July 11, 2018

Breanne Nalder SP2 SpirulinaEat your greens! We’ve heard it our whole lives, whether it was from our mothers or in adult lives as we strive to eat perfectly. That line has always stuck with me. In fact, anyone who knows me will tell you that you can catch me with a green smoothie every morning and a “trough” of a salad every night. Healthy food is my job though, so maybe it’s easier for me to keep up with my nutrition. Nope, it takes work! I understand that it’s not easy to eat like a rabbit all day every day. Our lives are busy, plain and simple, so we turn to supplements to help us get all the essential nutrients.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN), when making recommendations for supplement use, I want to be sure to emphasize that we should get as much nutrition from real food as we can. More specifically, endurance athlete’s bodies demand more vitamins and minerals than the average person to keep up with the massive hours of training. Therefore, we turn to supplements to maintain performance and also recover properly. Note that by definitionsupplements are meant to make up for what may lack in our regular diet.

Choosing nutrient-dense foods will help you perform better, feel stronger, and lend to your long-term health. The simplest tip I can give is to eat in COLOR. If your plate is full of a variety of colors, you are more likely to be getting most your necessary nutrients. But again, you may still need supplements to get essential nutrients that you can’t get enough of from your dinner salad. You may be asking yourself, “how do I know if I need supplements?” or “how do I apply this idea to my everyday life choices?”

This may sound dorky, but the best way my cyclist brain can put this is that SP2 Lifebridges the gap between supplements and real food. Spirulina is an ultimate superfood. You can tell by how dark green it is that it is packed with nutrition. If you look at the nutrition facts label, a single serving of SP2 provides a complete plant-based protein, it’s a multi-vitamin, and has many vital minerals including bio-available iron, which is hard to find in a supplement. This is merely scratching the surface. I will dive into the nutrition science of each of these properties of spirulina in future blogs.

The takeaway message today is that a body well-fueled with spirulina will undoubtedly perform better. Supplement use is a complex web on information, so talk with a dietitian before changing your diet or buying a bunch of bottles of pills/powders/potions. Instead, use real food (in this case a supplement comprised solely of real food) to fuel your machine of a body and reach your ultimate potential.

Breanne Nalder, MS, RDN has a Master’s degree in nutrition with an emphasis in sports dietetics from the University of Utah. A recently retired professional road cyclist, she still competes in road racing and gravel grinding, all while running the nutrition program atPLAN7 Endurance Coaching. For customized coaching, contact breanne@plan7coaching.com. Follow her adventures on social media via Instagram Facebook Twitter

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