Should I take Supplements?
If you’re like most people, you probably have a few questions about supplements. Which ones should you take? What is the best brand to buy? Or better yet, are supplements even necessary?
What are Supplements?
It might sound obvious, but supplements are just that—a supplement to your diet and lifestyle to help meet certain nutrient needs and/or achieve specific health goals. They are often made up of vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, plant compounds, or other specialty ingredients that have been isolated and captured into a digestible formula. Forms of dietary supplements include capsule, powder, liquid, gummies, and chewable, and they can be taken with or without food depending on the formula consumed.
Unfortunately, the supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA in the US. This means that there are hundreds of supplement companies out there producing products that either don’t contain what they claim they do, or contain a form of the ingredient that isn’t able to be utilized by the body, essentially making it useless. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be wasting my money on products that don’t work! So, purchasing from a reputable brand that uses clean, non-GMO and all-natural ingredients that certifies its potency and quality is highly recommended.
Food Comes First
No matter what you may hear, supplements will never outweigh a poor diet. This is because nutrients are significantly more effective in the body when they come from real foods. In whole food form, nutrients are accompanied by many other beneficial compounds including vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and antioxidants which aren’t present in most supplements. This is known as food synergy, which doesn’t occur in supplement form.
However, there are many reasons why strategic supplementation may be indicated for you, such as:
· Digestive ailments that impair nutrient digestion and absorption
· Inadequate nutrient intake from diet
· Genetic variants that enhance your need for certain nutrients
· Taking certain medications that can interfere with the usability of nutrients
· Increased nutrient needs based on level of activity or unique life stage
· Desires to achieve a specific health goal
Supplementing to boost effects of diet + exercise
Even the most perfectly planned out diet can still be insufficient in certain nutrients. Similarly, a seemingly “perfect” exercise regimen may not leave you with the results you desire if your body is missing key pieces of the puzzle that only supplements can provide enough of. Strategically supplementing can help you optimize both your nutrient intake and ability to perform in the most effective, results-driven manner possible.
Determining your personal goals
The truth is, more people could benefit from supplementation than they may realize. Yet the first step to always take is to determine your unique needs and personal goals with your health. Are you looking to gain energy? Increase muscle? Reduce inflammation? Optimize recovery? These are all important questions to ask yourself before deciding on what sort of supplement you may need. Work with a trusted healthcare professional like a Dietitian or Naturopath who can evaluate your diet & lifestyle and help determine what is most appropriate for you. This is the best way to ensure you are getting what you need to optimize your health and maximize your efforts in achieving your goals.
If you’re looking for high quality supplements you can trust, check out my Wellevate or Fullscript accounts, which carry top-quality, third-party tested supplements at 10% ff of retail pricing and free shipping! Click on the links at the bottom of my Services tab, or contact me for access. I can provide specific recommendations with zero obligation!