None Size Fits All

None Size Fits All
You’re a unique little snowflake, aren't you?!

Sounds like something your nan would say to you as a kid, but it’s true. How food, rest, supplementation and recovery impact me will be totally different to how those same modalities affect you.

Average calories are a great example. 2500 for a man, 2000 for a woman. The gap between the two stems chiefly from men having more muscle mass – typically 10-20% more. As a result, their bodies burn more calories as they have a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is how many calories they need to function normally.

Naturally, then, men and women will need differing levels of nutrients. The back of any packet doesn’t distinguish between genders. Nor does it account for weight, height or activity levels. I’m five foot, 60KG and work on my feet all day. You’re 90KG, six foot five and work in an office… what we require to function differs radically.

Size Matters

Bigger people need to consider the way their body adapts to nutrients. Obesity, for example, leads to a decreased concentration of Vitamin D in the blood. If you have more body fat, you’ll need a higher dose of Vit D. 

Similarly, zinc and magnesium deficiencies are more common in obese people, “due to the increased need for these elements as they’re linked with carbs and fat metabolism.”

We aren’t outlining this to blow your head off. The intention’s to underline our broad individuality in terms of nutrition and supplementation.

The more you empower yourself to tinker with our behaviours, the more likely you’ll arrive at solutions that serve us. Sweeping general advice is a necessity for the population at large. On a personal level of performance enhancement, you require more initiative and precision.

Move More Need More

How active you are plays a massive part in your nutritional needs. B6, Folate, B12, Vit C, Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc are all used intensely during exercise. They’re also things you can find in ZAAG…

As mentioned at the top, your BMR is higher when you’re active. This leads to a greater need for micronutrients to support metabolism. Muscle tissue, too, requires more nutrients for maintenance than fat tissue.

It’s unsurprising, then, that the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada concluded that athletes’ micronutritional requirements can be as much as double those of the sedentary population. Yeah, carbs, fats and proteins are vital, but if you’re slumping, struggling to focus, or recovering poorly, consider what else is going on under your bonnet.

You’re Not Getting Any Younger

Sorry to remind you. The body gradually gets less brilliant as you age. Our systems slow down their ability to process what’s in our foods. Certain vitamins and nutrients become harder to absorb the older you get. This means you need to consider altering your diet as you age, even if it’s always served us in the past.

This is less an email full of answers and more one to probe you to reflect if your current set-up is serving you adequately. If you’re a Bog Standard Barry or Brenda, you might be alright following general advice.

Given you made it this far down the post, you’re probably pushing for a little more from your 24 hours. We’re notoriously deeply habitual creatures, so you may not have considered that what you need right now may well be vastly different to what served you five years ago.

How you define performance evolves as you age. If your behaviours and habits aren’t evolving in tandem, you’re missing a trick.

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