Everyone is always talking about dietary supplements, which ones they take, which ones they swear by, and all of the benefits. The one thing no one talks to you about when choosing dietary supplements is all of the factors you need to consider before picking one.
Choosing supplements can help or harm you both short or long term so you need to be careful and not just throw your money around on just anything. Finding what you need also takes time, which is a good thing to know because patience helps you do your research.
These tips will help you when considering taking dietary supplements.
Pre-existing Health Conditions
If you would like to start taking dietary supplements, you need to consider what kind of pre-existing health conditions you might have that could interfere with them. While your condition might not be serious, but itself, it could become exacerbated by the supplement, an ingredient in it, or a side effect that is common with the supplement. It is always good to consult with your doctor if you have medical needs that might conflict and cause you discomfort. Even for seemingly harmless supplements, as many are, there is an important need to confirm if it is safe to take considering your situation. Always check for FDA approval of the ingredients or product.
Do Your Research
Before purchasing any supplement, you want to do your research, or at least have someone else do it for you. The information available at fcer.org/nutrition/supplements/, along with the internet as a whole, can help you narrow down what kind of dietary supplements would be right for you. In a similar situation to pre-existing health conditions, you want as much information before you take a supplement because safety is better than sorry. There are mounds of evidence for and against certain products and a lot of expert medical professionals, like dieticians, who are there to help steer people in the right direction for their supplement and diet needs. All of this can be a click away.
Sometimes the supplements you choose for your dietary needs may be in conflict or redundant because of stuff you have already taken. There are a lot of supplements that can counteract one another, similarly, sometimes they are bad when combined with others. Some vitamins and ingestible dietary supplements can cause upset stomachs when taken on an empty stomach, so if combined it could cause a lot of discomfort for a short period. Vitamin C and Magnesium can cause you to feel discomfort, so it is good to know what ones work well together, and which ones could make you feel uncomfortable.
Cost of Supplements
When considering your dietary supplements you should still consider the cost, and for good reason. The most obvious concern is paying an arm and a leg for name brands. That might be an exaggeration, but supplements can cost a lot depending on where you buy them and what brands you buy from. The other reason is that some brands use lower grade ingredients for certain products which reflects on them being cheaper. Expensive does not always mean good, and cheap does not always mean bad, but generally, you pay for the quality. You should also check serving sizes for supplements because there is a misleading quality of some supplements where you think you are paying for 100 servings when a true serving is 3 capsules/scoops a day, so you are only really paying for 1/3rd of what you expected.
Do You Actually Need the Supplements
Yes, dietary supplements can be very helpful for many people, but sometimes you may be overestimating whether you need it at all. Getting the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and other necessities through your diet is certainly difficult, and supplements help a lot, but you could end up doing more harm than good thinking you are helping your body. Overdosing yourself with vitamin intake is not uncommon, and while not inherently deadly, it can cause you to feel a lot of discomforts. Too much of certain vitamins can cause conditions like diarrhea, so either check how much you are dosing, or consider if you even need the supplements.
Choosing dietary supplements are a good way to round out your daily intake of necessary nutrients. It is an easy way to help us feel healthier, but it is not always so cut and dry. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your supplements. From cost to effectiveness, to potential side effects, you have to be diligent in ensuring you are picking the best options for your health which is why these tips can help you.