By: Steve Born
I’ve often referred to Premium Insurance Caps, Hammer Nutrition’s multivitamin/mineral product, as “the most boringly beneficial supplement we make.” The reason for that unique distinction is because it’s not the most glamorous supplement you can take; there’s nothing ultra-cool in the product like there is in, say, Fully Charged or Anti-Fatigue Caps, to name a couple of examples.
But while Fully Charged, Anti-Fatigue Caps, and other supplements in the Hammer Nutrition line may arguably have a bit more direct impact on improving athletic performance, to be quite honest, if you’re not covering your basic nutrient needs (vitamins and minerals), those other products won’t ever realize their full value.
In my nearly 20 years at Hammer Nutrition, I’ve found that most people don’t take a multivitamin/mineral supplement for two main reasons:
- They already eat a healthy diet.
- Multivitamins are boring and won’t do anything to boost athletic performance.
The first reason is incorrect; it is virtually impossible to obtain all of the nutrients your body requires from your daily diet. Three main reasons why this is true:
- Studies show that food alone may not supply all of the micronutrients we need to prevent deficiency, let alone to achieve optimal health.
- Much of our diet comes from foods grown far away, picked when unripe, and then shipped. Nutritional content is questionable and usually depleted.
- Even if we could obtain all of the nutrients we need from our diet, it's unlikely that any of us eats an ideal diet with much consistency.
The first point is of primary importance. Forget about providing enough nutrients to promote optimal health—many people do not eat enough quality food to meet the minimal Reference Daily Intake (RDI) micronutrient requirements for preventing deficiency-related disorders. Dr. Bill Misner's hallmark paper, "Food May Not Provide Sufficient Micronutrients to Avoid Deficiency"  is but one effort in pointing out this startling problem.
The research of distinguished nutritional scientist Bruce Ames, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley, also presents a hypothesis that implies micronutrient deficiency may eventually deteriorate the quality of whole human cell health. A portion of Professor Ames' abstract reads as follows :
“Inadequate dietary intakes of vitamins and minerals are widespread, most likely due to excessive consumption of energy-rich, micronutrient-poor, refined food. Inadequate intakes may result in chronic metabolic disruption, including mitochondrial decay. Deficiencies in many micronutrients cause DNA damage, such as chromosome breaks, in cultured human cells or in vivo. Some of these deficiencies also cause mitochondrial decay with oxidant leakage and cellular aging and are associated with late onset diseases such as cancer.”
So when you hear someone tell you that you can get all the nutrients you need from a healthy diet, keep in mind the sobering words of Drs. Misner and Ames.
As far as the second excuse for not taking a multivitamin/mineral supplement—“they’re boring and won’t don’t make me faster” (or something like that)—think about it a bit more: If you’re not covering your nutrient needs—and it’s pretty clear that very few are, especially athletes—you increase the potential for a number of negative athletic performance and health issues to occur. At the very least, this means you won't get the full value from all of the hard work you put into your training because your body doesn’t have the nutrient support it needs to fully recover. It could also very well result in a compromised immune system, which is definitely something to avoid because that could translate into missed training days due to illness.
That’s why, after hundreds upon hundreds of supplement program consultations I’ve done during my tenure at Hammer Nutrition, I unhesitatingly recommend starting your supplement program with Premium Insurance Caps. Along with your efforts to consume the healthiest diet possible, Premium Insurance Caps will ensure you’re getting optimal amounts of vitamins, minerals, and key auxiliary nutrients. These aren’t minimal and insignificant Daily Value or Recommended Daily Allowance amounts, but amounts that will have a noticeably positive impact on your health. That strong nutrient foundation is a primary key to your body being able to meet the challenge of increased training volume and workload, and that translates into improved athletic performance and better overall health.
 Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients 261:49- 52, April 2005 (available at www.hammernutrition. com/downloads/diet_deficiencies.pdf)
 Ames BN, Low micronutrient intake may accelerate the degenerative diseases of aging through allocation of scarce micronutrients by triage, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2006; 103 (47): 17589- 94. (Address: Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Children's Hospital of Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94609, USA). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu bmed/17101959?dopt=AbstractPlus