Supplementing (Especially During Fargo Winters)
It’s no secret that Fargo winters are cold and dreary, hell we even had to close for the first time ever due to cold temps last week! But that being said, there are plenty of things that you can do to help get through these long winter months if going out in the cold really isn’t your thing (clearly this is a Coach Shoe blog).
We often talk about supplements as being a “supplement to” and not a “replacement” especially when we talk about protein and some other items from our retail store. If you can get it from food, that is always the preferred approach, but sometimes supplementing what we eat, or what we lack from our environment can be extremely helpful. Two of my favorite supplements are Vitamin D (especially during these cold, dark winter months) and CBD Oil.
Vitamin D – Liquid Sunshine
Vitamin D is a very frequently recommended supplement for folks who live in our part of the world. The long nights and short days, partnered with the cold temps that keep us inside make getting naturally occurring rays of sunshine nearly impossible for most of the year. The main way our bodies get Vitamin D is by exposure to ultraviolet B rays (aka sunlight). You may also get some Vitamin D from foods such as fatty fish (like tuna, mackerel, & salmon) and egg yolks, but still sun exposure is the most natural source. Therefore to get our full requirement supplementation may be necessary. Some symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency include:
- Getting Sick or Infected Often
- Fatigue and Tiredness
- Bone and Back Pain
- Depression. (Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD))
- Impaired Wound Healing
- Bone Loss
- Hair Loss
- Muscle Pain
Supplements & Light Therapy Boxes
Now that you know what can happen if you are deficient in vitamin, now you may be wandering how you bridge the gap considering it’s dangerous at these temperatures to expose your skin to the sun, and the list of foods containing Vitamin D is oddly low. There are 2 easy ways to help: Supplements & Light Therapy Lamps.
SFH Fish Oil Supplements we stock at the gym. We have a liquid form available (fast digesting) and a pill for those not into the shot of fish oil! You can also get some Vitamin D drops if Fish Oil isn’t your jam (Ask Coach Anna about those!)
While Light therapy may not necessarily supplement you with Vitamin D (unless you buy a lamp that puts out UV Rays, which can be problematic for other skin damage reasons) it is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood and sleep and SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. Light Therapy boxes (like my Sunbox Jr.) mimic natural light, and used early in the day in 20-30 minute increments while reading or eating breakfast can help elevate mood significantly, or at least that has been my experience.
CBD Oil is another great supplement year round. There are a TON of different products floating around, many of which are not well managed or controlled which has added to the confusion around what CBD Oil is or isn’t. I’ll discuss CBD Oil using the product we recommend at Icehouse & I use daily: Charlotte’s Web(CW) Isolate. The main reason I use it is to help with my anxiety and sleep, it’s been an absolute game changer to help me sleep. It also reduced inflammation & soreness which is just an added bonus for me!
If you are new to the conversation, you may have the impression CBD oil is Marijuana or “Pot” it is not, it is derived from Hemp. They have a great blog on their website that breaks down the differences between CW, Hemp Seed Oil & Marijuana (which CW CBD Oil IS NOT) if you want to learn even more HERE, but I’ll keep it to the cliff notes for brevity.
Here is where the confusion comes in: Hemp and marijuana are both cannabis and contain phytocannabinoids.
Phyto means “plant.” Humans and all mammals produce what are known as endocannabinoids. Endomeans “within.” These compounds are key players in normal immune and central nervous system function. Hemp’s phytocannabinoids work with our Endocannabinoid System (ECS), a vast receptor system that helps support homeostasis and health.
Some helpful facts to differentiate between CBD & THC:
- Marijuana has > 0.3% THC (the only phytocannabinoid that gets you “high”)
- **AKA NOT CBD OIL**
- Hemp has < 0.3% THC and is NOT psychoactive
- **CW Isolate tests to ensure less then 13 parts per million
- Marijuana is most often associated with THC and hemp extract (like CW) is often associated with CBD, a health & wellness phytocannabinoid.
- Charlotte’s Web proprietary, non-GMO hemp genetics contain a unique combination of phytocannbinoids; it’s more than just CBD. CW also includes naturally occurring terpenes, flavonoids, and other valuable hemp compounds that work synergistically to heighten positive effects, sometimes referred to as the “Entourage Effect,” making it more complete than single-compound CBD alternatives.
Ok that all sounds great but what does that mean?!?
Basically the phytocannabinoids in CBD fill in the gap in our ECS to help our system do it’s job to it’s full potential, without the psychoactive affect, or “high” associated with marijuana/THC. The effects you feel when you take CBD Oil generally aren’t drastic, I’ve heard it described as “rounding out the edges” which I think is a great description of how my anxiety levels are when I take it. As far as inflammation, when injury occurs, stress is high, or when our muscles are sore white blood cells flood the area which causes inflammation. CBD oil basically gives those white blood cells a break to reduce the inflammation. (This of course is a huge over simplification, but it’s the quickest/easiest way to break it down without turning this blog into a book, check out the blog tagged earlier to learn more).
We like CW because it is manufactured in an FDA-certified facility with 3rd party-verified Good Manufacturing Practices to make sure that quality is high and THC levels remain below the 13 parts per million CW Isolate promises.
I could go on for days about CW/CBD Oil, Vitamin D & Light Therapy but hopefully this has given you enough to answer some questions and further encourage your own research! I encourage you to ask questions and start supplementing if the weather has been dragging you down lately! Stay Warm Folks!
Courtney Shoemaker is a Co-Owner of CrossFit Icehouse and Flux, and in charge of the behind the scenes juggling to keep the Icehouse ship sailing smoothly. She is passionate about fitness and identifies as a CrossFitter, Weightlifter, Yogi, Skydiver & overall Shenaniganer.