We’d like to start this article by first saying that we believe that the best approach to achieving health starts with some fundamentals. Supplements are designed to do what the name suggests – supplement your diet. Always try to establish healthy routines of proper hydration, regular exercise and a balanced, varied and nutritious diet. Once this is established in your life then would be a great time to start incorporating supplementation into your regime.
Which supplement you take will depend on a few key things.
What are your goals? Do you want to increase muscle growth, boost your immunity, improve your skin, hair & nails?… Your individual goals will dictate what you pick.
But how do you prioritise which goals you want to preferentially work towards? Is immunity more important than muscle growth? Or is having radiant and healthy skin at the top of your list? A good way to do this is to look honestly at yourself (figuratively and literally). Take stock of your life. It isn’t an overstatement to say that the quality of our lives is controlled in large part by what we put in it. If you feel low and are lacking energy then you may want to prioritise a vitamin B compound and vitamin D. If you are overweight and are looking for a slight boost to help you along then you could try a natural fat burning supplement. If you are finding it difficult to focus, you may want to try a nootropic to boost cognitive function. You will only be able to decide how you should prioritise your supplementation regime by taking a very honest look at yourself and examining where you are and comparing it to where you would like to be.
Whatever your goals are it is worthwhile to ensure that some key criteria are met by your supplements. Firstly, check the ingredients and check that amount of each component. For example, the mg of vitamin C. It is also good to know what the source of the vitamins are. For example are they from natural ingredients or from a ‘man made’ process? A lot of people like to know if the foods and supplements they are taking are organic. Whether or not a product that you choose is organic should be clearly displayed on the container. There are also a large number of people that like to stay away from animal products. Whether or not a supplement is suitable for vegetarians or vegans should also be clearly displayed on the container. A very important area to think about is where and how the supplements are made. Do they pass all safety regulations for human consumption. It would a real shame to cause yourself harm while taking something that you thought was going to help you become healthier. Ensure that the vitamins and supplement compounds that you take are safe and have been passed by an appropriate regulatory body e.g. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
This brings us to another issue that you should be aware of. If your dietary choices leave you deficient in certain nutrients then supplementation can be great. A good example of this is the fact that a vegan diet that is un-supplemented will leave you deficient in vitamin B12. This is an essential component to good health and care should be taken to avoid becoming deficient in this.
Some people like to mix up their supplementation depending on the season. An obvious example of this is where in winter, people will often increase their vitamin C intake to help fight of viral infections.
The good news is that you can safely take most supplements alongside other supplements. It can be hard to achieve optimal nutritional saturation through diet alone and by adding the supplements that you feel will fill in the gaps that exist in your diet you can help move yourself physically and mentally in the direction that you would like to go.