Hey Folks! Another one from me, as with gyms and wellness centres showing signs of opening up, I wanted to share with you some no-nonsense points to help you reflect on the good, bad and ugly aspects of the last few months – and of course come back stronger as we go into the latter part of the year.
First – A Reflection of what we’ve all been going through, and the most damaging aspects of lockdown on your health (forget the virus here).
Aside from catching the virus (which you can boost your chances of avoiding by skimming through the tips laid out here), there appears to be very little emphasis for anyone to maintain good health or even make the most of the saved time they have from the work-from-home culture thrust upon us in prioritising our health in a meaningful way.
And the results are telling.
Dr. Daisy Fancourt, Lead study author of the UK’s largest national study into the mental health of the population – started the week before lockdown commenced and funded by Nuffield Health – has found that the numbers for reported levels of anxiety are still higher than pre-lockdown normals, and (surprise surprise) are improving as lockdown measures are eased. This is only scraping the surface. A study conducted by The Times reported that 2 in 3. of us have gained weight since lockdown, with an independent study from Glasgow University finding that being overweight doubles the likelihood of virus contraction.
Advice has remained unwavering and monotonous – sanitise your hands and stay alert/indoors/2 metres apart. Time to prioritise our wellbeing. In light of this, I’ve condensed the most crucial, fundamental aspects of daily living that can cause the most damage to your quality of life if dismissed – and that are most at risk in lockdown circumstances:
- Lack of Sunlight
- Day/night cycle a-synchronisation and melatonin imbalance
- Excess sugar
Notice how physical exercise isn’t mentioned here. Well, there’s good reason for this. Firstly, I’ve given a fair share of tips on maintaining lean body mass with no equipment and some good ol’ discipline. Secondly, I certainly don’t need to tell you what you already know. No amount of supplementation will make up for inactivity – if that’s why you’re reading this, you’ve come to the wrong place buddy!
How can Supplementation help ME?
If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to supplements, then join the club. With thousands of different brands seemingly promising to offer the same whey protein, pea protein, cassein, BCAA or MCT oil as the next guy – its hardly surprising that the market has become saturated with hyped up branding and some humorously generic and un-tailored products.
If there’s one thing you learn from this article, its that this doesn’t have to be the case. Good supplements do exist, and I’m going to exemplify this for you quickly with a case-and-point.
Have I gone nuts? No really, viagra sums my point up nicely. Whilst not ostensibly a supplement, but instead a mass-used commercial drug, it was originally meant for lowering blood pressure until the prominent side effect was, um, indisputable. My point is, a blockbuster drug by Pfizer has some stark parallels with micronutrients we see sold all round the world. Some will have stellar effects on those with a predisposition to benefit, whilst having no, or in many cases, detrimental effects on others. Read on…
2. Vitamin B12, Folic Acid and the C1 Cycle
Getting technical here, so gear up! The C1 cycle is responsible for methylation of substrates in your body. Methylation is really great. It actively modifies the inherent responses of cellular and biochemical processes, for the better. To name a couple, encouraging apoptosis (automatic cell-recognised death, required to prevent cancer growth) and reversing inflammation would be my top 2.
Anyway. Folic acid has been well established as a safe and reliable go-to supplement for everyone looking for ‘improved health and red blood cell count’, whilst also being a key facilitator of the C1 cycle. That’s all well and good, but not if you find yourself in a subset of people who find the increase in DNA expression from promoted methylation leads to a greater chance of lung cancer expression, or those with the SHMT1 gene positioned at the wrong address in your genome so folic acid ends up yet further knocking your mood and inflaming your body (as is found with many individuals with autism, and discussed in detail by fellow biohacker Dave Asprey in this episode
OK, I get it. Supplements can either do wanders or take you to new lows. How do you pick I pick the one for me, then?
So the moment you’ve all been waiting for. No better way to finish an article than with some immediately actionable strategies to take from your couch.
Firstly, find out more about yourself. Whilst buyinga genetic testing kit from the likes of 23andme will certainly set you off on the right food, its by no means necessary to fork out as much cash as these epigenetic testing gurus ask for. A much more hollistic approach is possible.
Do you fatigue in the morning or the evening?
Do you get consistent cravings? When?
How is your mood? Flat as Route 99 or like a spaghetti junction?
How easily do you fluctuate weight?
Females – how does your menstrual cycle affect your motivation, stress levels and metabolism?
When you know the answers to these questions, the next step us to find someone who’s qualified and with the expertise to guide you towards the right supplementation. Rule of thumb – try to make sure they aren’t sponsored for the brand of products they’re pushing your way. Keeping things neutral is always the most beneficial way when it comes to something as objective as your health.
The good news is, over at Health Haven I’m currently offering a free, confidential 1-2-1 as well as a free first supplement purchase for any supplement you decide to buy (that. means any. Whilst we have tonnes of quality partner brands, the choice is of course yours) just for signing up to our mail list at the bottom of our homepage. Being qualified in Sports Nutrition through the EQF myself, and having worked with countless different clients as part of my journey at Health Haven, you can have full confidence that you’ll be getting the advice you need and deserve. If not from me, then from one of the hundreds of leading fitness professionals we serve.
Now the ball is in your court. What are you going to do, take action or spend another night questioning why you can’t get to sleep?
Have a great weekend and, as always, stay hungry!