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Top Tips for Supplements

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Top Tips for Supplements

We have all been there, looking through a fitness magazine, scrolling on social media, watching TV. Then all of a sudden, a product is being introduced to you. It often brings promises of making you look the best you can, it will help you get strong and healthy. Through clever marketing, after one sees this, they are often immediately interested and might even go to the store and buy some with the dream of achieving the promises the supplements offer. While some supplements offer benefits particularly if you are deficient in vitamin D for example, a supplement may be worth your money; however, sometimes purchasing a supplement can be confusing and too costly. Keep reading for our top ten tips for picking supplements. 

1.Understand your supplement. When it comes to a lot of supplements, eating the nutrients in whole foods is often more beneficial than taking a pill. 

2.Is it safe? Supplements are not required to be regulated by any government agency meaning manufactures do not have to prove safety or effectiveness. Look for a USP label that ensures the product contains the ingredients listed on the label, in the declared potency and amounts. 

3.Are the people selling the product qualified or looking to make a buck? If you purchase a supplement look more into who is selling it. A lot of times athletic- looking people will push a product but have no understanding of how it works. 

4.Do they conduct clinical research on their products? Products that have been tested, are probably safer to eat and may have better results. 

5.Do you need the supplement? Most people get the minerals and vitamins in their diet, making the use of supplementation not beneficial or can cause you to go above the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances). Some supplements may be beneficial if you find you are not meeting your nutrient needs. Other people who may need a supplement are older people, on medication, or pregnant women. 

6.Read the ingredients! Make sure the supplement does not contain any ingredients you may be allergic to or have added sugars and sodium. If there is an ingredient you are not sure about, research it or ask a professional like your physician or a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN). 

7.Look at the cost of the supplement. Supplements can be expensive and if you do not need one, you could save and spend your money on something else. 

8.Check the bioavailability. Different nutrients have various ways of being absorbed. Magnesium is an example that can be sold in different forms such as chloride, sulfate, taurine, and citrate so make sure you understand which one
you are getting and how it is absorbed in the body. A pharmacist would be helpful with this question. 

9.How long should you take it? Will you be on this supplement long term? Can you get the nutrients through diet change? 

10.Consult the pharmacist, RDN and your physician about supplements. They can evaluate the benefit versus risk of a supplement. If you are interested in a supplement for sports performance, an RDN who is a certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD) can assist you in choosing the best regimen for you and the outcome you are looking to achieve. 

Supplements are not inherently bad, unfortunately, in today's day of age, there is a lot of misinformation. Hopefully, these ten tips will help you be more informed whether or not to purchase a dietary supplement. Contact us at Genesis Personal Fitness for more information on supplementation and all your health and fitness needs. 

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