Supplements are a way to supplement an already sound diet – they’re also a great way to start a healthy lifestyle. You may be asking, “why should I use a supplement?” In our mind, there are many reasons (we are a supplement company after all), among them:
- You lead a healthy lifestyle and are looking to improve an already working system.
- You need an entry point to begin a healthy lifestyle.
- You lead a very busy life, and need healthy options which can help you excel in all areas while on the go.
While supplements never will and never should be your entire dietary lifestyle, you can use them as either a way to enhance your current efforts, or as your launching off point for bigger changes ahead.
Why should I use supplements?
Let’s begin by diving deeper into each of the above statements. In these, we’ll unpack the statement itself, and understand how it can apply to your unique situations, and the question of why I should use supplements.
You lead a healthy lifestyle and are looking to advance beyond what you’ve been doing
There is always low hanging fruit you can jump on when beginning a lifestyle change. If you feel this statement applies to you, however, you probably have already eaten that fruit…maybe twice.
You shop the perimeter of the grocery store and know to eat protein and vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruit, a few healthy starches (hello potatoes, whole grains, and rice), and to limit your added sugar intake.
You’re also making the choice to limit how many treat days you’re giving yourself, and you’re skipping the random dessert without meaning.
All of that said, you could still benefit from supplements if you have a specific need. Perhaps you’re an early riser, and you could use a little jolt of energy before taking on your workout. If that’s the case, looking for a healthy and clean pre-workout can be a great idea. Even better if you’re going to workout in a fasted state, as the BCAAs in some pre-workout mixes will help you retain muscle without having to eat before you sweat.
Or, maybe you are in need of some needed recovery. You’ve been squatting and lifting heavy, and your joints are just taking a bit of a beating. While resistance training is great for your body and your joints (when done properly), this doesn’t mean you won’t experience some inflammation from time to time.
At those moments, a fish oil supplement, or turmeric supplement, can be really helpful to keep you feeling your best and moving toward your goals.
The other area we constantly see already-healthy people in need of support is with protein intake. A high protein diet has been associated with myriad benefits, and getting in the recommended quantities can be a legitimate challenge. In these situations, a clean whey protein isolate or a plant-based protein supplement can be extremely useful.
You are looking for a way to begin a healthy lifestyle.
Using supplements as a launching point for an overall healthy lifestyle is a great answer to the, “why should I use supplements,” question.
At the end of the day, you make so many of your choices purely from habit. Many studies have shown between 75% and 90% of your daily choices are completely habit-based. With that knowledge, we know that getting yourself to a place where making healthy choices is simply what you do, and is no longer a conscious choice, is the end goal.
How do we begin the process of making this happen? Everyone is different, but for some of us it begins with what we choose to have first thing. If we’re in the habit of choosing a large, sugar-sweetened, whipped-cream-topped coffee beverage, that isn’t setting you up for success. Trying a sugar-free, naturally sweetened pre-workout like Red Leaf could help in this situation.
As you begin to make small, healthy choices, your bigger choices fall in line, because you no longer identify with choosing the unhealthy option. Why would you choose to get the cheeseburger at lunch when you already have made a smart decision at breakfast? It isn’t who you are anymore.
Does this make every decision easy? Of course not, but it can be a way to begin setting yourself up for success.
Your busy lifestyle is getting in the way of your health.
When you’re living a busy lifestyle and still trying to make healthy choices, even the smallest addition to your daily task list can feel like a lot. You already manage to get your kids to school on time, make a healthy dinner every night, and actually grocery shop – how much more can you handle?
In moments like these, supplements can be really helpful.
In our opinion, the most helpful supplement of all for busy people is a sound protein powder. Protein is expensive to buy at convenience stores, and to carry with you. Carbohydrates are simple – fresh fruit travels conveniently (heck bananas and citrus even have a built in wrapper) and starchy carbs are always easy to buy on the road (hello, whole wheat sub). Fats are also easily taken with you in the form of individual nut packs, very dark chocolate, and hummus or avocado dipping packs.
Where does this leave protein? Either expensive or hard to consume. Sure, you can buy all-natural jerky varieties (unless you’re not a meat eater) but these are upwards of $10 per bag in the gas station. You can bring pre-cooked protein options with you – but how are you keeping them from going bad?
A good, clean protein powder is a wonderful product to keep in your car or gym bag, so any time you’re in need of a quick, protein-heavy snack, it’s only an easy grab away. Be sure to keep a blender bottle on hand, too.
We believe in getting the majority of you nutrients and dietary needs from a variety of whole food sources. Supplements can be a way to either support your goals, enhance your healthy lifestyle, or to simply quick start your path toward a healthier you. They don’t ever go in place of food, but they can be a game-changing addition when used in a thoughtful manner.