From the tasty gummy vitamins you may have taken as a child to the daily multivitamin you consume as an adult, you probably consider supplements a key component of your wellness regime. Have you ever stopped to consider what you know to be true about the supplements you consume today? With well over more than half of Americans consuming supplements, there are many misconceptions floating around out there. In other words, there are a variety of things that people believe about supplements that simply are not true.
The world of supplements is confusing. Selecting the right supplements, that will truly aid you in your quest for wellness requires careful thought, research and lifestyle consideration. Your supplement routine should be enhancing your quality of life and your overall wellness.
How on earth do you select the right supplements? The market is absolutely huge and like any market, there are both good players and not so good players with some offering amazing supplements and others offering less than sub-optimal products. The best method is to do exactly what you are doing right now: read, research, educate and empower yourself to make the best decisions for you and your health. Let’s explore a few surprising misconceptions about supplements.
I Eat a Healthy Diet Therefore Supplements Are Pointless
Let’s start with the great debate of whether supplements are a necessary component of a healthy life or not. We have to first examine our food and where it comes from. Now of course, if we are discussing a healthy diet we are referring to whole foods that are in or very, very close to their natural state. These foods are grown in soil and are therefore only as rich in nutrients as the soil. The sad truth is that our soil isn’t what it once was in regards to nutrients, which means our food isn’t as rich in nutrients as it once was.
With the nutrients in the soil and the nutrients in our whole foods depleting, we turn to supplements to fill those nutritional gaps. This is where all that research that you are doing to find the right supplements for your needs becomes so important. For example, if you are an athlete or live a life that is physically demanding, your nutrient requirements will be different than a growing child or someone who is pregnant. It’s all about addressing your specific needs so you can enhance and improve your health with the help of supplements.
If a Little Is Good, More Is Better
We’ve established that supplements are an important ingredient in a healthy lifestyle. So, if a little is good then more must be better, right? The short and quick answer, no.
This frightening misconception has some people believing that the dosage is really only a “suggestion” and that it’s not only completely safe but it’s actually better to take more. Well, in some cases it is perfectly ok and safe to take more, but in others, it can actually be downright harmful to your health.
Everything that you consume must be metabolized. If you mass dose supplements you could potentially strain the systems involved in the breakdown process, especially when it comes to supplements that have chemical fillers (which hopefully you are not consuming in the first place).
In large doses, some vitamins can actually be toxic including vitamins A and E and minerals like zinc and iron. Now, we are referring to extremely high doses, however, it’s always best to stick with the recommended dosage unless an alternate dosage is instructed by your doctor.
Brand Doesn’t Matter If It’s the Same Supplement
We know to follow the recommended dosage, so as long as it’s the proper supplement and dosage the brand doesn’t really matter, right? Wrong. Another common misconception is that there is no difference between brands as long as they have the same ingredients. In the world of supplements, you get what you pay for. It all comes down to quality. In most cases, the more expensive supplements contain higher quality ingredients, undergo more testing and invest in their quality control and safety measures. A word of caution, don’t just assume you are getting the highest quality product simply based on price. Rather, take time to research the supplement and company ahead of time to be sure their standards meet your standards.
The Label Tells the Whole Story
While the FDA regulates proper labeling, they can’t check every claim made about a supplement. When it comes down to it, the safety of the product falls on the manufacturer. With that, don’t rely solely on what is on the label when it comes to making your supplement choice. Rather, do your research, look at the company’s website, and most importantly look for third party certifications that back up the company’s product claims.
When it comes down to it the right kind of supplements are part of the recipe for a healthy lifestyle. It may take time to find the right supplement that fits both your needs and your quality and safety standards, but when you do, it can have a positive impact on both your health and quality of life.
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