Proper supplementation may be a missing link that will take your performance and health to optimal levels.
Proper supplementation may be a missing link that will take your performance and health to optimal levels.

Did you know that professional athletes, on average, die about 10 years earlier than the average American?

That stat is contradictory to what most people would think considering their elite level of physical fitness.

Even more surprising is the average lifespan of NFL players.

According to the NFL Players Association, the average life expectancy of an NFL player is 58 years of age.

That’s almost 20 years earlier than the average American!

What could possibly be causing these highly conditioned athletes to die even sooner than the typical, “dad-bod” sporting 9-5’er who’s exercise consists of walking the dog around the block a few nights a week to “burn off” the extra piece of pie he had for dessert?

There are a number of possible factors for this. The theory that’s most applicable to the subject of this article though relates to mineral deficiencies.

It goes without saying that a lot of water is lost during a training session via sweat.

Sweating is essential, as the evaporation that follows cools the body and works to a maintain a homeostatic body temperature.

The problem though, is that important minerals are also lost through sweat, which can eventually lead to chronic deficiencies.

Dr. Joel Wallach, a veterinarian later turned medical doctor and naturopath, performed over 17,000 animal autopsies during a research project for the National Institute of Health with the goal of gaining insight into the effect of air pollution on mortality.

What he discovered however was that the most common causes of mortality (death) were due to simple nutritional deficiencies.

Of course, deficiencies aren’t the only trigger for disease.

Toxicity is also a factor (think of the 150-170 lbs of refined sugars that the typical American consumes on a yearly basis).

Addressing potential deficiencies however should be the main goal of your supplemental strategy.

I’ve seen a lot of these “most important supplements” lists that really miss the mark, buy into the marketing hype and recommend products that not only provide little health and performance benefits, but also contain potentially harmful ingredients.

That brings me to my next point.. not all supplements are created equal.

Products in the same category, but that are made by different manufacturers, can be like night and day in terms of their benefits and effects.

Take Centrum multivitamins for example. Multivitamins can be a good thing, but if that multivitamin is made by a pharmaceutical company (Pfizer in Centrum’s case)┬áthere exists a conflict of interest.

Why would you trust a company that profits so greatly from illness to produce a product that will prevent you from becoming ill?

Doing so creates a “fox guarding the hen house” scenario.

An analytical look at the ingredient listing of Centrum multivitamins confirms that the product was formulated to give people a false sense of security while providing very little actual benefit.

The nutrients are added in some of the least absorbable forms, the vitamin itself comes in a tablet form (poor absorption strike 2) and the additional ingredient list is about a paragraph long and contains additives (like magnesium stearate) that further interfere with absorption and beyond that, some of the ingredients are flat out harmful (like the hydrogenated oils for example).

Just as there can be a big difference in the quality of seemingly simuliar foods (corn & grain fed factory farmed cows vs pastured, grass fed cows for example), the same is true for your supplements, which is why I’ll provide some brand recommendations as well.

It’s also important to note that supplements aren’t meant to replace a healthy diet.

There are nutrients in foods that surely haven’t even been discovered yet, and
popping a few pills per day won’t fully counteract poor eating habits.

While the supplement recommendations that follow are listed in numerical order, they’re not actually ranked in order of importance. They’re all important and
beneficial, particularly if you have an existing deficiency.