You can certainly improve your fitness levels without supplementing your diet by simply eating better than you are now and participating in proper exercise as long as you are not already eating and exercising “perfectly”. The long term answer depends on your current state of health, daily diet, desired body composition and daily activities for the rest of your life. Therefore assuming you don’t or won’t eat and exercise “perfectly” for the rest of your life and you want to hedge all your bets on living a longer more productive life, at a minimum, everyone should have the supplements listed below readily available and use as shown:
• Multivitamin & Mineral including 600-1000IUs of vitamin D: Take 1 daily immediately following breakfast or any other larger meal
• Fish oil: use a supplement containing ~600mgs of a combination of DHA & EPA and take 1 daily with multivitamin if NOT consuming 2-4 servings of fatty fish weekly. Or simply use daily when not consuming fish
• Calcium: do the best you can to get 1000-1500mgs from the diet. If you fall short use a supplement containing 500mgs per tablet to make up the difference
Dietary supplements are not a cure or prevention to disease brought on by smoking, weight, lack of exercise or other poor lifestyle choices. Supplementing important missing nutrients IS part of a healthy lifestyle but don’t wait till the “engine is broken” before adding oil. Do it while it’s still working.
In other words, by supplementing throughout life while we are healthy, the goal is to build a stronger foundation by taking advantage of our body’s youthful development machinery and supply ALL the necessary building materials (nutrients).We then leverage the result into our advancing years. We continue to add the compounds our older body can still use but may no longer manufacture or can’t receive in proper amounts from food alone. Again, we now have them at a point in time BEFORE it’s too late, while the body can still use them. In other words, we continue to add these natural substances because our body’s internal “machinery” still works so the nutrients are used rather than waiting until the machinery is worn out, rendering any additional compounds less effective or useless. Properly supplementing the diet is health care not disease care.