So I was asked to write a blog about supplement use. Personal disclaimer: I don't generally use supplements or endorse them. I believe in using a balanced diet to get all your nutrients, but I know many people do choose to use them. So I looked into some of the more popular ones. I would still encourage you to do your own research if you decide to start taking supplements. Because of my limited scope of practice as a personal trainer, this is not me suggesting you take anything, just providing you with some base information.The FDA does not oversee supplements, but
**ADDING ANY TYPE OF SUPPLEMENT OR HORMONE TO YOUR BODY MAY DECREASE THE AMOUNT THAT YOUR BODY NATURALLY PRODUCES**
Vitamins: vitamins help your body carry out many essential functions, and can be found in foods. The very bright veggies and fruits usually have more vitamins, and more of a variety, and that's why they say to get a wide range of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet. Vitamins A, D, E, & K are fat soluble and therefore can remain in your body for a short amount of time. The B-complex and C vitamins are water soluble and therefore do not remain in your body for long. Some vitamins can even lead to detrimental causes if you exceed the Tolerable Limits, it can lead to toxicity.
Minerals: minerals are also important for carrying out functions of the body. Calcium, Iron, and Potassium are all very important minerals and are also easily gotten from a balanced diet. Although Calcium is VERY important for Caucasian women over 35 to prevent osteoporosis along with Vitamin D.
Creatine: This is naturally occurring in the body and helps provide the body with immediate energy. Most of the body's creatine is stored in the skeletal muscle, and therefore many people want to supplement with it to increase the amount of ATP available to the muscle. Creatine is naturally made in the kidney and liver and supplementing may help build muscle but can also lead to kidney or liver damage. As always, research before you put something into your body.
Whey Protein: Whey is the protein contained in the watery portion of milk that separates from curds when making cheese. It is often used to help increase lean body mass and add protein to the diet. Whey is considered safe, but if you are lactose intolerant, it does include lactose and if you don't stay hydrated it can cause constipation and cramps. Also, it is important to remember that an excess of protein is not stored, it is converted to fat. Pay careful attention to the serving size in the nutrition label and make an educated decision. You don't have to use 2 scoops necessarily, you can always tweak it to what works best for you.
Fat Burners: These are awful. Not only are they constantly being recalled, they wreak havoc on your body. If something seems too good to be true, it is.
Raspberry Ketones, Green Coffee Bean, anything else on Dr. Oz: all of these things are NEWER and therefore there has been little research. And if you read the fine print, diet and exercise are always needed and "individual results may vary". It's a marketing ploy, don't fall for it!
GNC or any other sales people can give you information, but will also try and sell you. I recommend going to nutrition.gov to look into anything you aren't sure about. Me personally? I'll stick to water during my workout, my pre workout consists of me telling myself to just do it, I won't regret it, and my post workout is chocolate milk. I will occasionally use a scoop of whey in a greek yogurt and banana smoothie if I know it's going to be a long day, but I also try to eat a whole grain waffle or a bowl of cereal too. A smoothie or shake is not going to keep me full! Vary your foods and plan your meals and you shouldn't be lacking in anything essential.