Supplements! Should I take them

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Written By Emily White

Should You Or Shouldn't You Take Supplements

When it comes to improving and maintaining our health, two things are often considered. They include an effective workout regimen and a balanced diet. These two are intricate factors to the betterment of our health.

That said, people often wonder at the need for taking supplements. Given the fact that you may already be doing all you can do to ensure proper health, supplements can often seem unnecessary. Regardless, supplements are extremely beneficial and often contain essential nutrients needed by the body.

Let us first start by defining what a supplement is before going any further.

What is A Supplement?

Supplements or a supplement, in the general sense of the term, can be defined as an enhancement. In other words, it can be defined as something that enhances something else. In this case, it can help enhance your current diet and physical efforts.

Supplements are commonly referred to as dietary supplements. The term is used to describe a wide number and variety of products that you can either swallow, eat or drink. They are specifically designed for your current existing diet and improve your overall health. They come as powders, capsules, drinks and tablets just to name a few.

Please note, that supplements are not medicine and neither should they be substituted for such purposes. Dietary supplements often include the following listed ingredients.

  • Vitamins
  • Herbals and botanicals
  • Enzymes
  • Amino Acids
  • Minerals
  • Extract, concentrate or constituent

Dietary supplements fill the shelves of the average American store, and rightly so. You can easily find them in drug stores, grocery stores, health food stores and even online fitness and nutrition stores. The increased accessibility of dietary supplements matches its growth in terms of popularity among the American population.

A study conducted by the  National Institutes of Health research in the year 2013 confirms the popularity of supplements among the American Population. According to them, Americans had spent over 34 billion US dollars on supplements alone. Please note, that this percentage of spending pertains to the year 2013.

The year before, that is 2012, the American population had over 50, 000 supplement products to choose from. It goes without saying that the number of supplement products and expenditure has more than tripled over the last couple of years.

The above statistics do not mean that there are a few people that hesitate in using supplements. There is a general few that do not see the need for supplements at all. This then begs the question, should one take supplements or not? As beneficial as they may be, are they suitable for everyone?

Let us take a look.

Should You Or Shouldn't You Take Supplements?

Sure, supplements are highly accessible and very popular among the American population. Does that necessarily mean that you should also jump on the bandwagon?

As previously stated, supplements are used to enhance and complement our existing diet. They provide our bodies with necessary nutrients that we otherwise cannot obtain from our food diet. This is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) refer to them as food.

Hence, they are not used to cure diseases. They are only designed to help maintain and enhance our health.

According to registered dietitian and consultant to NIH, Carol Haggans, you don't necessarily have to take them. If your diet is balanced and often consists of highly nutritious food, then you can do without them. As long as you compliment your diet with a daily or regular workout, your body should be healthy enough to go without them.

You can, however; take supplements if you wish to maintain your health and enhance your existing diet. If you think that you need them, why not? Pregnant women or breastfeeding women often take Iron supplements to increase iron in their body.

Physical trainers or sports professionals also take supplements to increase their levels of energy. Supplements have been shown to improve their overall performance to an improved state of health.

What To Do Before Starting To Take Supplements?

As we've already established, supplements are not bad for you. In fact, they are designed to enhance your already existing diet. In other words, they provide your body with the nutrients you can't or don't get from your diet.

They are not considered risky to our health. Regardless, we are advised to carry out some research before starting on any supplement diet. Certain ingredients may end up affecting us negatively.

Consider talking to a health care provider or your doctor about your plans. They are more knowledgeable about the chemical makeup of certain supplements and how the ingredients can affect us. This is very important to note especially if you are suffering from a certain health condition.

Your healthcare practitioner can advise you on whether or not it is a good idea. Moreover, they can recommend supplements that will be perfect for you. Seeking consultation is an important factor when it comes to choosing the supplement that is right for you.


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