Do you eat recommended five to nine servings of veggies and fruit every day? Do you always get the optimal amount of nutrients and calories? Most of us can’t say we do, even if we try every day to eat a balanced diet and take good care of our health.
However, there’s one solution that can ensure our diets improve without too much trouble—dietary supplements. These can fuel your body with missing nutrients and allow you to meet your recommended daily intake. They are especially beneficial for certain groups of people who often experience nutritional gaps (pregnant women, older people, people with food allergies and serious athletes) and people on certain diets (keto and paleo, vegetarians and vegans). So, if you need to hit the right number of nutrients in your diet every day, here’s how to introduce vitamins, minerals and other supplements into your diet.
Your supplements and vitamins need to be safe, quality and effective to do you good and be worth your money. However, the quality of these supplements can vary, because Food and Drug Administrations do not regulate this industry as strictly as some other industries (pharmaceuticals, for instance). The majority of brands supply people with quality products, but some tend to cut corners to achieve better profit.
Keep in mind that not all supplements are the same and your choice of a brand can make a difference between positive and negative health effects. Many vitamins, minerals and other supplements are full of fillers and additives, so make sure to only choose the highest-quality products approved by food administrations of your country.
Study the label
Good research is crucial for proper supplementation choice. While you can read things online and in books, it’s best to study the label of every product you want to introduce to your diet. And watch out for traps. No supplement is meant for curing diseases, so if you see something like that on the label, it’s best to pass on it. All claims that sound too good to be true are probably false and will bring you no results.
The label can also help in proper supplement ingestion. It’s vital to take certain supplements at certain times for them to work and provide you with benefits. For instance, if the label of your Mr Hyde preworkout supplement says to take it 15 to 30 minutes before exercise, make sure to listen to instructions. When taken properly, your workouts will be fueled with increased power, strength and endurance.
Also, some supplements need to be taken with food and some without in order to ensure the best absorption. The label of your supplement should contain instructions on whether you need to eat before or take your supplements on an empty stomach. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins are best taken with meals that have some fat to absorb the goodies. So, study the label and look for proper usage instructions that will ensure optimal benefits.
Natural and organic is not what you think
Many people today automatically reach for products with the words “natural”, “organic” or “probiotic” printed on the label. We think that these natural products must be good for us and come without any unwanted side-effects. However, no matter what the label says, all supplements and dietary additions can cause side-effects or clash with your prescription medication. So, make sure to read the fine print on the label, study the ingredient list and talk to your doctor about whether you should or shouldn’t use supplementation.
Supplements, vitamins and minerals are made to supplement your diet, not replace any part of your diet. They will never be able to replace nutrients that come from the food and fluids, so make sure to pay good attention to your diet and have well-constructed and regular meals. For instance, if you take iron supplements, that doesn’t mean you can completely ditch iron-rich foods like leafy greens! In efforts to supply their bodies with enough nutrients, some people tend to push things too far and cause overdose on vitamins and other supplements. Some supplement overdoses end with mild reactions like diarrhea, while others can cause severe health risks and even prevent your prescription medication from working.
Proper supplementation can do plenty of good for your health and athletic performance. So, make sure to study all the best brands, read the labels carefully, eat a health diet and let supplements bring your life from good to excellent!