Sun, Sand and Supplementation?
By Luzaan Grewar – Dietician
Sun and sand are two S’s that are most commonly associated with the end of the year break-aways and holidays, but how does supplementation fit in?
Supplementation during relaxation can be even more beneficial to you than spending time on the beach. Lowered stress levels place your bowel in the sweet spot for absorption! Thus you will be absorbing so much more of the of the vital nutrients in your supplement.
How does this work?
Your body has certain systems that take control depending on the situation you are in. One is called the Fight or Flight (sympathetic nervous system) and the other the Rest and Digest (parasympathetic nervous system).
The Fight or Flight system prepares your body to be physically or mentally active. It increases your heart rate, opens your airways so that you can breathe more easily and inhibits digestion. Energy is only sent to areas in the body that are needed for survival. When you are being attacked by a bear, you really do not need to use energy to digest your last meal. You need energy to run away and get to safety.
The Rest and Digest system is responsible for conserving energy. It does this by lowering your heart rate, dilating the blood vessels (better blood flow), decreasing pupil size, increasing digestive juices and relaxing muscles in the gastrointestinal tract. This aids in absorption and digestion. Energy is being conserved and absorbed while you are not in a state of stress. This ensures that, if later a bear does attack, you will have enough energy to run away or fight!
When you are away on holiday or have lowered stress levels, the Rest and Digest system is active. That means that your absorption rate will be better than ever!
So, when you start packing your sunscreen and bathing suits, remember to pack your personal supplement first! You will thank yourself once you get back to the grindstone and you are feeling healthier and more energetic.