Let’s talk about various concepts and situations that may arise while balancing nutrients.
Nutrients tend to “use up” levels of other nutrients.
Nutrients with a primary relationship are considered partners. Partners must be well-balanced with each other. They “use up” or “drive down” each others’ levels more than any other relationship.
Examples of Partners: Vitamins D-A, Sodium-Potassium, Calcium-Magnesium, and so on…
Testing 1-2 Nutrients/Day Is Best
There will be times you test a nutrient and get a moderate or strong sense that it was not what you needed, due to energy levels dropping, bloating, brain fog. In this case, you’ll usually want to take that nutrient’s partner pretty quickly.
Stay Away From “No Man’s Land”
Definition: When too many nutrients are taken in a short time.
Taking lots of supplements and nutrients within a few hours or a single day can muddy the water. We need to see clearly how each nutrient affects — or doesn’t.
Taking lots of nutrients at once — or even in a supplement “blend” can make it very difficult to know what’s helping or hurting.
I refer to this place as “No Man’s Land” and I try to stay far, far away from it.
To avoid this: Test 1-2 nutrients per/day, with hours in between. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are optimal times to test nutrients.
Chasing Nutrients Is Not Recommended
I’ve done it a thousand times. You find temporary improvement from a nutrient, then go back to the well and it’s dry. Nutrient Chasing is common with many nutrients: Vitamin D, Magnesium, Iodine, etc. People initially feel incredible surges in energy, focus, symptom-relief, and keep taking the supplement for days or weeks — and then the wheels fall off.
The point is that YES — you needed that nutrient the first few times. But after taking it for a few days or weeks, levels rise while levels of other nutrients stay low. Taking more and more of the same nutrient only worsens this imbalance — to the point you can’t take anymore of that nutrient.
Before long, you’ll be finding another nutrient to chase… and the hunt repeats itself.
If One Nutrient Is Very Low, It Can Keep Other Nutrients Low
Being deficient in any single nutrient can keep stores of other nutrients low as well.
- If magnesium is low, Vitamin D won’t be able to rise over time.
- Low sodium can keep magnesium levels down.
- Low Vitamin A seems to be able to keep Vitamin D low.
Getting One Low Nutrient Up Can Radically Shift What You Seem To Need
You may find a sort of “equilibrium” — EXAMPLE: You know you need to limit calcium and zinc, and magnesium doesn’t seem to help you much anymore.
Then you try iodine for the first time in a while, and you feel instantly better. Suddenly, when you try calcium you feel a flood of calm energy. You later find your response to zinc goes up and even magnesium seems to provide benefits. What happened?
Low levels of iodine — perhaps from neglect and heavier supplementation of other minerals — resulted in a situation where any supplementation of a mineral you were high in caused iodine to crash even more. You may not even be all that high in calcium, zinc, and magnesium. But you were very, very low in iodine — and putting new iodine in allowed you to restore more normal balance to those relationships. Suddenly, you can tolerate calcium, zinc, magnesium, etc., that you couldn’t tolerate just a day or two prior.
Introducing New Nutrients May Yield Wacky Results
The first few times you introduce a new nutrient — or after a hiatus away from a nutrient — you may notice “weird” effects.
Sudden shifts in how you feel, cognition, energy, sleep can happen when first introducing a new (or new-old) nutrient.
If the effects are all good — great. You likely needed this nutrient.
If the effects are a mixed bag or all bad, it’s possible you didn’t need the nutrient –OR– taking this nutrient caused a big shift in nutrient balance — as mentioned above.
This can especially manifest in the beginning steps of each Phase in the Nutrient Balancing Protocol.
Take Time Off From Nutrient Balancing
Give yourself a break from Nutrient Balancing to prevent over-supplementation and over-focusing on any certain nutrients.
Nutrient Balancing Can Improve Many Symptoms.
But that doesn’t mean you should ONLY think about Nutrient Balancing. It’s certainly one of the more important approaches to my health, but it’s possible to develop tunnel vision and only think about nutrients and their balance.
Balancing Macro Ratios IS Nutrient Balancing
Balancing your Macros is an important part of balancing your nutrients. Carbs, Protein, and Fats are definitely nutrients — Macronutrients — and they need to be balanced well.
Your personal macro ratios may vary season to season or as you heal. I continue to see my need for protein increase after years of low tolerance for protein.
Play with your macro ratios over time. Observe the effects and follow the feedback your body gives you.
Drink Lots Of Water
Water Follows Sodium = Water Follows Minerals
All nutrients increase your need for water.
If water follows sodium, it also follows all the other “salts”: minerals. Every nutrient will wind of “boosting” metabolism, and with that will come a need for more water.
I usually drink about a gallon of water per day. However, I’m 6’4″ 225lbs, and may require a little more water than most.
YES — it’s true that too much water is not good for hypothyroid folks who are struggling with poor mineral balance and lots of toxicity. But as you recover, you should find yourself tolerating more and more water. Eventually, you should treat the common recommendation of 8 cups/8oz = 64 oz/day as a bare minimum. Especially if you’re taking minerals and nutrients and getting lots of light!
“Too-Far” False Positive
Sometimes when a nutrient is “just” starting to get too high, taking a little more will give a “False Positive” — that will only result in that nutrient going even higher — and its partner going even lower. Things aren’t far enough out of balance to cause real issues yet, but that might be right around the corner. In my experience, a false positive like that rarely manifests very long: It will become a true negative very quickly.