Should You Be Taking Daily Supplements?

Personal Training in Clarks Summit - LUX Personal Training

By: Victoria M. Frosini, M.S.

Daily supplements are meant to do exactly what their name suggests--- supplement a healthy, well-balanced diet. In fact, the human body was designed to digest and absorb nutrients exclusively through whole food consumption.

In a perfect world, we would receive all the essential nutrients and micronutrients from the major food sources- sustainable protein, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fat. Simply put, the macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) are sources of fuel for the body, and micronutrients aid in energy metabolism or “the breakdown of nutrients into fuel.”

Whole food sources are highly complex structures that combine a variety of enzymes, coenzymes, antioxidants, trace elements, and activators working synergistically to enable digestion, bioavailability, nutrient absorption and ultimately usage within the body.

---But let’s be honest, our lifestyles, work/life obligations, and food supply leave us searching for nutrient dense foods, often times with our food sources falling short! We leave most meals feeling full, but not always nourished, satiated or satisfied.

There can be a place for supplements in a healthy, well-balanced diet! Here’s the Nutritionist's guide to proper supplement use:

1. Take inventory of your overall diet and assess your goals and nutritional needs.

This advice sounds easy, but it actually takes a lot of time and reflection. Practice writing down and logging your meals on a meal tracking app. After tracking for 1-2 weeks, see where your diet falls short. Notice patterns, deficiencies, and obvious shortcomings.

2. Ask questions about age, sex, family history, and population.

Certain groups of people need different amounts of macro and micronutrients. Pregnant women have higher calorie needs in addition to folate and heme iron. Vegans and vegetarians have higher needs for Vitamin B12, and the elderly are often deficient in Vitamin D. Where do you fall within these groups? Do you have higher nutrient needs based on lifecycle or a family history with known deficiencies?

3. Supplements can “fill in” during times when your diet is lacking.

Life isn’t perfect, and we don’t expect you to be either! Here’s where supplements come into play… by filling in where food falls short. For example, if you’re traveling often and can’t cook your own meals, it’s safe to add a multivitamin to your daily regimen. Or-- if you’ve completed an extremely intense workout and won’t be able to refuel for a couple hours, it’s perfectly acceptable to drink a high-quality protein source. The main goal is to think about what your body needs and determine if whole foods are accessible, then default to high-quality supplement use.

4. Become an educated consumer.

Unlike food additives or drugs, supplements DO NOT need approval by the FDA. In addition, there are no current standards for potency, dosage, or requirement for warnings of potential side effects.

5. Ask for help!

Do you have a specific question or concern about a supplement, diet, or training protocol? We would love to help! Our Facebook page is open and we would love to hear your questions.



Request more information

Facebook



Request More Information

Cancel

Let us e-mail you this Free Report


Cancel