General Health

Everyday Supplement Mistakes to Avoid Making


In health and fitness circles, these days, it seems as if supplements are just as commonplace as push ups. Whilst it is indeed true that, thanks to the huge advances in medicine, research, and technology, supplements are better than ever, that certainly does not make them the be-all and end-all when it comes to health and fitness. As supplements have now advanced and evolved at such an astonishing rate, we now have supplements that can help us build muscle, we have ones which can burn fat, we have ones which give us energy, we have ones that promote all around wellness in general, and much more besides. In actual fact, we now have supplements designed to address all kinds of issues, and to treat all kinds of various ailment in the process. If chosen correctly, certain supplements can prove to be very worthwhile investments, but did you know that, in order to get the most from your supplements, you need to use them in a certain way? Every day, people all over the globe part with their money in exchange for supplements, and use them incorrectly, which basically means that they’ve wasted their money. To ensure you aren’t one of these people here’s a look at some everyday supplement mistakes that people often make, and what you can do to avoid making them yourself.

Not being clear on how much of a certain nutrient is required per day


When experts recommend a certain intake of calcium, and other minerals for that matter, per day, these are not intakes that should be adhered to exactly. For example, if health officials recommend 1500mg of calcium per day, this does not mean you should get exactly 1500mg of calcium each day. It simply means that it is your maximum daily intake. People often find themselves worrying and stressing over getting exactly 1500mg per day, as they think that anything slightly under, or slightly above, will be no good to them. In reality, these are just guidelines so don’t stress if you take in 1400mg one day, or 1500mg the next.

Not considering whole food sources

Again, if we stick with calcium as an example, and look at the 1500mg recommended max daily intake, another common mistake that people tend to make, is not considering the nutrient contents of whole food sources. If for example, you take a calcium supplement per day, you must ensure that you also account for calcium in whole food sources. If you consume a lot of dairy and green leafy vegetables for example, these are notoriously high in calcium, so if you combine them with supplements, you run the risk of taking in too much, which can then be dangerous for your health.

Not taking fat soluble vitamins with fats

Fat soluble vitamins are just that: vitamins that can only be broken down and absorbed with the presence of fats in the body. A lot of the time however, you will find people taking fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, without a fat source, or on an empty stomach. When you take fat soluble vitamins without fats, the vitamins cannot be fully absorbed by your body, so they basically go to waste.

Consuming supplements at the wrong time of day


Not only should certain supplements be taken with certain foods, but they should also be taken at certain times of the day. Vitamin D for example, is a vitamin which is best consumed early on in the day. This vitamin initiates the production and secretion of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel good. However, serotonin actually lowers melotonin, which is a hormone that is responsible for helping us to relax and get to sleep. If you take vitamin D in the evening, melotonin levels will drop, meaning you will find it harder to get to sleep.

Choosing the cheapest supplements you can find

Nobody wants to waste money and spend more than they have to, but with supplements, and anything else for that matter, you get what you pay for. If you come across a whey protein concentrate powder from an un-reputable brand, for a very cheap price, you can almost guarantee that the powder itself, will not be anywhere near as good as a whey protein from a more reputable brand. Cheap whey concentrates can actually be as low as 60% protein per serving, meaning that the remaining 40% will come from carbohydrates and fats. Good quality whey concentrates should be at least 80% pure protein, and sadly, a cheap whey just is not going to cut it. You certainly don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive brands, but don’t look for the cheapest supps you can find either, or you just will not see or feel the benefits.

Not eating whole foods

Whilst supplements are great for achieving all kinds of health and fitness goals, you should never ever rely on supplements in place of whole foods. There really is no substitution for good nutrition, which is why you must ensure you are eating right if you want to see and feel the benefits. Supplements are designed to do just that – supplement a healthy diet. Whether you’re using supplements to boost your health, to increase your energy, to build muscle, to lose fat, or anything else, if you want to get your money’s worth, you simply must make sure you are eating plenty of fresh, healthy, and nutritious foods, and that you aren’t skipping meals in place of supplements. Sure, the odd protein shake in place of breakfast if you’re in a rush is perfectly fine every now and then, but for the vast majority of the time, make sure you are eating whole foods.

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