There are many reasons why you may be considering incorporating more supplements into your diet. Supplements come in many different forms and therefore serve different needs.
There are, of course, organic fruit and vegetable supplements, which may help those who need to put a bit more green into their diets. With about 42% of the American population being vitamin D deficient, this isn't a bad idea. You could also seek out protein supplements, which are especially helpful for vegetarians and vegans who might be eating a diet low on protein. Supplements are made to reduce blood sugar, give us more energy, and improve our skin. But you can't just simply take them and call it a day. Supplements are not children's vitamins to be treated casually.
Taking supplements should be treated as a routine -- a part of your diet just like a healthy three square meals a day. With that being said, let's look into how you can best incorporate supplements into your daily routine.
1. Take As DirectedYou would be surprised by how many people do not take their supplements as directed. All too often, you may hear stories about people grinding tablets or opening capsules in order to mix the resulting supplement powders into shakes or meals the way that they would with supplements that were made to be taken in powder form.
You may imagine that a supplement delivered in a capsule is the same thing as your protein powder, but it's really not. For one thing, you'll probably be in for a shock when the flavor of your makeshift meal is ruined. There's a reason why some supplements aren't ever sold in a loose powder; just because you're taking organic fruit and vegetable supplements doesn't mean they'll taste like fruits and vegetables. For another, you could be ruining the means through which the supplement should be absorbed into your body. Some supplements need the concentrated form of a capsule or tablet in order to work to their best effects.
You should also check to see whether or not a supplement should be taken with food or liquids, and when it should be taken. These directions can be found on the packaging of most supplements. If it isn't present, you may want to choose another supplement manufacturer.
2. Watch Your DosageSupplements are delivered in certain doses for a reason. You shouldn't assume that you'll get more of an effect from a supplement if you take more than is directed per day. Taking more than is recommended of something like organic fruit and vegetable supplements won't suddenly turn you into a superhero. It's a waste of your time and money, as you'll need to buy more supplements sooner. In the case of certain supplements, however, taking more than what is recommended could do more than harm than good. Iron supplements need to be taken in moderation, as directed. Otherwise, you may experience side effects like joint pain, fatigue, and depression. These side effects can usually be undone when you stop taking too much of the supplement, but there is no point in causing yourself unnecessary pain.
You may also want to ask your doctor about certain supplement dosages before you begin taking them. Your doctor may recommend more or less of a supplement depending on your body's specific needs.
3. Don't Use Supplements Instead Of FoodProducts like organic fruit and vegetable supplements are great to take before or after food, or alongside food depending on the directions included. But they shouldn't be taken in place of food. Supplements will give you initial vitamins and other benefits, but they will not offer what a full meal can. As previously mentioned, going without food while taking certain supplements can cancel out the benefits of the side supplement itself.
Taking supplements is not like taking medication. But you do need to take your supplements seriously. It may take some trial and error to figure out which ones are right for you. But ultimately, there is a supplement for virtually everyone, and your ideal supplement will have you feeling better before you know it.