Interesting headlines this week about how unnecessary multivitamins are; they’re a waste of money; they might be harmful etc. etc.  As you know, there are always multiple sides to any story.  So I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in the latest NSCA Performance Training Journal (Dec ’13) by Brian St. Pierre and John Berardi
titled “Three Steps to help clients and athletes get their eating on track.”  If you’re not familiar with John Berardi and Precision Nutrition, he’s considered a leading expert in the field of nutrition and athletics, bottom line is that he’s knows his stuff.

So here are the three steps:

 #1: Identify and Remove Deficiencies
 #2 Adjust food type and amount
 #3 Adjust food and Macronutrient composition

 What I found most interesting given this week’s vitamin controversy was their info for step #1.   
Excerpts here:  “Surprisingly, people often struggle with the results not because of their entire eating lifestyle, but due to a dietary deficiency……..
A recent study revealed that it is very difficult to avoid a dietary deficiency from eating just food alone.  By analyzing 70 athlete’s diets, this study showed that every single person was deficient in three or more nutrients while some were deficient in up to 15 different nutrients…………Not having enough essential nutrients can result in altered energy levels, appetite, strength, endurance, and mood……New clients often experience deficiencies in water, vitamins and minerals, protein, and essential fatty acids. While this may seem daunting to fix, simply staying hydrated, eating more foods that are high in protein and essential fatty acids, and consuming more of the vitamins or minerals that they lack is usually the best way to improve their nutritional health. (Emphasis added).

Sounds like a multivitamin and some fish oil is pretty reasonable insurance to me!

Steps 2 & 3 go into general recommendations for men vs. women and ecto-, endo-, and mesomorph body types.   Won’t go into that here, but If you want a copy of the article, let me know and I’ll send you one.

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