Recently, I have been asked quite a bit about supplements and if they are truly necessary to help you to gain the results that you are looking for. The short answer is no, but in special cases they can and should be implemented into your daily routine to make sure that your body is fueled appropriately.
Take protein shakes for example, they are a great way for you to give your body nourishment in a hurry to make sure that you don’t skip a meal.
Skipping meals decreases your daily caloric needs, causes glucose dips, which then cause insulin spikes – storing body fat for later usage – and can correlate with gut inflammation (which correlates with many chronic illnesses).
I always tell my clients that I would rather you supplement your daily nutrition with a protein shake mixed with almond milk, frozen fruit, frozen spinach and a healthy fat source to make it a full meal rather than just the protein itself.
Mixing protein powder with just water or just milk/almond milk is only 150 calories at most which is only 8% of your total caloric needs. By bulking up the shake with more nutrients and all of the macronutrients to make a complete meal that increases the calories to 450 or more which is 23% of your daily intake helping your body to stay satiated longer until you can get to your next meal.
Another reason why supplements should be implemented is to make sure that your body is getting all of the macronutrients, micronutrients and essential minerals it needs to function normally.
Yes, you can get all of these essential nutrients through food but sometimes your body doesn’t get quite enough which can correlate with a nutrient deficiency or bodily dysfunction.
The only way to see if you suffer from a nutrient deficiency would be to get a blood test to confirm with your primary physician. Consulting with your physician or a functional medicine care provider is the best way to determine if you need supplements in order to make sure that you don’t suffer a nutrient deficiency that could be causing dysfunction or an illness.
Everyone’s nutrient needs are different since all of our bodies are different so this is the best way to make sure that your nutritional needs are met with your daily nutrition with whole foods and supplements if necessary to achieve optimal health.
Physicians are also knowledgeable about what supplements interact with certain medications. If you are taking over the counter or prescription medications or having surgery it’s best to let your physician know to make sure that you are safe in taking any supplement.
There is one issue about supplements that most people don’t know, they aren’t regulated by the FDA before they are put out on the market. It’s only after they receive information of an adverse effect from a consumer that they deem a supplement to be unsafe.
If you are thinking about adding a supplement into your daily routine, consult with your provider first, educate yourself on the brand or company of the supplement that you are thinking about taking. After that, you should have all the information that you need in order to make an informed choice.
There are some companies out there that can have supplements with either too little of what you need or too much – so it’s best to do your research.
Here is a link for some tips on what to do if you are thinking about utilizing supplements:
FDA Dietary Supplements 101 >>
In truth – the basics of nutrition works unless there are any underlying issues that are hindering your results, such as food sensitivity, nutrient deficiency, food intolerance, food allergy, or you just aren’t simply eating enough food, in general, to fuel your body appropriately.
If you have questions in regards to what is best for you don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our health coaches to conduct an InBody Scan. This report will help determine if are eating enough to achieve your goals. It can be as simple as obtaining your individual numbers to make sure you are on the right track. If basic nutrition guidelines don’t help, we have other tools in our toolbelt to individualize your needs even further.
About Lynde Weatherford
Director of Training Services, Certified Personal Trainer & Health Coach
NSCA Certified Personal Trainer; AFPA Nutrition and Wellness Consultant
Lynde has been a personal trainer for 10+ years and couldn’t be happier with her career choice. With her parents as inspiration along with her high school years as an athlete, she acquired a true passion for health and wellness. Lynde enjoys showing others what they are capable of to achieve their health and fitness goals. During her years as a trainer, she has been able to help others achieve weight loss, gain muscle mass, live a better quality of life, and teach them skills they can use for the rest of their lives. It is her goal to coach those who think they can’t do it to thinking that they can achieve what they want despite what may be currently challenging them. She looks forward to speaking with Performance members to develop an individualized plan of action for achieving health and fitness goals.
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