Around 40 percent of Americans take some kind of supplement every day, so it is no surprise that the supplement industry is now worth an impressive $37 billion. From protein powders to multivitamins, there are supplements out there for pretty much anything. Even though nutrients are essential for our overall health and wellbeing, it can be difficult to get the ones our body needs. Nutrients are so important as they give us the energy we need to get through each day, from muscle building to infection prevention. While most people get nutrients from the food they eat, if you don’t have a varied or balanced diet then your body may be missing out on important nutrients such as minerals, calories, and vitamins. However, it is important that you do your research before taking additional supplements, so here are five things you need to know before taking supplements.
There are Lots of Different Kinds of Supplements
The multi-million-dollar business that makes up the supplement industry is full of many different products that span a wide spectrum. You name it, there is probably a supplement for it somewhere. While most supplements are available on the shelf or can be bought over the counter at your local drugstore, some supplements require a prescription. Due to the many different uses of supplements, it is important that you know exactly what it does before taking it. For example, calorie, and protein supplements provide the nutrients that help you gain weight. However, at the other end of the spectrum, there are some supplements that claim to aid weight loss. So, it is important to know what you are putting inside your body.
You Can Have Too Many Supplements
Even though nutrients are essential to our bodies, they are only needed in certain amounts, and having too much of a certain vitamin could be dangerous. For example, too much vitamin B can cause nerve pain. So, be sure to take everything in moderation.
Not all Supplement Claims are Genuine
Due to the industry being so vast and saturated, there are some companies that make false or insincere or bogus claims about what their supplements can do for you and your body. This makes it essential that you do your research before making any purchases and only buy from reputable and trustworthy supplement manufacturers.
Some Vitamins Can Lessen How Well Some Medications Work
Before taking any vitamins or supplements, it is essential that you check with a medical professional, as they could lessen the effects of other medications that you currently take. For example, many people take St. John’s Wort for mild anxiety and depression symptoms, but this can decrease the effectiveness of anti-depressants and contraceptive pills.
Your Regiment Should Be Unique
Just as everyone’s body is unique and different, so should our supplement regimes. Even if a friend or family member recommends a supplement for you and gives it an amazing review, you shouldn’t take it unless you need to, as your body may react differently to it. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to which vitamins and supplements you should take, and while most people get what they need from their diets, some groups of people, such as vegans or those with a B12 deficiency, may need an extra supplement. And some supplements like zinc or magnesium are just difficult to get in our diet.
Therefore, if you are concerned that your body is lacking the nutrients that it needs, then you may consider taking supplements after you have discussed it with a medical professional.