The Supplement Hype: Should I Buy Into It?
We’ve all seen the hundreds of ads on TV, in magazines and online boasting a particular supplement’s “superpowers” for a quick fix to all our health needs. Dietary pills that claim you can “lose 10 pounds in a week!” Cleanses that will “detoxify and reset your metabolism.” Performance supplements that will leave you “ripped and lean.” There seems to be a quick fix on the market for just about anything. The big question to all of this though is…DO THEY WORK?Well, generally speaking, NO. Sorry to bust some bubbles out there, but the good news is that this article will provide you with some basic guidelines to sift through the media muck and recognize quality products versus those that are simply too good to be true.
FOR GENERAL HEALTH
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Anything that advertises a drastic weight loss, muscle gain, energy boost, etc. in a short period of time (1 week, 10 days, etc), STEER CLEAR! Often, with fad diets and pills, you are drastically cutting calories for the advertised period of time, taking an expensive supplement that is often simply a high caffeine dose (and you are likely feeling cranky and hungry along the way). The result? The scale may go down due to a decrease in mostly water weight (maybe a true pound or two of body fat or even a loss in muscle mass), but as soon as you stop the plan, you gain it all back and then some. Ask yourself this question: Can I do this for the rest of my life? If the answer is no, you may want to reconsider the plan.
- Finding a balance in your life that allows for daily activity and exercise, coupled with nutrition that includes healthy, nutrient-dense foods will win out over most “supplements” any day.
- There are certainly special circumstances when you may have a nutrient deficiency and need to take a supplement. However, you should talk to your doctor about this and the necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis. From there, look to a CREDIBLE professional, whether your physician, a registered clinical dietician or specialized nutritionist with the proper educational background, or other credible source to work on a game plan.