Food First

Discreet and Delicious are a company of Performance Chefs and we always advocate a policy of ‘food first’. This means that we believe it should be possible to get all of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that the body needs from the food.

Food versus supplements

However, there is no escaping the fact that supplements are everywhere and widely used by athletes across all sports. They range from simple whey protein powders which are added to smoothies, to tablets delivering high doses of specific minerals and vitamins.

Nutritionists have a variety of opinions about the use of supplements. Some are cautious and prefer a food first approach whereas some actively promote the use of supplements and have even developed their own ranges for sale. If there is a right answer, it’s probably somewhere in the middle of the road, where most nutrition-related right answers are found. Balance, moderation and variety are key for nutrients, vitamins and minerals regardless of their source.

The arguments for taking supplements mainly centre around dosage. For some athletes with specific genetic modifications, they benefit from a higher dose of certain vitamins and/or minerals than can be obtained from food alone.

Also, some minerals have a limited bioavailability, meaning that only a small proportion of what is ingested can be absorbed by the body. An example of a nutrient with low bioavailability is curcumin (the orange/yellow component of turmeric), which is good for the brain, organs and cells as well as being a powerful inflammation modulator.

For most people, the amount of turmeric in the diet is sufficient, but some athletes feel that having a higher dose is beneficial for their inflammation recovery so will take the supplement.

The arguments against taking supplements mainly revolve around the ethical, moral and legal aspects of enhancing performance. Many athletes are wary of taking supplements if they can’t be completely sure they don’t contain any banned substances.

There can also be quite a difference of opinion between what is legal and what is ethical/moral. Adding extra protein to the diet in the form of concentrated powder may seem pretty harmless, we do all need protein. However, how much does an athlete need to take before they are gaining an unfair advantage over a rival?

Our Performance Chefs never give the athletes supplements of any kind, unless supplied by the athlete or their personal or club nutritionist. We prefer to provide high quality nutrition-dense food containing a good variety of nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

If a Performance Nutritionist recommends a high level of any specific vitamin or mineral, then we will devise recipes to incorporate that into the diet naturally when possible. If a supplement is provided for an athlete by themselves or by their nutritionist, we will use our cheffy know-how to incorporate it into foods, making sure they are still interesting and tasty.

This way, the athlete doesn’t need to worry about accidentally taking any banned substances, and Discreet and Delicious Performance Chefs can’t accidentally give the athlete any banned substances.

Even nutritionists who support the taking of supplements mostly subscribe to the food first philosophy… nothing beats a nutritious, healthy diet as a starting point. Discreet and Delicious Performance Chefs can help you improve your performance, minimise injuries and prolong your career. Contact us for more information.

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