The diet we take tends to provide nutrients in small doses throughout the day, so that the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is able to absorb them very well. In a perfect world, the daily requirement of essential nutrients would come wholly from a varied diet of nutrient-rich foods. This kind of diet is important especially for people who work out regularly.
But it is extremely difficult in today’s hectic life schedule to include that kind of wholesome diet in our health regimen. This is where dietary supplements come in. Including things like minerals, herbs, vitamins, or products made from plants, these supplements are available in the form of pills, capsules, powders, drinks, energy bars etc.
Who Needs Dietary Supplements?
It's important to remember that supplements are only designed to supplement diet, not to substitute nutritious foods.
Supplements basically enhance a diet where there are shortfalls. Many a times, people require supplements because their diet just doesn’t give them adequate vitamins and/or minerals that they need. These groups mainly include:
Examine before using – Check the complete information provided by the makers of the products. Also, try to find the materials from reliable source like researchers or government agencies to make sure that you find genuine product.
Consult your doctor – Before you start taking any supplement, it is necessary to seek advice from your doctor. A health care professional will give you the right advice about what to take and what to avoid.
Start with one – It is always better to start with a single supplement. Be wary of side effects such as rashes, restlessness, sleeplessness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, severe headache or any such kind of symptoms.
Avoid mixtures – The more the ingredients in a single supplement, the more are the chances of harmful side effects. Using such mixed supplements makes it difficult to know which substance is causing side effects.
Avoid during pregnancy – If you are breastfeeding or you are pregnant, it is good to take only dietary supplements prescribed by the doctor. This is mainly because their effects on a growing fetus or infant are largely unknown.
Avoid hyperbolizing supplements – Avoid products that claim to treat a wide variety of distinct illnesses. If these supplements claims to detect, treat, heal, or avoid diseases, the product is probably being sold illegally as a drug.
Never give to children – Children receive nutrients in far different ways and proportions than adults. Therefore, it’s always better to keep babies and children away from such things until and unless it is prescribed by doctor.
Be wary of over-dosage - It is extremely imperative to follow dosage to the exact specifications by a doctor or on the label. Consuming these supplements for longer than recommended can negatively impact your body.
Taking decisions such as whether or not to take dietary supplements, and which ones to take are very serious. Learn about their benefits and any possible risks associated with them first. Speak to your health care providers and jointly decide what might be best for you.
Peter Barron, a personal fitness trainer in Dubai helps people to lead a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and good nutrition. He has been working with clients and helping them to change their lifestyles and achieve their goals for the past 10 years.