WHAT ARE YOUR REASONS FOR USING SUPPLEMENTS?
Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you? Do your assumptions about dietary supplements stand up to scrutiny? Many consumers overestimate the benefits of using supplements, and manufacturing companies overstate the benefits of a supplement because, as a business, it is in their best interest to do so. There are legitimate reasons for the use of some supplements (such as in the management of a diagnosed nutrient deficiency), and there are some ingredients that have been shown to be effective for certain conditions in certain circumstances. Are you sure this is true for your chosen supplement?
I can’t get everything I need from my diet.
Unless you are suffering from a metabolic disorder, have food allergies or other reactions to food, this is very unlikely to be true, at least in the long term. Certain high stress times, including competition or travel, may make it difficult for you to obtain complete nutrition from the food available. Before jumping to the conclusion that using a dietary supplement is the easy answer, think about if you are really doing everything in your power to obtain your nutrition from healthy foods.
I don’t have time to prepare and cook everything I need.
Eating a balanced diet does require extra time and effort. It requires additional planning, taking the time to shop for quality ingredients, and food preparation, but there are many examples of athletes who do this very successfully with busy schedules! Nutrition is an integral part of your performance. As you plan your training schedule, you should consider the importance of allocating time for planning your fueling strategy. Simply fueling your body correctly will enhance your performance greatly!
My body is under a lot of strain and i need immune boosters to keep from getting sick.
There are plenty of products on the market that claim to prevent illness or cure the common cold, but there is little credible evidence to support those claims. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission charged the company that makes Airborne with deceptive advertising for making claims that Airborne would reduce the duration and severity of colds. Good nutrition, proper hygiene, and getting plenty of sleep will do more to “boost” your immune system than a dietary supplement. In fact, dietary supplements are not allowed, by law, to advertise that they cure or prevent any disease (this includes the cold and flu).
Even if it’s not proven, but there is a chance that a supplement works, it’s worth it.
This approach assumes that the supplement will be effective. It also completely ignores any possible adverse health effect or positive doping test. It is unlikely you approach your training in such a reckless way. Why approach nutrition and supplements in such a random fashion? Nutrition should be an integral part of your training plan. Contact your sport support staff and sport dietitians for help. If it is not absolutely clear that a supplement is improving your health or performance, is it worth the risk?
Do they really? Are you sure? There are a few supplement ingredients that might be beneficial for some athletes in certain sports and under certain conditions. Ultimately, your sport and your body composition will determine your nutritional needs. Everybody needs a balance of the key building blocks to support a healthy body: carbohydrates for energy, protein for muscle, some healthy fats for long-term energy, vitamins and minerals, and healthy levels of anti-oxidants. Supplements rarely provide much more than what a healthy diet would normally provide. Some athletes think a supplement works because they feel something is different, or they feel good when they take it. This might be due to ingredients, such as stimulants contained within the supplements, rather than the nutrition that the athlete really needs.
Everyone uses supplements and they might have an advantage over me.
Don’t assume your peers have done their research on the supplement; they may simply believe the marketing claims. If you decide to use a supplement, make your decisions based on scientific evidence of effectiveness and safety.
A supplement has been recommended to me by my doctor.
If your doctor is concerned about iron levels, bone health, or low vitamin D, then it makes sense to obtain a safe iron, calcium, or vitamin D supplement. Few people would dispute the benefit of a supplement in these contexts. However, doctors do not receive extensive nutrition training and may be unaware of the contamination or quality issues in the supplement industry. If your doctor recommends a specific brand, ask him or her why they recommend this brand and evaluate the quality by researching the brand you
Did you know that some ingredients commonly sold as supplements are available in Rx form (drug form). For instance, it is possible to obtain injectable versions of Vitamin B, iron, and supplements. Drug manufacturing is much more tightly regulated than supplement manufacturing and this option might be safer for athletes. Ask your physician if this approach might be right for you.
Supplements are a natural, organic way to enhance health.
Some supplements may be natural or organic, but this is not a sure-fire guarantee. Many ingredients in dietary supplements are highly manufactured or come from places that do not conduct organic farming. Many “natural” herbs which you think are organic contain dangerous levels of heavy metals, pesticides, or are stored in a way that causes them to become contaminated with bugs, animal droppings, or other (undesirable) plant material. The link between natural, organic, and dietary supplements should not be assumed.