Persona Nutrition, other firms step up to provide free products, discounts to first responders
As a way to show thanks to first responders amid the coronavirus pandemic, Persona is giving away three free months of personalized vitamins.
The Nestlé Health Science company and personalized vitamin subscription program is rewarding up to to a thousand firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency personnel in an effort to keep them healthy as they fight this dangerous, invisible enemy.
"Our first responders make difficult sacrifices every day and put others' needs before their own. Giving as many of them as we possibly can access to high-quality nutritional supplements is a small token of our appreciation," said Jason Brown, founder and CEO, Persona Nutrition. "These emergency responders are deserving of self-care now more than ever and we want them to know that we're here for them just as they're here for us."
Shawn Arent, PhD, professor and chair in the Department of Exercise Science at the University of South Carolina and the director of UofSC Sport Science Lab, echoed that self-care message.
“To the first responders, to the emergence personal, to the medical personnel, the biggest challenge in this for them in some ways is going to be taking care of themselves, because the things they see and have to do on a daily basis while they’re dealing with crisis is an incredible amount of strain on them physiologically and emotionally, and they themselves become even more at-risk in addition to the environment that they’re already in with the presence of the virus.”
Arent's research focuses on the relationship between physical activity and stress and the implications for health and performance. One area of his focus is nutritional interventions for improving functional capabilities, mental health states, and the systemic response to stress in athletes, military and first-responders.
The toll of stress
During a recent NutraCast episode, Arent told NutraIngredients-USA that on top being at high risk of infection because of exposure, first responders are also under a lot of stress, which can compromise their immune systems.
“They’re putting themselves in harm's way in many cases, but what worries me more about them is the amount of stress. We know that stress has a very negative impact on immune function. They have to find a way to make sure they get enough sleep, because sleep is a great equalizer when it comes to recovery. Make sure they stay hydrated, make sure they eat and not just relying on fast food when possible, I hope for their sake that maybe they have a great support system around them, because obviously they're providing their support system for the rest of us. On their end, certainly there would be no harm in taking vitamin C, zinc, and some of these things, but don’t expect that to be the magic fix.”
Slide into Persona’s DMs
Emergency personnel and first responders can visit Persona's Instagram to direct message them their badge and complete a brief nutritional survey to curate a personalized
vitamin plan and receive a free three-month supply (up to an $80 per month value) of personalized vitamins. More details can be found on Instagram @PersonaNutrition.
Other companies are also stepping up to lend a healthy hand. Tiger Fitness announced it is offering all first responders a 10% discount on all orders, while Swanson Health Products said it is giving first responders a 20% discount.
"People are what matter – whether you're on the front lines of a pandemic or ensuring everything is stable at home. It is inspiring to see so many companies finding ways to help, give and raise up others. We are proud to initiate our first responder program and are hopeful we can continue giving in the weeks and months to come," said Brown.
"We're in this together"
“I really just want and hope that they can find a way to take care of themselves as best as possible in this situation because they are our most critical line of defense now,” said Arent. “The number one thing that keeps running through my mind, and this applies to athletes I work with, to the military and first responders that we often study and work with: Be kind, it goes a long way. So everybody needs to take a deep breath—Now move six feet away before you take that deep breath, and realize we’re in this together.”