By: Dr. Anthony Gustin of SF Custom Chiropractic
Getting your nutrition from whole foods should be the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. However, there are plenty of times where supplementing a whole foods diet can be beneficial to your health. To fill gaps, for extra insurance, or for a quicker route to reaching your goals, supplementing can be an appropriate part of a healthy lifestyle.
Unfortunately, taking supplements can be one of the most intimidating aspects of nutrition. The onslaught of advertising from the supplement industry is never ending, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to choose those that work best for you. When deciding on which supplements to take, there are ways to sort through the mess in order to find the ones that will make the most impact on your health. Here are 5 important factors to keep in mind:
Goal – Many supplements are marketed as catch all solutions to whatever ails you — these are ones that should be avoided. Specialists win the battles with supplements. Identify your goal and enhance your nutrition with supplements. Use fish oil and omega-3’s to decrease inflammation, creatine to build strength, and protein powders to rebuild broken down tissues.
Dosage – Stay away from proprietary blends and mind your dosages. Most pre-mixed solutions are made up of many different supplement sources, but they are all mixed in at such little dosages that they don’t really do anything. Get isolated sources and dose them according to your needs, or find companies that have done the dirty work for you such as purewod.com.
Source – It matters where certain supplements come from and where you get them (fish oil, protein powder) while others don’t matter as much (creatine, beta-alanine). Do some research up front and look into high quality sources. Better to default on the high end than to take supplements that are of poor quality and potentially take away from your health.
Timing – Be mindful of timing your supplement intake. Some supplements matter if you take them before a workout, during or after, and some at night or in the morning. For instance, vitamin D should be taken in the morning as it mimics natural sunlight, sending messages to your body that the sun is out. Protein should be taken after a workout, especially if the goal is for fat loss, otherwise it may impede your goals. Find out when you should be taking your supplements and work from there.
Contraindications & Indications – Don’t take certain supplements that counteract each other. A probiotic taken with an antibiotic does not make for a good combination, and certain amino acids can compete with each other for uptake in the muscles and brain. Conversely, pair things that go together. For instance, fat soluble vitamins should be taken with food (vitamin A, D, E, K). If you’re taking any prescribed medications, always check with a qualified professional before starting any new supplementation.
There are clearly many factors in choosing the best supplements for yourself. Remember, start with a rock solid whole foods nutrition program, then use the guidelines above to help steer yourself in the right direction.
Want to dive deeper? Join us for the upcoming Sustainable Health Seminar: Supplements 101, Saturday, September 5th, 2015 from 12-1pm.
Disclosure: Dr. Anthony Gustin is an investor in PureWOD products.