SUPPLEMENTS - ARE THEY WORTH IT?
What a question! A one which will undoubtedly create panic within the ranks! If you were my client and I was offering you Nutritional Advice, we would first look at your diet and get an idea of what you are consuming on a daily basis. I like to have at least a two week record to work with before I make any suggestions. In my personal opinion, I would prefer to see clients try to obtain all their macro- and micro-nutrient needs from proper food sources first, before heading down the supplement route. Who wants expensive urine anyway?!
There may be times when I would encourage the use of supplements - for example, if you are trying to build muscle and are finding it difficult to meet your daily requirements. Imagine this - you weight 100kg. This means that you would need to aim for 200g protein each day. An average chicken breast contain approximately 30g protein. Could you honestly consume 7 chicken breasts each day? Just thinking about it makes me feel a little green! For this reason, protein powders are the easier way to obtain your daily requirements rather than spend hours in the kitchen and also sit down to heavy meals.
If I noticed that you were not getting your recommended vitamin and mineral requirements, perhaps due to being adverse to eating your greens, then this could be another reason for me to suggest that you start taking supplements. Our bodies are complex machines. We need the right balance of micro-nutrients to survive. Beware though - good supplements are expensive, so before thinking that this is an easy fix I would suggest that you pause for a moment and really consider the benefits of getting your vitamins and minerals from a tablet form.
Everyone wants a shortcut. We all desire to reach our goals swiftly and in the easiest manner possible. The latest 'pill, powder or potion' can of course look too good to be true - and it is usually just that! Stop! Think. Just because some 'influencer' is popping pills and telling you that it makes them feel good, should you be following suit? Have you typed 'what supplements should I be taking' into Google and the search engine has come up with a list the length of The Great Wall of China?
Please, get advise from a Dietician or Qualified Nutritional Advisor, like myself, before heading to the shelves to buy the latest fad supplement just because you 'think' you are deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral and want a quick fix. Let us guide you in the right direction. Any good Nutrition Professional should encourage food before anything else. To conclude this blog, also consider that too much of a particular substance can be extremely detrimental to your health. Be mindful - we are looking to improve our bodies, not have the reverse effect.