Saturday 19 January 2013 – Supplementation & Considerations

Supplements in their contextual sense may have a lot of benefit for an athlete or individual who would be utilising its purpose, in other words, someone who is active enough and recruiting and engaging the necessary adaptations in order to gain the benefit and utility of the supplement… There are also supplements which may be of great assistance when an individual is experiencing pathological symptoms, which are severe enough to require additional nutrient support for all bodily functions.

The questions you must ask yourself when supplementing are the following:

What is the source of supplement? Is this a reliable, true reflection of what you should be ingesting? Is the supplement sourced sustainably? In other words is the priority the quality of the supplement, not the profit margin? You may ask what relevance this has? The integrity of where it is sourced is important for it outlays the intention of the organisation supplying the supplement. Il let you contemplate that further…

What is its purpose? Does the supplement serve you? Do you require it? Is it necessary for your personal physiological development and enhancement?

Are there any side effects? Are there negative side effects by supplementing? Can it be taken with other supplements safety? These are considerations that should be taken in to account.

Processing mechanism? How is this supplement processed? How far removed from its natural state is it? How ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ in nature is the supplement you are taking? Is it synthetically based? Are petrochemical processes involved?

Quality of supplement? Is the quality of the ingredients at a particular level which is ‘clean’ and can be optimally utilised by the body?

Does the hand fit the glove? This means: Is this particular supplement the right fit for your condition or preventative measure? Does it suit your body type, will you process it effectively and efficiently? 

Long term effects? Are there any long term effects documented? Have longitudinal, peer reviewed, scientific studies been undertaken? If not, this doesn’t mean you should avoid it, it means you should simply do your due diligence and research the product and its affects on the human system.

It must be known that supplementing is important in this day and age. There are many external factors, most, which are out of our immediate control, which often impact (in a negative manner) our lifestyles and health and factors, which influence the way our bodies behave, act and react at a cellular level. There are pollutants in our atmosphere; toxins in our soils; petrochemicals such as pesticides and herbicides sprayed on the vast majority of foods provided to the mainstream and general public; the use of petrochemicals in everyday life, non-nutritious, nutrient deficient foods, which are eaten daily; external psychological stressors, which are caused by our sociocultural constructs, relationships and often lack of insight, awareness and understanding of life; plastics and poisonous substances such as insecticides sprayed daily in our communities and house holds. All of these factors and more contribute to a poor quality of health, which is defined by a poor autoimmune system, poor internalised processing capabilities and poor absorption of necessary nutrients.

Therefore, observing these environmental factors and causes of poor health it is somewhat necessary to supplement. The key is to eat and source as many nutrient rich, diverse, local and chemical free foods as possible and eat them, drink ‘clean’ water and never use supplements as a substitute for real wholesome foods! When you supplement, supplement with super-foods and supplements which strengthen your digestive system, your immune system and the clarity of your blood. Ideally supplementation would not be necessary, for we would obtain all our nutrients and internal homeostasis from our foods. Unfortunately the reality is that toxins in our lives are present at the moment and we must do what we can to optimise our personal and collective health…

There are particular supplements being promoted here, only those that will be of the greatest benefit to you. Do you research, educate yourself on the manner in which the body operates and immerse yourself in to health, wellbeing and life… SS.

supplements - The Labyrinth of Life - Stef Sifandos

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3 Responses to Saturday 19 January 2013 – Supplementation & Considerations

  1. Joe T says:

    I think i know what your answer is going to be Stef, but what do you think about the other kinds of “supplements” that certain sportsmen use?

  2. Hi Joe, great to hear from you. I am not sure if there is a short answer to this subject matter as it can be complex and the vantage points one may take are many.

    Is legality a means for the ‘right path’? If it is, then steroids or illegal performance enhancers are not good.

    From the perspective of health, long term and short term, steroids are not good. They are dangerous, unnatural and synthetic (for the most part) to the human body. This is not natural and how we should live. It is counterintuitive to biophysical development and psychosocial progress, for these synthetics block the receptors in our brain, cause extensive, rapid and accelerated damage to our vital organs, which in turn ultimately support life. Simply put, health maintains life, foreign substances deter life, steroids are a foreign substance, hence they hinder life. This goes agains instinct and biology.

    From the perspective of competition and win at all cost, steroids are permissible. This, of course is a short sighted view though. There is no longevity in this philosophical construct… It much aligns with our current (and dominant) socio-cultural model of operation (Capitalism).

    How is this for another example… Person A (PA) & B (PB), compete in boxing. PA is very educated on supplementation and takes all legal and natural and non natural body enhancing performance enhancers. PA makes it their business to educate themselves on their body. PB, only trains, hard just like PA, but lacks the insight in to additional supplementation. Does this give PA an advantage, yes. Does it give PA an unfair advantage? Something to ponder…

    The other perspective is that the reality is that the vast majority of athletes when competing at these elite levels are taking ‘illegal’ performance enhancers. Those who are realistically extremely good and at the higher end of their talent pool are there competing against those who are taking drugs. What to do? Legalise it, then it is ‘fair, isn’t it? Or is it???

    A tough one my friend. I am not sitting on the fence. My personal belief is I do not subscribe to steroid use within competition or within any other domains. I believe the body is capable of far more than it currently exhibits, and that this power stems from the mind. I am not naive either, the reality is that many people do take legal and illegal performance enhancers. At the end of it, you as an individual must deal and/or face your own integrity and be responsible to your actions for you and no one else.

    Using Lance Armstrong as an example, he simple got caught, others did not. He is a product of his culture, which has deep roots in competitive, selfish, individualistic and win at all costs behaviours (a complex topic)… Because I feel I am not naive and because I believe via direct experience that many elite level athletes take illegal and synthetic performance enhancers I also am aware of the hard work he put in… The training he has done, the perceived sacrifices, the hours, the commitment, the time, the pain and the suffering still count for something…

    Thank you…

    Your thoughts…


  3. Joe t says:

    good points stef.

    My opinion is that right and wrong lie on either side of the “natural” line. If i can eat a mandrake root (or a reduction, or a tea or similar) and it results in my body naturally increasing my testosterone levels than thats fine…

    if i have to ingest or inject a highly refined synthetic or chemically processed natural substance, then it is not fine.

    For me it is all about the human endeavour. the only reason Formual 1 exists as a sport is because when the automobile was invented, one guy said to another, I bet i can make “my car” faster than yours. There is a magic and purity in applying your mind to develop technologies to make cars lighter and faster purely for the purpose of speed.

    but, when you look at another speed race, ie the 100m sprint… well it exists because one guy said to another “I” can go faster than you… there is a difference between F1 and the 100m sprint. one involves men only, the other involves men and machine. applying artificial technology to F1 is acceptable because that is the premise of the sport. the human endeavour is achieved through what men can make machines do. in the 100m sprint it is different.. it is man vs man.. it is not man and his chemist vs man and his chemist.

    yes there is a blured line between supplementation and chemical enhancement. but as i said before, for me it is the “natural” line. If i could do what i’m doing with 1000 year old technology (ie, cooking, drying, fermenting, etc) and come up with the same result, then its ok… if i need high technology to creat the suppliment, then its not ok

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