Living in a first-world country, malnourishment isn’t a national crisis. We live in a place of abundant food choices that come from all areas of the world. However, with all the healthy choices and variety we have available to us, we still fall short on essential nutrients. A strategy to combat malnourishment in the US has been to fortify and enrich foods to provide additional nutrients that are often lacking in our Standard American Diet (SAD). The first example was in 1924 when we began fortifying salt with iodine to prevent goiters. Then came the fortification of milk with vitamin D. Then bread with the enrichment of B vitamins. The everyday American way of eating wasn’t meeting daily nutrition standards for a healthy diet, thus the need for these additions to food products. You would think these measures would assure nutritional needs, but it turns out we are still struggling as a nation to reach optimal vitamin and mineral levels. Although we aren’t seeing many severe deficiencies that cause disease, the nation is still falling short on a healthy intake of many critical micronutrients. The Linus Pauling Institute reported, “94.3% of the US population do not meet the daily requirement for vitamin D, 88.5% for vitamin E, 52.2% for magnesium, 44.1% for calcium, 43.0% for vitamin A, and 38.9% for vitamin C.” How can we still be falling short? The answer is that we can’t rely on processed foods to reach our daily nutritional needs.
A well-rounded diet rich in nutrients requires the consumption of whole fruits and vegetables which, according to the CDC, about 90% of Americans fall short of. Living in such a fast-paced environment, cooking is not a priority, but a luxury. With fast food options everywhere at such low prices, it makes sense why so many people choose this way of eating. Transitioning into a healthier lifestyle takes time and effort. Fortunately, there are products that make this transition easier. Unlike fortification, which is adding plain vitamins and minerals into foods, powdered whole food blends can provide many of the essential nutrients you need without taking out the beneficial compounds of the plants themselves. Many vitamin and mineral supplements you see on the shelf today are synthetic. Yes, they provide you with an array of vitamins and minerals, but they lack the antioxidants that aid in the absorption and assimilation of these nutrients because they aren’t derived from plants.
Gnarly Nutrition has created a high-quality whole-food multivitamin that covers your bases. From simple fruits and vegetables like organic carrot, tomato, and tart cherry, to healthy fats like hemp seed and even probiotics and mushrooms, this well-rounded blend really has it all. Gnarly Performance Greens serves as fantastic nutritional insurance when you know you’ll have a tough time getting all your nutrients in during any given day. I personally mix one scoop in with my water every morning. I see an obvious difference in energy and focus throughout my day when I take it. The flavor is better than any other greens I’ve tried while containing less than one gram of sugar. Berry Acai is my favorite flavor.
Apart from a huge lack of whole foods in the American diet, we also lack proper hydration. Water is most essential for our body to function properly. We can go for several weeks without food, but just a few days without water. Considering our body is 60% water and our brains 73%, it is crucial we stay on top of hydration for simple bodily functions. Low-grade dehydration can cause constipation, dry skin, brain fog, joint pain, prolonged injury, prolonged recovery, and more. The standard recommendation is to drink half your weight in ounces every day. This is very hard to do for a lot of people so having an electrolyte mix to help your water go further is great. Gnarly Hydrate is an electrolyte mix that contains essential electrolytes including sodium and potassium. These minerals help the water enter the cells more efficiently so if you drink less water, it will go further. Living in the Salt Lake desert, I like to replenish with one scoop after runs longer than an hour and a half, and even just hour runs in mid-summer. My preferred flavor is Grapefruit.
Supplemental nutrition is great for everyone. Adding in a whole-foods based multivitamin and electrolytes, especially if you’re an athlete, will help you get the extra help you need to optimize your health. A diet high in whole foods serves as the gas for your engine and supplements like Gnarly Performance Greens and Gnarly Hydrate serve as the high-grade oil to keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently.
Ultrarunner and Nutritionist Jesse Rich started trail running in 2012. Ever since his first run in the mountains, Jesse has made running a part of his everyday life. Competing in international races and winning races like the Wasatch 100 in 2018, he has learned a lot about the sport by study and implementation. Apart from ultrarunning, personal training, and running coaching, Jesse also holds a Master’s degree in Nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine. He has been practicing on his own since 2018 and has been helping people become healthier ever since.