Why supplement?

Why supplement?

Roland Pankewich

A change in environment can often lead to a fresh perspective. As I currently sit in a park getting ready to talk to people about the ATP supplement line, I find myself wondering about some fundamental questions. We often get caught up in the complicated aspects of health and wellness, and forget that complex concepts once had simple origins. I would like to take a moment to ask you, the ATP readership, to ponder exactly why we should be supplementing in the first place.

Some would argue that health supplements are a waste of money and, in some cases, dangerous. However, as with most things, the dose makes the poison, and if you actually consider the dangers of supplement use and the annual number of related deaths compared to pharmaceutical use, that argument quickly falls apart. In some cases, certain supplements can interact negatively with medications, but those people need to understand that they cannot compare themselves to a healthy person. Safety and danger become relative concepts. I believe there is a significant advantage to addressing the reason for supplementing in the first place.

The argument usually starts with, “Our grandparents never took supplements and they were healthy!” Granted, the older generations were definitely healthier. They were also tougher, and had qualities such as patience! My grandmother’s family farmed a plot of land in northern Manitoba in the early 1900s. What was different back then? EVERYTHING! The food was better and more nutrient-dense, the air was cleaner, chronic stress wasn’t really an issue, the people were more active, slept more, and weren’t hardwired to technology—they simply lived their lives. I challenge anyone to show me this type of environment in the developed Western world without living off the grid!

The biggest challenge for humans these days is their environment and just how different it has become. Ultimately, the environment is what will dictate our health, and the worse ours is, the more we’ll need to do to offset it! Knowing that we have to start looking through different lenses when it comes to maintaining our health, if our food contains fewer of the essential nutrients that we need to survive, then we need to find them elsewhere. If we are under chronic stress and we know that humans were meant to endure only periods of short-term stress, we need to find ways to sustain our organism during those times. What if we want to perform at a high level as an athlete? That’s a much different existence than just living a simple life, and the demands we place on our bodies for performance and recovery will need to be met. In my opinion, when someone says to me that supplements are a waste of money, they’re looking at the situation in black and white. Life, unfortunately, comes in various shades of grey.

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