Should You Take Supplements?

Despite the impressive marketing claims by supplement vendors and pro bodybuilders who are sponsored by them, most supplements  (also called bodybuilding supplements) simply do not work. The only supplements of which I believe that may have real beneficial effects are the common dietary supplements (also called food supplements) that provide natural dietary nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates , fats , creatine, vitamins and minerals. All other supplements either do not work at all or have no place in natural bodybuilding.

Supplements experts agree that it’s better to get nutrients from food if possible. No vitamin or mineral pill can replace a well-rounded diet for the following reasons:

*Scientists haven’t yet pinpointed all the beneficial nutrients that foods contain. So if we rely on supplements we may miss out. One example is lycopene, which is a phytochemical- a compound found naturally in plants. This nutrient made headlines when Harvard researchers discovered a lower-than average incidence of prostate cancer in men who eat tomatoes. The benefit seems to come from lycopene, which is present in tomatoes but not in vitamin pills.

*It’s nearly impossible to get too much calcium and vitamin D from food. But this can happen with supplements. Excessive calcium may interfere with absorption of iron and zinc, two other very important minerals.

*Nutrients in food generally are more bioavailable . For example, if we get small amounts of calcium all through the day in meals and snacks, rather than a single large dose in pill form, it’s easier for our bodies to use it.

If you can’t get all the calcium and vitamin D that you need from food, I suggest you take a supplement to help protect your bones. Here’s a recommendation:
*Select a brand that contains both calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D. Both calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are good supplements, but calcium citrate has a slight edge because it’s easier to absorb
Deciding whether to take dietary supplements and which ones to take is a serious matter. Learn about their potential benefits and any risks they may pose first. Speak to your health care providers about products of interest and decide together what might be best for you to take, if anything, for your overall health.

 

” Have faith, and live a positive, constructive life. What matters is being positive and productive. Do not think negatively. Think positive.”
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