Happy Friday!!! Let’s chat about vitamins! What are they? What do they do? Here we go….

Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in our diet and are categorized (along with minerals) as micronutrients. And when we say ‘organic’ we mean in the chemical structure sense, as in they contain carbon and hydrogen bonds, NOT that they don't use pesticides! :-) And they are considered ‘essential’ because most of them aren't made by our bodies so they need to be supplied through our diets. Unlike their more popular counterpart, macronutrients (fats, proteins, carbs) micronutrients do NOT provide us with energy (but some can play roles in energy production).

Vitamins are broken down into two broad categories--fat-soluble & water-soluble as seen in our post.

All vitamins function and differ in their roles and the way the body handles fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins are certainly different. Besides B12, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in large quantities in our body tissue and are absorbed right into the blood. Stores may run out within a few weeks to a few months if dietary intake is low. Most water-soluble vitamins will be excreted in the urine when their levels exceed what the kidneys want and need! Unlike the water-soluble vitamins, The fat-soluble vitamins are stored. If intake is low, stores could run out in months to years. They are mainly stored in our liver, fat tissue, and/or cell membranes and they're absorbed best when dietary fat is present into the small intestine. Remember those low-fat diets that were all the rage in the 90s?!! Those were NO GOOD, for many reasons, but especially for our fat-soluble vitamin absorption!

CUT IT HERE

Vitamin needs are set in a few different ways but most of the time you will see the RDA listed which stands for the Recommended Dietary Allowance. The RDA is defined as the level of nutrient intake judged to adequately meet the known nutrient needs of 97-98% of healthy people while decreasing the risk of chronic diseases. You will also see something called the AI which is the Adequate Intake and these are tentative RDAs as they are based on less conclusive scientific information. These are also specific to sex, age, and physiological condition like pregnancy or lactation.

Fun fact, the RDA actually overshoots a bit (by about 2-3%) so even if you're a little under your RDAs you may still get enough of the nutrients. That being said, SHOOT FOR THE RDA!!!

Like I said, this was a CRASH COURSE! But, we will keep trying to educate you throughout this series as we go along. We would LOVE questions, so please ask away! And if you have specific questions about your own individual needs, visit our link in bio to schedule a discovery call and chat about working with us! First, we need a VERY quick crash course in vitamins! What are they?

Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential in our diet and are also called micronutrients. And organic in the chemical structure sense as in they contain carbon and hydrogen bonds, NOT that they don't use pesticides! :-) And they are essential because most of them aren't made by our bodies so they need to be supplied through our diets. They do NOT provide us energy like macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins).

However, they play an equally important (or maybe of greater importance) in other critical, health & life-sustaining functions in our bodies as shown in our slides!

Just know They. Are. CRUCIAL!

Vitamins are broken down into two broad categories--fat-soluble & water-soluble as seen in our post.

All vitamins function and differ in their roles and the way the body handles fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins are certainly different. Besides B12, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in large quantities in our body tissue and are absorbed right into the blood. Stores may run out within a few weeks to a few months if intake is low. Most water-soluble vitamins will be excreted in the urine when their levels exceed what the kidneys want and need! Unlike the water-soluble vitamins, The fat-soluble vitamins are stored. If intake is low, stores could run out in months to years. They are mainly stored in our liver, fat tissue, and/or cell membranes and they're absorbed best when dietary fat is present into the small intestine. Remember those low-fat diets that were all the rage in the 90s...NO BUENO for many reasons but especially for our fat-soluble vitamin absorption!

Vitamin needs are set in a few different ways but most of the time you will see the RDA listed which stands for the Recommended Dietary Allowance and is defined as the level of nutrients intake judged to adequately meet the known nutrient needs of 97-98% of healthy people while decreasing the risk of chronic diseases. You will also see something called the AI which is the "Adequate Intake" and are tentative RDAs as they are based on less conclusive scientific information. These are also specific to sex, age, and physiological condition like pregnancy or lactation.

Fun fact, the RDA actually overshoots a bit (by about 2-3%) so even if you're a little under your RDAs you may still get enough of the nutrients. That being said, SHOOT FOR THE RDA!!!

Like I said, this was a CRASH COURSE! But, we will keep trying to educate you through this series as we go along. We would LOVE questions, so please ask away! And if you have specific questions about your own individual needs, visit our link in bio to schedule a discovery call and chat about working with us!




Even though the temps may be cooling (I mean 80s are cooler than 90s 😁) down a bit, if you're an avid exerciser, training for an athletic event, or just a heavy & salty sweater 🙋‍♀️, then it may be advantageous for you to replenish the electrolytes!


First, I am sure you have heard the term electrolytes prior to today's post. From either being active & athletic or even if you have had the stomach bug--the word 'electrolytes' is thrown around quite a bit. But, do you know what they are and what do they do?

Electrolyte are minerals & compounds such as sodium chloride (salt), potassium, calcium, magnesium, & bicarbonate,.etc. and when in solution, have an electrical charge. These electrically charged minerals play critical roles in communication and signaling within our cells & bodies for functions such as pH & fluid balance, muscle contraction (including heart), blood pressure, & nerve function.


We lose these electrolytes (primarily sodium & chloride) through secretions mainly through urine and sweat.


This is why it is important to replenish electrolytes after sweaty activities (usually lasting an hour or more OR if you are a naturally, salty-sweaty person). I'm sure you are thinking...how do I know if I am a salty-sweater?? Well, there are lab tests for this, but most of us don't have access to those. So, one more practical indication might be that you have a gritty feel to your skin after workouts or sweaty days or even leave a white residue on your skin. Another indication is if you leave a white stain on your hats or clothes!


How do we go about replacing electrolytes?


First, if you have a heart condition, hypertension, kidney issues, etc --you should consult your doctor prior to gulping electrolyte beverages & supplements.



Electrolytes are absorbed better when carbohydrates are present. So, yes, it is suggested that you ingest carbs in the form of sugar (usually in the forms of sucrose & glucose)! (mind-blown emoji)

3%-8% carbohydrate drink (meaning 7g-14 g of carb in an 8 oz serving) is the recommended amount of carbohydrate.

The lower end is most likely for the run of the mill, not super hot/humid & sweaty activity under an hour. Also, if you have a sensitive stomach during/after activity the lower carbohydrate drinks are probably best for you as high, quick carbs may cause upset stomachs! Sipping (1 oz every 10 min) on this beverage throughout the workout is encouraged rather than chugging after the fact.


Most sports drinks & supplements will contain a combination of a few of the electrolytes with sodium being the one in most abundance as it is the one that is lost in the greatest quantity. The ideal amount ranges greatly depending on a variety of factors--sweat rate, duration & intensity of activity, altitude, temperature/humidity, and more). One of our favorite Sports Dietitians, @eleatnutrtion posted recommendations for the amounts of electrolytes in sports beverages and supplements, and, bonus, they also reviewed over 20 brands of electrolyte products! So check out their posts for more specific information on amounts and product guidance!


As an avid, intense, award-winning, salty, and heavy-sweater I have felt the effects of electrolyte depletion a few times! Whoops. The good news is, once you learn and practice to find what carb & electrolyte amounts & ratios work for you, you can prevent it from happening so your performance, recovery, & and not to mention your CRITICAL functions in your body aren't thrown off-balance and hindered!


I need to make sure this account and Nourishing Our Needs stays true to its (my) roots by making sure I address true public health topics, as well as our privileged (yes I said it) health education & information. As much as we talk about exercise, proper nutrition, sleep, self-care, etc. affecting our health, there are much larger & more important factors that determine health outcomes. Those factors are known as "the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)" and they are the conditions of the environments in which people are born, live, work, socialize, etc. and they can contribute to inequities and health disparities. Our slides review the 5 categories of the SDOH, but our questions below can add some context. And, if you answer "yes" to these questions, you've been given a head start in having better health outcomes. Do you live in a community where it is safe to walk? Do you live near a grocery store and are you able to afford fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins? Do you have access to quality healthcare? Do you live in a neighborhood where the air and water are safe? Do/Did you have access to quality education? Bettering our health is hard. And, we need education, guidance, effort, and the right tools. But, I do want us to keep in perspective that one's health is influenced by things that are much bigger than diet and exercise and that it is truly a privilege for us to be focusing on those two behaviors in this space.