The better you treat your body, the better body you will have. What do I mean by “better” body? In every measurable way, all aspects of your body; its structure, systems, and functions, will be more ideal and superior directly related to how well you treat it. It will be leaner, stronger, more resistant to disease, have more energy, recover better, perform better, age slower, etc. Of course, different people will have their own individual experiences. But if you want your body to be its best, how you treat it is a deciding factor. Even beyond getting regular exercise, the biggest factor in how well we treat our body is how well we nourish it. What you put in your body can make it better or worse.
When it comes to taking care of our bodies, our priorities have shifted. The tendency lately is to start at the end. We live in the most medicated society of all time. Our bodies are subjected to various drugs and chemicals in an attempt to combat the effects of years of abuse and neglect. Even in the fitness community, supplements and drugs related to performance are often prioritized over the foundations of health and proper nourishment. We can’t be truly fit and healthy if we don’t start from and maintain a program of optimal nutrition. Skipping this step will lead to a lack of progress for the fitness enthusiast, and ultimately a greater likelihood of disease and illness for everyone. We have to learn to properly prioritize the things that will help us the most. We have to practice the most important steps of treating our bodies better in the most effective order. Here’s a priority breakdown to consider:
1) Quality of Food: Eat a variety of nutrient dense, high quality whole foods each day.
2) Amount of Food: Eat the right amount of food-based calories to meet your energy and recovery needs.
3) Balance of Macronutrients: Try to consume the ideal ratio of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water to nourish your body and promote ideal body composition.
4) Amount and Balance of Micronutrients: Consume foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
5) Supplement to Combat Deficiencies: Take nutritional supplements to address any lack of nutrients or ideal nutrient qualities for optimal health that exist in your diet.
6) Supplement to Optimizing Performance: Properly use proven nutritional supplements to maximize training performance and recovery environments.
Taking the most advanced supplements, or even drugs, will not give you the same level of longterm results if you don’t have the foundational basics in place. Think about it. Using a performance enhancing pre-workout formula won’t be nearly as effective if you don’t have the right amount of calories for energy, protein/amino acid building blocks for growth, and basic vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to enable the metabolic processes for success. Taking medication from your doctor because you have high blood pressure or diabetes won’t help you as much as it should if you don’t make the changes to your diet and lifestyle and correct the things that initially caused, and still contribute to those problems. If you don’t take care of your car, there will come a time when you won’t be able to fix everything that is wrong and it will simply stop running. The same is true with your body. The better you treat it, the longer it will last and perform at the highest level.
It’s easy to get caught up in the glitz and glamour of what popular or seemingly more advanced people claim to be doing. We can be swayed by the shiny ad promising cutting edge new options. But if we don’t hold true to the importance of regularly adhering to the day-to-day basics. If we don’t nourish ourselves with the right types of foods in the proper amounts, of the highest qualities we can, it will be difficult for even the best, most technologically advanced options to make any lasting difference. Start with basic quality nutrition that feeds, fuels, and nourishes your body. Then, if you add high quality supplements to that, the extra effort you put into your fitness pursuits can give you the type of results you’ve earned.
Photo: C. Redd