Who Should Take Supplements?

A common question I receive is “should I take this supplement?” A lot of people want to believe that supplements alone will allow them to achieve their fitness and health goals. My full opinion of supplements can be found in the supplements chapter of 2 Weeks to Health First Edition which is available for free here. But in summary, no supplement can fix an ongoing pattern of poor nutrition and exercise choices.

Taking supplements will not make up for a diet that lacks in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, and plenty of water. Also, no protein or creatine supplements will create muscle on their own without completing the adequate exercise. While supplements certainly have their place, I recommend to most of my clients to lay off the supplements and focus on getting their nutrition from real foods. However, there are times when people need to supplement in order to stay healthy.

Who for sure needs vitamin and mineral supplements? A pregnant or breastfeeding woman, a woman able to become pregnant, someone on a restrictive diet (vegetarian, vegan, cultural), someone with limited milk and sunlight exposure, someone with a diagnosed health condition that affects the body such as anemia, elderly adults, and someone who is unable or unwilling to consume a healthy diet (food intolerances or allergies). If you fall into one or multiple of these categories, talk to your doctor or dietitian about which supplements you may want to take. I do not recommend you take any supplements without first consulting a medical professional. For conditions such as these, neither myself nor any other personal trainer is qualified to prescribe these types of supplements for these conditions so it is important to see a doctor.

What is the worst that can happen if you take supplements without a doctor’s approval? Many prescription¬†drugs as well as supplements are plant-based and may react with one another. It is not uncommon for someone to experience side effects after mixing certain supplements and medications. Always ensure your doctor is informed about what you are taking and they give you their approval. And if you aren’t required to take supplements from your doctor, focus on getting your nutrition from real food and use the money you saved from not purchasing expensive supplements on a gym membership.

 

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Written by Scott Edward

Scott is a professional pilot, amateur adventurer, certified fitness trainer, and starting photographer.

3 comments

  1. I recently had a density bone scan done. I am 67. There are signs of osteoporosis. While at an long overdue visit to a doctor she gave me options on how to treat. I told her I’d rather go with a more natural method than injections. I take a women’s daily vitamin, a vitamin c and she wants me to take calcium and vitamin d. I know I need to work on exercise that will help to strengthen. I have a resistance band that has been sitting in a drawer.. We are on a fixed income. I have often wondered about supplements and sometimes thought about the money being made from those that purchase. Now I am facing whether to get a shingles vaccination or not. I am not one to jump on board with all the shots they suggest..

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    1. Thanks for the comment! I would suggest that you listen to what your doctor recommends as long as it falls within your budget and insurance. However, it’s good that you are discussing all the options with your doctor rather just the “injections”. Sometimes a natural method can help treat conditions, but sometimes the best option is some kind of medication. It’s up to you and your doctor to decide what is best for you. Definitely start using that resistance band! I love using those. I want to write more about staying healthy on a budget but right now I only have one article on that subject. Check it out https://2weekstohealth.com/2017/01/18/fitness-on-a-budget/

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      1. Hi! Thank you for responding.. I will do some research before I decide on shingles shot or not. I will also do research on how to use the resistance band. I will be sure to check out your post on fitness on a budget. Right now because it is still very cold I follow a walking video with Leslie Sansone. She is fun and upbeat and suits me just fine until it warms up..

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