People take supplements for a lot of reasons. For those who have a medical condition that requires extra nutritional aids, supplements act like medicine, to help the body. However, there are supplements on the market to help boost energy, aid in building muscle tissue and to enhance performance in the gym. Some people take supplements for weight gain or to complement their diet with added vitamin, minerals and nutrients. There are pros and cons of supplements, which can be as benign as wasting money to as dangerous as causing health issues. I always tell clients in Dublin, CA that diet should be the first route for improved nutrition.
Don’t get caught in the trap of supplementing, when you should be improving your diet.
We’re in an age of speed and take a pill, get results. Fitness doesn’t work that way. You can’t take a pill and build muscle tissue overnight anymore than you can take a supplement as a substitute for a well balanced diet. There are reasons for supplements, such as seniors supplementing because they don’t absorb the nutrition as well or pregnant women who need extra nutrients. In those cases, paying extra for nutrients that the body can absorb more easily is important.
Vitamins that are affordable, often aren’t bioavailable.
What is bioavailability? It’s the ability to absorb the vitamin or nutrients. While it’s already been mentioned that some people have difficulty absorbing those nutrients from food, such as seniors, it’s also true that less expensive supplements often aren’t absorbed easily either. They are flushed away when you go to the bathroom. Some nutrients in supplements also affect how the person absorbs other nutrients. High fiber foods and fiber supplements can affect the absorption of nutrients. However, supplementing can boost absorption, too. Vitamin D, from either sitting in the sun or food, can help you absorb calcium better.
Bodybuilders tend to supplement with extra protein and nutrients to help improve their workout and body.
If you’re a body builder, you probably already have viewed all the supplements. Most of them are protein supplements, which provides more muscle building and repairing material. Protein is made from amino acids, such as those found in milk, beef, chicken and pork. Creatine is one of those amino acids and it helps to add bulk to muscles. While that’s a good thing for some, there’s a downside. Taking too much can cause kidney or heart problems. It can cause diarrhea, cramps and dehydration if you take too much and identifying how much each person needs without complicated testing is difficult. .
- Supplements don’t provide the synergy that food does. There was a study focusing on isolating the anthocyanin from blueberries as a cancer treatment, but it was found ineffective, since the anthocyanin in the blueberries require the other nutrients in the blueberry to be effective.
- Most people are far better off getting nutrition from healthy eating. To be bioavailable, a high quality, expensive supplement is necessary. Inexpensive supplements are flushed away in the toilet, rather than absorbed. For the average person, high quality supplements cost far more than a healthy diet.
- While excess water soluble vitamins like vitamin C can be flushed out of your system via urine, that’s not true of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A. They can build in the body to toxic levels. When you get nutrition from food, that’s not possible.
- Eating healthy is a far more satisfying way to get nutrition. I can help you with a program of healthy eating that is also satisfying, while providing all the nutrients necessary.