HOW TO CHOOSE WHICH SUPPLEMENTS TO TAKE
One might ask why it is common to supplement even for those eating clean, quality food. The answer is very simple: due to food processing of even natural foods these days, we are no longer getting the same quality of food and nutrition that our parents and grandparents were getting before us when gardens and local markets were the main source of foods. Our foods are often radiated, refined, sprayed with poisons, coloring, perfumes and more. Because it is hard to always rely on the quality of our food, it is now more important than ever to ensure we are getting proper nutrition. This may mean using certain products and supplements to fill the gaps in our diet.
Which Ones to Use?
In all of my plans (Classic, Muscle Building, Vegetarian, Vegan, Hypothyroid), I prefer that most supplements be in the form of ‘super- foods’, like seaweed and bee pollen, as the body may be better able to break down and use these vitamins and minerals because they are whole foods supplements in lieu of processed. They may not have a phenomenal flavor profile, but they are worth the effort in order to achieve better nutrition!
Some supplement companies manufacture their products from organic, hormone, GMO free ingredients in the healthiest way possible. We should do our best to seek out and support these companies because there are others that will inject their products with fillers, preservatives and not so clean ingredients.
Ingredients to be aware of:
- Cellulose Gum
- Red Dye #4
- High energy causing supplements (DMMA, DMBA, guarana, yerba mate, caffeine, ect)
- Read about many other suspicious dietary supplements here
Some of the ingredients listed above have been linked to allergies, headaches, skin rashes, cancer, ect. If at some point after consuming a supplement you notice indigestion, skin breakout, bloating, or any other negative symptoms you may consider discontinuing use of the supplement and take a break for some time before trying a different brand. I also recommend following up by consulting your physician to determine what may be a better alternative for you.
The use of dietary supplements can play a key role in assisting in muscle gain and retention if done properly. Supplements like Creatine, L-glutamine and BCAA’s have proven to be very effective for this. It is important to research not just what you plan to take, but also which company to purchase from. Just like food, there are huge differences from one company’s product to the next. Some products may even pass right through you offering no nutritional benefits whatsoever! So don’t flush you money down the toilet, (literally), take the time to research brands. You may notice, I rarely give brand recommendations within my blogs. The reason is because I have an audience across the globe and am unsure who has access to which supplements. Either way be sure that when you are researching, don’t be swayed by advertisements and attractive photos. I can tell you personally as a fitness model and a trainer of many pro fitness models, a high percentage of those models don’t use the product or have never used it prior to taking the photos on the box. In addition, with airbrushing, editing, etc. it is incredibly important to weigh the validity of the product through appropriate investigation.
As always, if you know you suffer from food intolerances, have been diagnosed with a chronic disease, or are pregnant/nursing, please consult your physician before purchasing and consuming any supplements. The recommendations I make here are purely general recommendations. This does not mean that supplements will work or should be taken by everyone.
Supplements are a loosely regulated industry. This means that many additives can sometimes be put into your products that are not necessarily written on the label or have not been clinically deemed safe/effective. This is why it’s important to read up on the brands and products you put into your body. Chances are, the heavier the claim, the greater the chance for something wild to be lieing behind the attractive packaging.
If you would like to research an ingredient or see if an administration has issued an advisory, I turn to sources like The National Institutes of Health (NIH), search within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), or check with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).