Supplements Are Meant To Supplement
I’ve done a ton of research on and tinkered around with a lot of supplements. Supplements are vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help support and improve hormone levels, increase metabolism, increase weight loss, and slow aging. They give you better skin, stronger nails, thicker hair, and whiter teeth. And they can increase life expectancy… just to name a few!
Well, now that I’ve got your attention, let me share with you my experience with supplements and what I have noticed in my own self experiments, what I have observed with clients, and what I have researched. It might not be what you want to hear when it comes to these “miracle pills.” This is the truth! Supplements were meant to supplement health. Despite whatever the bottle tells you, these powders, pills, and tinctures were meant to provide support, not solve problems on their own. If I eat donuts and sit on the couch all day and take a supplement like creatine, meant to support lean muscle and increased metabolism, I will only get more out of shape and gain body fat. Creatine works well and supports high intensity interval training and weight lifting. Just like you can’t out train a poor diet, you can’t out supplement poor training and nutrition. Whatever your goal is, it’s important to start by looking at lifestyle before you look at supplementation.
Here are some basic questions to ask yourself:
Are you moving each day, some form of exercise?
Are you eating a mostly whole foods diet?
Are you sleeping at least 7 hours a night?
If you are having some health problems and you think that supplements might help, you may want to first begin with making some of these basic changes in lifestyle before you look at supplementing, or at least look at supplementing along with making these changes in lifestyle.
Now, there are some basic deficiencies that we can see most people have despite healthy lifestyle and good nutrition. Here is a list of supplements that you may want to consider taking to help fill these deficiencies:
Vitamin D3 - 5,000-10,000 IU/ daily - Vitamin D should come from the sun, but if you live north of the line that connects Philadelphia to San Francisco, you probably need to supplement. Vitamin D helps with bone density, clear skin, a strong immune system, and regulated blood pressure and blood glucose. Pick up a liquid Vitamin D3 at a local coop or Whole Foods.
Magnesium - 300-450 mg/ daily - Magnesium can be found in beans and legumes, dark leafy greens, some nuts and seeds, and dark chocolate. Most Americans don’t get enough, except for the dark chocolate. We need it to metabolize fat, support cell function, and alleviate anxiety and muscle cramps. Try “Calm” powder mixed with water before bed.
Probiotics - 1-2 servings of probiotic rich foods daily - Probiotics can be found in yogurt, kefir, fermented vegetables, pickles, sauerkraut, kombucha, and soy. You can take 3-5 billion CFUs (colony forming units), work your way up to 10 billion if you are looking to solve a specific health issue. You should pick a brand that the local coop or Whole Foods carry.
If you are uncertain or think you may have more vitamin or mineral deficiencies, you should get tested.