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Supplements are products that enhance or ‘supplement’ your diet. They are available in various forms such as energy drinks, capsules, powders, tablets, and other forms.
Supplements may contain vitamins, amino acids, proteins or other ingredients. They are sold online and in physical stores and are used by athletes to the everyday Joe.
And while supplements are generally a safe way to make up for deficiencies in your diet to improve your health and well-being, there are things to consider.
Namely, there is a right way and a wrong way to take supplements. With that said, here are some essential tips on how to properly take them.
Read All Labels Carefully
Before starting to take any supplement, you must research properly. One way of researching is by reading labels.
Supplements are not for treating diseases, and so, you need to be careful with any that claims to do so. Get to find out the ingredients stated on the label. You can consult with your doctor if it’s necessary.
Try to use only certified supplements. When perusing the label, check the manufacturer’s name, address, and phone numbers. Some phony supplements may fail to indicate such essential details.
You also need to confirm how much of the nutrients does the supplement contains. This information will help you not exceed your maximum tolerance level to a particular ingredient.
Store the Supplements Properly
It is recommended that supplements and any other medicines should be stored out of reach of children. You can have a medicine cabinet that is locked to prevent kids from accidentally ingesting.
Also, any supplement indicated as store away from direct sunlight, should not have contact with the sun.
Use the Appropriate Dosage
Some supplements have the right dosage printed on the label. Thus, it is best if you followed the appropriate dosage. Also, follow the dosage recommended by your physician.
Supplements provide extra nutrients to those you are already getting from your meals. Thus, consume them as stated to get the maximum benefits.
Consume as Directed
Taking your supplement as directed means using it in the form that it has been stated. Some supplements may need you to take them on an empty stomach while others require you to eat first.
Certain supplements may also not combine well with specific drugs. Thus, you need to check if you have such medicines and if so, you can consult with your doctor on the way forward.
For instance, supplements containing calcium should not be taken after eating a meal rich in iron. These two can cause a reaction.
Do Not Use as a Substitute for Food
No matter your reasons for taking supplements, you cannot substitute them for food. For instance, if you buy multivitamin in a sports nutrition store, it would be best if you still eat your plate of fruits.
Sticking to the appropriate meal plans as you are taking your supplements will help you achieve your desired results.
Update Yourself with FDA Regulations
The Food and Drug Administration regulates supplements. Thus, it would help if you found out what they say about a given supplement.
Furthermore, you can check on their site to confirm if they had recalled a given supplement. These measures will help you only to consume legit products.
Consult With a Doctor or Nutritionist
While many skip this step altogether when introducing a new supplement into their diet, it’s going to be wise for many to first consult with a doctor, nutritionist or other specialist.
For the vast majority of us, most supplements are going to be safe if taken as directed, however, those with existing medical conditions or those who currently take any medications, will want to speak to an expert first.
Certain medications and conditions can adversely react with certain supplements, despite them generally being safe. If you fit the above criteria, don’t skip this step because it’s better to be safe than be sorry.
Supplements are a great way to boost your mind or body, and you can easily get them in any sports nutrition store on or offline, Amazon or other major retailer.
When taking supplements, familiarize yourself with FDA regulations, read the labels, use the correct dosage, and take as directed.
Also, don’t replace your food with them since they are meant to supplement your diet, not replace it. Many beginners make this mistake, especially when using supplements to lose weight.
Additionally, it’s wise for those with existing medical conditions or those currently taking medications to consult with a doctor or specialist before taking any new supplement.
All in all, though, supplements are generally very safe and effective when taken as directed, so don’t be afraid to ‘supplement’ your diet with supplements!
Are you currently taking any supplements? What are you taking and what has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below…