Supplements---Do You Need Them?

Supplements—Do You Need Them?

If you’re working out regularly and eating healthy, you probably don’t need supplements to boost your muscle gain. There are exceptions, of course. If your body isn’t efficient at digesting and absorbing protein, that’s quite another thing. There are nutrient supplements to provide vitamins and minerals, plus ones that provide phytonutrients. Are any of them any good and do you really need them, or is a healthy diet all you need?

What is a supplement?

There are all types of supplements, from sports supplements that are primarily protein, to senior supplements that claim to be all the nutrients of several servings of fruit and vegetables in a pill. Some people may need supplements, but that should be decided with the aid of their healthcare professional. A healthy diet focused on your fitness goals is adequate in most cases. The definition of a supplement is any product that’s not tobacco, which has a vitamin, mineral, herb, dietary substance, or amino acid. It can come in powder or pill form and provides the nutrient your body is missing, which can be due to poor appetite, poor absorption, or poor dietary choices.

The supplement has to be bioavailable.

There are complete stores and sections of stores devoted to nothing but supplements. It’s big business because it promises an easier path to good health than modifying eating habits. Most supplements that are affordable, aren’t bioavailable. That means they aren’t easy for the body to absorb and they are often flushed down the toilet with your urine or feces. Those that are bioavailable and most useful are often high priced and not readily available to those that need them most.

There can be an abuse of OTC supplements.

If you take too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, such as vitamin A, it can build up in your body and cause health problems. While water-soluble vitamin excess flushes out of the body in urine, too much can strain the kidneys. The most abused supplements tend to be protein supplements, especially by people who want large muscles. It has side effects when you take too much. The side effects range from diarrhea and dehydration to heart and kidney problems.

  • Some of the supplements may be beneficial. People in Northern areas face a potential for vitamin D insufficiency because of the angle of the winter sun. Women attempting pregnancy or already pregnant should consider taking folic acid to help prevent birth defects.
  • Most supplements don’t contain phytochemicals that are in whole foods. When consumed in whole food, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals act in synergy, where the benefit of them together is greater than the sum of all individual nutrients.
  • Vegans may find it difficult to get adequate vitamin B12, which normally comes from animal products. Taking supplements can help prevent anemia and build red blood cells.
  • We can help you with healthy dietary plans to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs. There are benefits from healthy eating, like satisfaction and enjoyment, which you won’t get from supplements.

For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness