven by laboratory tests. In intense sports activities create oxidative stress. This can cause health problems such as inflammation, tendon and muscle pain, muscle soreness, fatigue, susceptibility to infection, and more. By slowly increasing the training intensity, an increase of the body’s own antioxidant capacity can be achieved. Properly dosed sports activities, especially in endurance sports, leads to an increase of the antioxidative capacity. For competitive sports athletes who do not adjust their training to health aspects, it comes to the formation of oxidative stress. This happens especially in extreme training and competitions (marathon, altitude training, anaerobic loads, etc.) and a diet that is not adapted for competitive athletes.
Nutrient deficiency in today’s food
So if you eat your fruits and vegetables, expose yourself to adequate sunlight, get plenty of sleep, and stay well hydrated, your body shouldn’t really need a supplemental source of vitamins and minerals, right? Wrong! Here are the reasons why you need to take high-quality supplements, no matter how healthy your lifestyle may be.
- Nutrient depletion in the soil.Modern farming techniques utilize fertilizers that actually deplete the soil of essential nutrients.
- Commercial harvesting, shipping processes, long-term food storage, processing, and the addition of preservatives degrades the nutrient content of food.
- Pesticides, herbicides, and chemicals found in the modern food supply are combined with chemicals in water and environmental contamination from elements.
These synergistic elements vastly increase our need for extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to combat the formation of free radicals and the attack upon our metabolism and immune system. And this is something your daily food cannot prevent you from. Research showed that the majority of the population has a deficiency of Folic Acid, Vitamin D, B1, B2, B12, Calcium, Vitamin C and E. By running a blood test a doctor can determine how well a body is provided with important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It is important to understand that deficiency symptoms with slowed metabolism and diminishing performance even occur when the blood levels are „normal“. Especially with stress and other strains, an emphasis should be on keeping an optimal diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Daily 5-7 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables + sufficient supply of protein from 1.4 to 1.8 g per kg body weight + sufficient supply of omega 3 fatty acids from highquality oil and fatty fish.
Food Supplements? YES – but only of the highest quality!
Without optimum nutrition, you cannot achieve optimum health. And without nutritional supplements, you cannot achieve optimum nutrition. It’s as simple as that. So there is no way to live a modern life without taking nutritional supplements. But it is important to ensure that the quality of the supplements is of the highest quality. This means that the source is purely natural and not synthetic. They need to be free of additives. Furthermore, they should not be heated during the production process to ensure that vitamins and amino acid structures do not get damaged. Also when taking proteins you should pay attention to the highest quality. For omega-3 fatty acids, the proportion of EPA and DHA is a key criterion. Taking nutritional supplements of bad quality is of no benefit for your body. It even could be harmful.