We can eat as healthily as possible and look after ourselves in many ways, but sometimes our bodies need assistance to be correctly balanced or give us the energy and focus we require. Supplements, whether pills, powders, drinks, or other solutions, can give us the boost and additions we need to feel and perform at our best.
Sometimes we have absorption issues, meaning we can’t get all the vitamins or minerals we need from what we eat. We may find that taking one or two certain supplements helps us get more done or feel happier and calmer and better able to concentrate.
No matter what we take and for what reasons, we must be careful about which supplements we buy and how we take them so they don’t end up doing us more harm than good. Read on for some key things to consider regarding supplements today.
Learn Exactly Where You’re Lacking
Start by ensuring you take the supplements you actually need. There’s no point in adding items to your system if you already have enough of what they supply. Overloading on a certain vitamin or mineral can cause health problems, too, which is best avoided. It’s wise to get some blood tests done by your family doctor or another practitioner to learn precisely where you’re lacking and what’s best for your current needs.
Keep in mind, though, that dietary supplements are just one way to replenish low reserves of different nutritional needs. Changing what you eat can also have an impact. We can often get what we need from the food we consume, so consulting with your doctor can help you learn the best options moving forward.
Consider Potential Medicinal Interactions
Next, while supplements may be purchased over the counter and you don’t need a script to access them, this doesn’t mean they can’t interact negatively with other prescribed medication you take. Before you begin ingesting new supplements, talk to your doctor about how they could affect the efficacy of your medications or even other supplements. This kind of information isn’t usually mentioned on manufacturer websites or supplement packaging, so failing to see any warnings doesn’t mean you can’t face issues.
For example, St John’s wort is believed to reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives, while curcumin is said to interfere with the benefits of some antidepressant and antipsychotic medications. It’s also worth noting that some supplements support each other so users can improve results if they take them simultaneously – something that isn’t evident on bottles. For example, it’s wise to take iron and vitamin C together.
Follow the Listed Instructions
Most supplement cases feature basic instructions shared by the manufacturer. If you want to make the most of the products you buy, whether you purchase gaming supplements for focus, take valerian or other sleep aids to help you rest, or any other support, pay attention to these guidelines. Read the details about how much of a supplement should be taken, how often, and when is the best time to have them, such as before, during, or after a meal, in the morning or night, etc.
Don’t Go Too Far with Supplementation
To stay safe when it comes to largely unregulated products, it’s important not to overdo your usage of supplements. Stick to the levels mentioned on the packaging unless your doctor or a specialist explicitly tells you it’s okay and wise to ingest more of an item.
It’s always better to start with a lower dose and see how you feel, building up amounts over time as feels right, than taking more of a tablet or powder just because you hope it will make you feel better. You need to be regular with your intake of supplements and be careful not to double up accidentally, especially if you forgot to take a supplement earlier or the day before, etc.
Be Wary of Supplements When Pregnant
Most women have heard that they’re advised to steer clear of seafood, soft cheeses, painkillers, alcohol, and the like when pregnant. However, did you know that you also need to be careful about which supplements you take when you are carrying a child? If you’re pregnant, plan to be soon, or want to breastfeed your baby, be discerning about what you buy.
Even products touted as purely natural can cause harm to a baby and are best avoided when you’re expecting. For example, doses (especially high ones) of supplemental vitamin A, vitamin B6, fenugreek, feverfew, vitamin D, or vitamin E can make you or your little one unwell.
Other things to consider when taking supplements are that they need to be stored properly to remain effective, and results can take a while to appear, so you must try to be patient. Reassess your needs as the year progresses.
Supplements can be a lifeline when you have a health concern that other medicines or practices don’t help. Yet, they’re not always 100% helpful for every body and situation, so learn as much as you can about them and then choose wisely.