Clinical Nutrition can be defined as the therapeutic use of nutrient-rich foods and nutritional supplements to improve health and prevent disease. It is essential to modify the diet to be as health-promoting as possible. This should be a priority and if necessary, an ongoing project, until the best outcomes have been achieved. Nutritional supplements are utilised therapeutically where applicable with the main aim being to achieve health through diet, reducing the need for supplement use. When diet continues to be inadequate to facilitate the healing process or prevent disease, then further supplementation or ongoing supplementation may be required.
Currently the Naturopathic and functional medicine approach to clinical nutrition is distinctive, differing from clinical nutrition practiced by most medical doctors and dieticians, who typically apply cautious dietary modifications and very cautious nutrient supplementation, to correct nutrient deficiency states. Naturopaths and functional medicine practitioners recognise the value that nutrients have when they are provided in doses far greater than those found in foods, and their ability to address the individual biochemical needs of patients. The mounting evidence being generated in Orthomolecular medicine supports the use of such therapeutic doses that have now been used by Naturopaths for decades.
Strategies employed by most medical doctors and dieticians are sound, however not sufficient when treating patients wanting options other than pharmaceutical drug interventions or basic dietary guidance. It is common for patients with serious diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and various types of cancer, to require nutrient supplementation in amounts far greater than those achieved from diet alone, to mitigate symptoms and alleviate suffering.
Integrative Sports Nutrition
The desire to become leaner, faster, stronger, and perform better for longer while staying healthy is the hope of every athlete from the weekend warrior to the elite professional. Sports nutrition is about increasing performance, recovering from stress, building skills quickly, and maintaining optimal body composition for the sport. So, what does integrative sports nutrition mean?
While the ideal scenario for most sports enthusiasts is to maximise performance naturally without the aid of androgenic steroids or chemical compounds, many athletes will incorporate the use of performance enhancers into their training regime. Whether it be bioidentical hormones, SARM’s (Selective, Androgen, Receptor, Modulators) or the numerous stimulants found in pre-workouts & fat burners (synephrine, hordenine, DMHA (Octodrine), nootropics), managing diet and supplement intake when using these compounds requires an integrative approach.
Understanding how all these factors can be integrated to enhance performance is a complex exercise, especially when tailoring to the individual. Equally important is understanding potential interactions between substances that may decrease performance, or even be detrimental to someone’s health. Integrating all these factors into a performance plan for sports athletes should be considered Integrative Sports Nutrition.