In a world where it’s harder and harder to come across all-natural or organic food products, many of us are now reaching for supplements to help sustain complete and proper nutrition. Supplements range from multi-vitamins and minerals to protein shakes to caffeine and beyond. By no means should we be taking every supplement known to man (Lord knows we likely don’t have the money or time); however, we need to make sure we take the right supplement(s).
When selecting your supplements, you should first schedule a consultation with a trainer or doctor. They can help you out immensely in regards to selecting the right products that are tailored to your needs and diet. Be very thorough with your trainer/doctor and have goals set upon arrival. For example, I want to focus on getting proper vitamins and minerals along with increased heart health. If I were given this information, I would definitely be able to help out a client in proper selection.
Another big factor in selecting supplements is doing some research. A lot of times the companies will put anything and everything on their labels to help promote the product. Sadly, a lot of people, including myself, have fallen for this. Yes, the products have some value, but are they really all that they say they are? In 2011, biochemist Lyle MacWilliam wrote The NutriSearch Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, Consumer edition (2011) that compared single product brand multi-vitamins and combination product brands multi-vitamins and gave each brand a score of 0 to 5 stars. To give you a brief example of his research, the widely-used multi-vitamin Centrum scored a 0/5!! Surprised? I was as well.
It’s extremely hard and expensive for any one of us to obtain all of our vitamins and minerals each day, but it has to be done if we want to live long, healthy life. Whether it’s through food or supplement consumption, there are several ways to address the matter and keeping your bank account steady. Customize your diet and add supplements into it. Maybe go about it by switching up your diet where one month you take a Calcium supplement and the next month you switch to purchasing more milk and other food products rich in Calcium. That same scenario can be played out with other supplements as well, like protein shakes for another example.
Finally, be sure to give yourself some time before thinking that the supplements are working. I tell everyone to give yourself 5 to 10 days to make a judgement on the products. That way your body has gone through an efficient cycle with the supplement and you can give yourself a fair opinion.