What are dietary supplements? Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, greens blends, antioxidants, fat burners, weight gainers, I’m sure you have heard of at least one of these supplements by now. In fact the majority of adults are actually using at least one form of dietary supplement on a daily basis.
So what are dietary supplements? Are dietary supplements really going to do what they say they do? Or should we be sticking to plain old diet and exercise for our health benefits?
Firstly, what is a dietary supplement?
Dietary supplements are simply that, they are an addition to our diet, they are not to replace our diets which some people may assume, and they work best in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle of a balanced diet and exercise.
Dietary supplements can come in many different forms; they can come as powders, tablets, capsules, drinks, bars and elixirs. And they come as many different products from vitamin and mineral blends, or single vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, workout aids and more. They are there to help fill gaps in our diets which essentially benefit our health in some way from preventing disease, providing health benefits, weight loss, muscle gain and more.
But, do they work?
If you’re not eating a well-balanced diet then you are probably not getting all your essential nutrients, sometimes even the most meticulous healthy eater can be missing out on a few vital nutrients, this is where supplements can come in very handy. Diet deficiencies play a major role in most diseases and conditions and supplementing may help to prevent certain disease, fight some cancers and even slow down the pace of a disease. There is so much scientific evidence out there linking diet deficiency so if you are not getting certain nutrients it is important to supplement.
Other dietary supplements such as workout supplest can aid you in your fitness journey by helping your body to shred those last unwanted kilos or to help you build muscle that being said they won’t work without you putting in some effort, you have to be training to get results and eating right!
Herbal remedies are another form of dietary supplementation; these usually come from a naturopath and contain plant ingredients to aid in all different types of conditions from anxiety and depression, general wellbeing and preventatives and cures of disease.
There is scientific evidence to prove that some supplements actually very beneficial for overall health, whilst some supplements still need more study to determine their helpfulness.
Are they safe?
The majority of supplements are safe in most people, and really can give you the benefits they claim, but you do need to be aware of the possible risks and side effects. Some supplements may interact with medications you may be taking, prescription or OTC, you may have an allergic reaction and some supplements have powerful active ingredients which may cause unpleasant reactions in the body, it’s also important to know that you can still overdose on dietary supplements even though most claim to be of natural ingredients, the body can only handle a certain amount of a nutrient at any given time so check the dosages and stick to them, also remember that many of these nutrients are found in the foods we eat so therefore you may be getting more then you think you are. Also be careful taking supplements whilst pregnant or breast feeding as they may interact with your baby and have unwanted side effects. So before starting a new supplement, talk to your Dr and do your research so you know about any possible side effects before using them.
- Dietary supplements are best used with a balanced diet, not instead of one.
- Dietary supplements can help you with a wide range of health issues when taken properly.
- Always talk to your health professional before starting supplements.
So, what is your diet lacking?