When you’re discussing the pros and cons of supplements, you also have to identify the type of supplements you mean. There are supplements for basic nutrition for weight gain, improved health, as an energy booster, to overcome deficiencies due to poor processing of nutrients and those for body building and performance. Supplements might be that daily vitamin or proteins and amino acids. It can be minerals, too. Just like any man made substance you put in your body, sometimes it’s a huge benefit, but other times either waste your money or be harmful.
For the most part, supplements to improve health if you have a bad diet are a poor substitute for healthy eating.
Why would you support bad eating habits by paying for supplements? Instead, changing how you eat to a healthier manner would be better. However, if you are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, supplementing for a while may be the answer. Seniors often don’t absorb nutrients, so supplementation is often a good route to improved health. Pregnancy can also call for supplementation. Supplements are costly if you want those that are easily absorbed and beneficial, so it’s always best to get the nutrients from the food you eat.
For bodybuilding and improved workouts, some people include supplements in their daily regimen.
A lot of supplements are sold to body buildings in the form of protein powder. It’s the building block for muscles and can help build and repair muscles. The amino acids are the same as found in chicken, beef and pork. Creatine is higher in supplements and adds bulk. Taking too much of this can have side effects and cause severe problems, such as heart and kidney problems, diarrhea, dehydration and cramps. It’s also tough to identify just how much of these supplements you need.
Bioavailability is both a pro and con for supplements.
If your body doesn’t absorb a certain nutrient, it has poor bioavailability for that nutrient. Older people often can’t absorb the nutrients as well, so it makes sense to supplement. The type of food you eat also affects absorption. If you love your green leafy veggies and high fiber foods, you can reduce your absorption of minerals. If you sit in the sun or eat foods high in vitamin D, you’ll absorb calcium better. Eating whole foods helps provide all the nutrients you need for absorption.
- Not all nutrients are found in supplements. Some nutrients work synergistically with others. One study was isolating anthocyanin from blueberries for its cancer fighting qualities and found that it was only effective when combined with the other nutrients in the blueberry.
- You can get too much of a good thing. Water soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C flush out of your body in your urine if you have too much. However, fat soluble vitamins are stored in fat tissues and the liver. They can build to dangerous levels and cause harm.
- Supplements are a far less satisfying way to get nutrition. Not only does eating healthy provide the nutrition in a satisfying manner, it also reduces or eliminates the toxins found in processed food.
- At Evolution Lifestyle Fitness, we can help you have a healthy diet that’s both nutritious and delicious and it won’t put on pounds.