Supplements. What exactly is their role? Do supplements really work? Does everyone need to take supplements?
Whenever I mention supplements or ask clients about their supplements, they don’t hesitate to tell me all about them. In fact, it comes out with great zeal. Some people have a daily routine of supplements lined up, while others seem to be fine taking only a multi-vitamin. The answer is, supplements are bio-individual. I happen to know many people who feel amazing taking zero supplements. Other people spend hundreds of dollars on supplements each month. My personal take on supplements is this….Get your nutrition right first, then use supplements as needed. Supplements are only meant to supplement a good diet. You cannot eat crap, take your supplements, and expect to feel amazing. That’s not how they’re suppose to work. In fact, I would even challenge you to stop taking all your supplements for a few weeks and just eat a Whole Foods diet. Your plate will look like this…2/3 veggies, 1/3 split between protein, healthy fat (avocado, nuts, seeds etc..) and grains (if you eat them..Quinoa or rice). Some signs that you might need supplements at that point would be chronic fatigue, brain fog or hair loss, thyroid problems, long-term vegan with low energy, high-stress lifestyle, digestive issues, and lowered immunity. If you have any of those ailments, you may want to talk with your doctor about bringing in one or two supplements at a time. If your doctor is a naturopath, they can recommend some great herbs and natural supplements for you. It’s important to talk to your doctor because some supplements do not mix well with medications you might be taking.
Keep in mind your lifestyle. Your career, relationships, spirituality and physical activity. If these things aren’t feeding you, no supplement will help. Find balance first through these area’s of your life and nutrition before turning to supplements for help.
Having said all of that, I will say that a good magnesium supplement like “Calm” has really helped my nervous system. It relaxes me and I feel a difference when I take it. I also love taking a high quality fish oil from a wild caught source or krill oil. And a good multivitamin never hurts. I don’t take these things every day however and I rotate through brands and with seasons. I also have other supplements hanging around like vitamin D, desiccated liver (great for B12 and folic acid), horsetail, Maca, vitamin C, CLA, BCAA’s, Plant based protein powder, glutamine, creatine, and I am sure a couple of others. I’ve found that Glutamine is great for muscle recovery and soreness, so I really like that after a hard lifting session. Most of these supplements were brought into the house by my husband, so I take them once in a while. Since I am not consistent with any of them, I cannot say if they are working or not for sure. I do plan on trying Echinacea and Ashwaganda in the near future for hormone balance and adrenal support but that’s about it.
Keep in mind that supplements are not regulated by the FDA. There is always concern for mislabeling, compromised quality and potential adverse side effects. Always look for the highest quality supplements and do your own research.
There are a lot of opposing views on supplements out there. Some studies say supplements help tremendously while others say there is no evidence to support any such claims. If you feel lousy without them, then by all means, take them. But again, a shift in your diet could really be just what your body needs.
💖Health Coach Heather