Hi, I’m Dr. Stephen Barkow and I want to thank everybody for submitting their questions to “Ask The Doctor” for Illuminutri.com. Got a good question from Jim, who asks “Which supplements or vitamins should I be taking for general daily maintenance?”
I think it’s advantageous for everyone to be taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement. Take a high quality supplement that provides all your basic needs. It’s very difficult to get all these nutrients on a daily basis from your diet. In addition, I highly recommend an omega 3 fish oil every day. I recommend using a triglyceride form so it’s more readily used and absorbed by your body. Vitamin B supplementation is also essential. It’s very difficult to get adequate quantities of B vitamins, particularly during times of stress. And I recommend a B vitamin and I recommend taking it in the morning.
Oral forms are excellent if you get a high quality product. There are B vitamins that are available in injectable or subliminal form. These are more readily absorbed. But if you take a high quality B vitamin complex, this can also provide adequate vitamin b on a daily basis. If you’re working out or if you’re over the age of 30 or 40, and having any type of joint issues I recommend taking a high quality joint support formula. This normally contains some forms of collagen and ideally some other nutrients to optimize absorption and utilization of those collagen products.
If you wish to add something to the basic formula I’ve outlined above, I would recommend adding antioxidants. Your body is always under oxidative stress and it’s a great thing to have a comprehensive antioxidant formula.
Jo Lynn writes: “I have just started a new fitness program” (great job Jo Lynn) “and I am find I am really sore (quads, shoulders, neck). I have confirmed with my trainer that I’m doing the routines with proper form. This extreme soreness in my legs makes it hard to walk and sleep.”
First, a couple of things. I just want to make sure that if you’re having diffuse muscle soreness that this is a reaction to your workout. If this is because of your workout and only takes place after your workouts during the recovery phase then that’s fine. If you’re having severe muscle soreness all the time then it’s important to make sure you don’t have some other disorder that causes muscle soreness, such as myositis or some other rheumatological condition.
Jo Lynn, you also mentioned shoulder pain. It’s important to distinguish between muscle pain and joint pain. If you’re having pain in the musculature of the shoulder, such as the deltoids after doing a workout for that body part, then that’s fine. If it’s the shoulder joint itself, then you should do modified exercises so you don’t have that joint pain. When you’re talking about joints, the motto of “no pain no gain” does not apply. If you’re having joint pain from workouts, you should modify that workout so you don’t have that joint pain.
Muscle soreness is very common and it is then followed by a rebuilding period as you develop the muscles in different ways. It is very important to support your body so it can adapt to your new routine and help you build muscle.
There are several things you can do for this soreness. One of the basics is a good stretching routine before and after your exercise program. If you have a lot of tightness and nots in the muscles, then some myofascial release in using a roller can be very effective before your pre-workout stretch.
After workouts or on off days, massages can be a great modality to help your muscles recover. As far as nutrients, the supplements I outlined in the first question to Jim about daily maintenance apply here also.
In addition, it’s imperative you get adequate hydration both during and after your workout. The other important things in order to help your muscles recover and build are adequate supply of electrolytes and include magnesium and calcium. Also, as you’re building muscle, you need a good supply of high quality proteins in your diet.
Another great aid for soreness of both muscles as well as other soft tissues is IllumiNutri’s joint and disc support cream. This provides a lot of individuals a great deal of relief, both with chronic pain and post workout pain.
We have a question from a young woman in Chile that states “my dad is drinking too much Coca-Cola every day. He is a busy business man who drives long distances and has a hectic life. What can be done to provide the energy necessary as a healthy alternative? He has gained weight and there is a history of hypertension and diabetes in the family.”
Well, that’s an excellent question. That’s a problem we have in North America as well. This is an easy pattern to get into, particularly for somebody who’s driving long distances. Caffeine is addictive and sugar can be habit forming. The unfortunate thing about both of these ingredients in Coca-Cola, sugar and caffeine, is they are both initially energizing but both are followed by the inevitable crash as the effect of the substances wear off. With caffeine you can have withdrawal symptoms and also fatigue. And with sugar wearing off you get both fatigue and cravings.
This is a difficult pattern to get out of. What I recommend is, like with any addictive substance, that you gradually taper off. It’s much easier to gradually taper down on caffeine because you avoid the withdrawal effects. Gradually use less and less each day until you are down to none or perhaps a morning cup of coffee or tea. Many people when they cut down on the large doses of caffeine they’re used to taking find that if they get down to perhaps one caffeinated beverage a day it actually has more of an effect on them. When people are drinking caffeine all day they get to the point where they simply consume it nonstop to stay feeling normal.
It’s very important to get off of the processed sugar as well. The reason I recommend coffee or tea rather than a bottled beverage is you can add your own sweetener. And I would recommend using a low glycemic index sweetener such as raw organic agave. By using a sweetener with a low glycemic index you reduce the glucose spikes in your bloodstream. The more sugar you consume, the more you crave it and in large part, this is due to the spikes in your blood sugar.
You also mentioned a history of hypertension and diabetes in the family. If there’s a history of hypertension or if you have hypertension or even borderline hypertension, you are well advised to cut back or cut out caffeine. High quantities of processed sugar are inadvisable in someone at risk of diabetes or someone who has diabetes. And as an aside, since you mentioned a history of hypertension and diabetes in the family, it is important to do regular screenings for both blood pressure and for diabetes with blood tests through your doctor.
Part of consuming large quantities of these beverages, for example, while driving is there’s a habit to drinking these beverages as well. There’s nothing wrong with staying hydrated. There are several unsweetened carbonated beverages that have a hint of natural flavor that are delicious and may help with your craving for a carbonated beverage.
I want to thank everyone for the excellent questions. I’m sorry I could only get to three of them today, but we will be having more “Ask The Doctor” episodes. If you go to the Illuminutri.com website there are also other educational videos. I hope we can assist you in leading a healthier and happier life.