Most nutrition experts tell you that we can get most of our nutritional requirements from our daily diet. All we need to do is eat a well balanced, nutritionally rich diet. In trying to fit in a fitness routine in the midst of an already packed schedule, our diets often need to be complemented with supplementation to meet our health ‘requirements’, which cannot always be satisfied with just by food alone. Supplements, when used in the right way and right amount and at the right time, can support various physical functions and help optimise the performance.
What are dietary supplements?
These are vitamins and/or mineral supplements used for the prevention or treatment of specific nutritional deficiencies when the requirement is not fulfilled by the daily diet. Variety of supplements is popularly chosen to support recovery, improve stamina and endurance, maintain body weight and aid immunity. It’s no surprise there are many questions surrounding dietary supplements.
Myth 1: Supplements can help prevent illness
Studies have found supplements do not prevent illness and do not help people live longer. Dietary supplements are meant to fill the gaps, not replace food-based nutrition. The preferred method for getting vitamins and minerals is through different types of nutritious foods.
Myth 2: A well balanced diet doesn’t require supplements
Research finds our plates lacking in a number of essential nutrients, including proteins, carbs, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A, C, and D. Nutrients in food are often destroyed during processing and cooking. A good supplement ensures that you get adequate and measurable essential nutrients to make up for the lack of nutrients on account of faulty farming practices and over-cooking of the food we eat.
Myth 3: Supplements improve your strength even if you don’t workout
Supplements can improve your overall health, battle stress, improve sleep and bolster your immune system; they are not magic pills and powders that can turn you into a bodybuilder. Supplements help to amplify your training, but they will not make you bigger or stronger if you are not working hard in the gym.
Myth 4: Supplements have steroids
This is one of the biggest myth. Supplements are originally designed to complement the nutritional deficiencies in your food. As long as your supplement is from a reputable supplement brand and as long as you buy them from authentic sources, having them in their recommended dosage is usually safe. Do your research of on the several supplement brands out there for testing and stay away from brands that are loaded with preservative, GMOs and additives.
Myth 5: All supplements are the same
Not all supplements are created equal. Different companies have different standards. Some companies rely on a lower quality and purity of raw materials so they can provide a lower price. Don’t purchase supplements based on price.
Myth 6: The more you take, the better you are
When it comes to herbs and supplements, mega-dosing, the term for taking more than the recommended amount of a medication or supplement, can be extremely dangerous. Too much of a supplement can cause adverse effects, such as treatment failure or chemotherapy overdose.