What’s with all the supplements? Should I be taking them? If so, how do I know which ones to take? Can I take too much of one thing?
These are all great questions which many have asked including myself. Have you ever walked into a Sprouts grocery store or driven by Vitamin Cottage thinking I should probably get some vitamins? I have. For the longest time I was told to just take a daily multi-vitamin. That soon became: multi-vitamin, B-12, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, and the list goes on. Before long I was supplementing MORE than I was actually eating whole foods. I started to wonder if what I was taking is what I needed. So....I did a deep dive into my diet. For me, I am prone to high inflammation. So, foods that cut down on that are most helpful for my body to perform at its best.
One of the best ways to start looking into what supplements will be helpful to your body, look at your diet. Are you getting enough leafy greens? If that is no, than you may be deficient on Vitamin K. Over half the population is Vitamin D deficiency. Why? Some of the more common reasons include lack of being outside, sunscreen even, poor absorption from the body, and even geographic location.
Calcium is another vitamin heard as a buzz word. "We need more calcium." Did you know that if you are low on Vitamin D absorption of calcium will go towards muscle first than the bone? Therefore taking calcium alone without having proper vitamin D will not do the full bone absorption you want.
Protein powder is one of those areas where I knew I needed it but didn't know which one to select. There are SO many options! Eliminating whey and dairy free products helped me. BCAA's are the same. Does everyone need it? No.
So where do you start? My simple answer is getting a blood test. Identify those factors in your own body. What works for some may not work for you. Adjust your diet to what your body needs (i.e. Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Calcium). Taking supplements for supplements sake is not beneficial. There is a reason they are called supplements. They compliment your whole foods diet. Do you spend more time in the produce section or in the center aisles? If the latter the next step after a blood test is getting to know produce.
Look at your diet
Know your body
Get a blood test to know deficiencies
Spend time in produce not center aisles
Stacy Davis, Msc., PFT, certified nutrition coach