How Much Do You Know About Supplements?
Most adults in the United States have reported taking a dietary supplement on a regular basis or every day and this trend does not seem to be slowing. Many fitness professionals are now creating a line of supplements for their brand– how trustworthy can this be? How are supplement companies so successful? Ads, in magazines, ads in health clubs that allow juice bars and other fitness “professionals” to internally sell their product. Moreover, many health clubs make it a requirement that trainers push their product to the members. Now, through less informed trainers who advocate the use of supplements, you are taking one but have no freaking clue what is in the product.
Many fitness magazines push supplements, and were created solely for that reason, to push supplements, not help you with your fitness endeavors and certainly not to keep you healthy. Think about this, Americans spend more than $30 billion per year on dietary supplements, wow! However, while the masses are spending ridiculous amounts of money on increasingly dubious products, this doesn’t mean you should as well! Do your research, several supplements are a waste of your time and money. Notice I said MOST, not all. Remember, you can get most vitamins and minerals from your food, but that is another topic all-together, I digress.
Supplement When You Must, Not 24/7
As the name implies, supplements are intended to supplement, NOT replace, healthy food choices. Yeah, I’ve been there. Having a “scoop of protein,” getting my servings of “vegetables” in a pill because that is easier than prepping, cooking and eating the same nutrients from food, but at what cost to you, both to your body and your wallet?
Also, consider your anatomy and the way your body works. Your body naturally produces chemicals like creatine, melatonin, testosterone, etc., so why add more if you don’t have a special circumstance and you are being treated by a medical doctor? The more you supplement, the more your body becomes dependent on these supplements, and your body will slow production of, or possibly even quit all together– the natural version of these supplements! As stated previously, there are circumstances when a dietary supplement is helpful, though these are normally in conjunction with treating a diagnosed nutrient deficiency; iron for anemic individuals, omega-3 for heart disease patients who do not eat fish, and so on.
More is not always better–
I have yet to find scientific research definitively proving megadosing supplements is a benefit to your health. Data supporting megadosing does not exist, in fact, megadosing could lead to a toxic environment within your body (Want to learn more? Let’s Talk). Guys, even vitamins can be toxic in large amounts!
Revealing Underlying Health Conditions…What?
Supplements can cause you to exhibit pre-existing health conditions. If you are already on medication for a health condition, I would be very cautious of any supplement! Supplements can harm people who have specific underlying health conditions, or those who take prescription medications for diagnosed health conditions.
Seriously, if you are pregnant or nursing be exceptionally cautious with supplements, including the “healthy” herbal supplements. Taking prenatal vitamins with iron and folic acid are recommended to most during pregnancy, though other chemicals added to supplements may cross the placenta, or pass through in your breast milk and could be a danger to your unborn baby or infant. Think about it, these companies test their supplements on fit individuals, overweight individuals, athletes– but most supplements have not been tested on pregnant and nursing women, or on infants and small children (and never should be), so this demographic should avoid taking them.
Beware of the Unknown!
Active ingredients and amounts are largely unknown in most supplements, if not all. Supplement manufacturers are not required to disclose the amounts of ingredients, or the exact ingredients in their products. The supplement industry is not highly regulated. Next time you find yourself looking at a supplement, look to try and find these words “proprietary blend.” This is a typical supplement company trick to hide what is in the product through “protecting” their “proprietary blend” of secret ingredients. Mind blown?
Beware of the “Nothing” inside some herbal supplements. Yeah, I said nothing! Some herbal supplements have literally zero active ingredients, so you are literally purchasing– nothing in a bottle. Nine times out of ten, the word natural means absolutely nothing! The appeal of a natural supplement is that the supplement is from mother nature, and is not artificially fabricated. Talk about irony!
Smoke and Mirrors, Marketing jargon and cool catchphrases! A few of my favorites, for example; “medical grade,” “high potency,” and my personal favorite, “prescription strength!” Don’t be fooled by words, the words only mean more money for some companies. Be cautious of supplements unless medically prescribed or working with a true professional. Optimal health does not come from pills and potions.
I want to share ways you can get in-depth training, advice, and begin making your health a priority.
- Fitness App Classes – $39/month, a trainer in your pocket!
- Health Coaching
- Virtual Training
- A fun, NO COST option is to sign up for our mailing list. Again, cool emails packed with discounts, information, tips, tricks, and a lot more!
Again, I want to sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my posts. I wish you the best, and I hope to hear from you soon!