The topic of supplements is very confusing. The majority of athletes know they could benefit from a good supplementation regime, but have no idea what to take, how much to take, or when to take it.
The right supplements, in the right dose, taken at the right time by the right person, can make a massive difference when it comes to health and performance.
But here are 6 things you should know before you head to your local health food store and stock up on various powders, pills, gels and bars.
1. The Supplement Industry Is Unregulated.
It is not mandatory for the supplements you find at places like GNC and Popeye’s to be third party tested. What this means is, companies can make whatever claims they want on the labels and there is no one to check to see if these claims are accurate or backed up by research. Testing how shown that some products actually contain NONE of the claimed ingredients on the label!
2. The Recommended Amounts Are Often Not At Therapeutic Dose.
What is the point in taking a supplement if it’s not actually doing anything for you besides burning a hole in your pocket? This is essentially what’s going on when you take poor quality supplements that are not at a high enough dose to actually have an effect. Knowing how much YOU should be taking can sometimes be tricky, which is why consulting with sometime who is educated in this area is highly recommended.
3. The Form Of The Nutrient May Not Be In The Most Absorbable Form
You aren’t what you eat, you are what you ABSORB. You can take all the supplements you want, but if you aren’t actually absorbing the nutrients, you are again just burning a whole in your pocket.
4. Many Contain Detrimental Fillers
Many brands that you find on the shelves not only lack absorbability, and so are not doing much benefit, but can actually be doing harm to your body through the fillers they contain. Third party testing has shown that Jamieson brand supplements for example, contain petroleum and formaldehyde.
Yes, you read that correctly. FORMALDEHYDE! Eeeek!
5. There Are Some Supplement Companies That Are Trustworthy
Based on numbers 1-4, I now only prescribe professional brands to my patients. A professional brands are companies that only sell their products to regulated health care professionals (eg. Naturopathic Doctors). Some of these companies will have every single batch third party tested, to assure that what the label says is 100% accurate. No fillers, no junk, no lies.
6. Everyone Is Different
What may be an appropriate dosage and form of a nutrient for one person, likely isn’t the most appropriate dosage and form for YOU. We are all different and have different nutrient requirements dependent on a number of things including sex, body composition, activity level, activity type, diet, stress levels, etc.
This is why is always best to consult with a professional.
Uhhhh….is there even such a thing as a professional supplement prescriber?
Yes, they are called Naturopathic Doctors :p.
If you would like a supplement regime tailored to your needs and goals, click here to book an appointment.