Supplements for Tradies 

Most days I get a coffee at the local service station near our home at about 6 am each morning. While waiting i always observe  the Tradespersons coming in for their morning coffee, and pie or pastie which I presume is their breakfast!

Upon conversation with the coffee maker, i was therefore not surprised to hear that at another service station a few kilometers away the favorite breakfast there was a hot dog with sauce and coffee !. The breakfast of champions ! No, not really, that is beer! 

Jokes aside, the current Aussie tradie lifestyle is perhaps not the best for health, and Tradespersons are not renowned for having eggs with a smashed avo for breakfast.  Those that i know they are reluctant to take any supplements as well for some strange reason – maybe they feel invincible! When Cold or flu Strikes them then taking the good old cold and flu pharmaceuticals is the go and they soldier on !!  This is the lot of the trade person  – no work then no pay! 

Seriously with this sort of start to the day, and missing meals or just grabbing a quick bite when hungry than many tradespersons are prone to developing high cholesterol, blood pressure issues, heart disease, bowel and weight gain issues not to mention joint problems and fatigue .

The Human body thrives on a diet of fruit and veg and for good reason – getting daily amounts of vitamins and minerals and plant nutrients are instrumental in keeping blood vessels in good order and immune system at the ready not to mention preventing musculoskeletal injuries by supplying adequate amounts of Magnesium and calcium. The normal tradie diet does no supply anywhere near  what is required for good health.

So where do we start in formulating a  supplement program for tradespersons? 

For  those that do not like taking supplements then i recommend a one a day multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. Not the cheap ones but ones that are made with a broad spectrum of nutrients in a large tablet . The only issue with this approach is that it is hard to get all the essential vitamins and minerals in adequate amounts in one tablet but something is beter than nothing !

For a more advanced approach the following may be suggested as daily regime –

An Activated B Group vitamin – one per day 

Fish oil capsules – 1000mgx 4 day 

Magnesium capsules or powder – as directed on bottle 

Curcumin tablets if there are aches and pains -as directed on bottle .

The body requires a daily intake broad spectrum of the water-soluble B group vitamins. Water-soluble as they are not retained by the body and are eliminated via urine on a daily basis so have to be replenished.   B group vitamins are useful for the body’s nervous system, Heart Health, and many other functions.  A suggested supplement here is an Activated B Supplement as the B group vitamins are already processed so they do not need to go through the liver to be activated into a more absorbable form. 

Fish oil caps are suggested as we need a daily intake of essential Fatty acids for maintaining tissue health, containing the inflammation and for cognitive health.  Unless one is having a serving of oily fish x three times a week then one is likely to have a deficit of essential fatty acids in the body. A few capsules a day is all that is required for health Maintainance . Active Tradespersons are particularly vulnerable to inflammatory disorders so this supplement would certainly be at the top  of the list in many cases.

Magnesium is used in the body for cellular energy, heart and muscular health. Most Australians are lacking this mineral as most are not in taking enough daily fruit and veg . There are a lot of magnesium supplements on the Health food shelves and I recommend a powder as in this form can be absorbed quicker and is cheaper to take this way.

For many active tradespersons, the daily wear and tear on their joints take their toll – plumbers, carpenters, and carpet layers are most vulnerable for example. Wear and tear over the years produces inflammation in the joints and contributing to thinning of joint cartilage and joint capsule linings thus eventually leading to forms of crippling Arthritis.  When symptoms finally appear then often the situation has progressed to the point of no return in the joint. Permanent damage has been done.  Nevertheless, if there are first signs of aches and pains then an anti-inflammatory diet with Curcumin may be the answer to prevention of more serious deterioration. I always recommend Curcumin with Boswellia for best results. Boswellia is also a powerful natural anti-inflammatory in its own right and works synergistically with Curcumin.

High doses may have to be taken if there are aches and pains but when there is alleviation then a smaller Maintainance dose can be taken.

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and this certainly applies to those who are actively involved in trades.

For further information please contact Peter Farnsworth Naturopath/Herbalist on www.adelaidenaturopath.net.au