Should you take supplements even though you eat healthy? Are they really necessary? Find out here!
A common question I get asked is: What supplements do you take?
And then, “I eat healthy! Do I even need them?”
Let me first start by saying that I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist. I’m just a Fit Housewife who has lost 90 pounds and has done a lot of research about healthy eating and exercise. And I want to share what works for me with YOU!! But like anything else, I encourage you to do your own research, track your own results, talk to your own doctor, and draw your own conclusions.
Any recommendations here or any brands mentioned are simply because I like and use them.
The question of supplements can be very confusing for most people, myself included! After all, shouldn’t eating a whole, fresh, unprocessed foods diet provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients we need?
The media adds to our confusion by one week “disapproving” a multivitamins effectiveness, and then the next week, touting how important a particular nutrient is.
So are supplements actually necessary?
NO! They are not necessary. The name “supplement” says it all. They are meant to “supplement” a healthy diet, not “replace” it!
There is no pill, powder, or supplement that will get you the results you want. Any ad that tells you their supplement will help you lose weight or get ripped without making any other changes is full of crap!!
Unfortunately, this is what so many people do. They eat like garbage, don’t workout, don’t get enough sleep, and then take a bunch of pills to help cure the issues associated with that lifestyle. It’s a quick fix with minimal effort, when in fact, they should be TAKING THE STEPS TO CHANGE THE LIFESTYLE!
I didn’t lose 90 pounds by looking for the quick fix! It took a lot of dedication, sweat, and tears to get to where I am today. But I know it was worth all the hard work because I’ve never felt better and I know what it takes to maintain this lifestyle!!
With that being said, there are some supplements you may not be getting in your diet, even if you’re eating healthy. Even with a perfect diet, many things — including depleted soils, the storage and transportation of food, increased stress, and a toxic environment — make it impossible for you to get nutrients you need solely from the foods you eat.
Here are some supplements you may need, even with a healthy diet:
- Multivitamin – There are good quality multivitamins, and there are bad ones. Look for one that dissolves in a glass of water within an hour. This shows how fast it will be absorbed into your system. If it doesn’t dissolve, your body may have a hard time digesting all the nutrients. A good multivitamin will have calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, Iron, Zinc, Folic Acid, B12, B6, Antioxidants (C & E, Lipoid Acid.) Some multivitamins you need to take 3 times day, so be sure to read the label.
- Probiotics – Probiotics can help aid in digestion…and we all want good digestion, right?! Normally you would take 2 – 4 caps after waking up, and 2 – 4 caps before bed.
- Digestive Enzymes – Digestive Enzymes help your digestion…(DUH!) I used to take them because I thought I had trouble digesting gluten and dairy. I would have to take 2 pills at breakfast, 2 pills at lunch, and 2 pills at dinner.
- Omega 3 – Omega 3’s are known to help with inflammation and overall health. You may have heard of cod liver oil pills? I hated swallowing those things because they are usually quite large!
Since I really hate swallowing pills, I take these supplements every day through a shake! I had so much trouble scheduling my pills before. I had a big box with the days of the week laid out on the counter, and I still missed taking them half the time. I would also not look forward to swallowing all those pills 3 times a day. Plus the cost of buying all of those supplements separately was getting quite expensive. So I did my research and decided to drink Shakeology ONCE a day to get in a dose of all those supplements! It’s my lunch every single day (or should I say dessert!) In my opinion, it’s cheaper, beneficial, and fits my lifestyle so much better.
Some other supplements that I take:
Vitamin D – adequate vitamin D intake is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption, maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and can protect against multiple diseases. Getting 10 – 20 minutes of direct sunlight gives you your vitamin D, but since I live in a cooler climate and I try to stay out of the sun, I opt to take a liquid vitamin D supplement.
BCAA’s – Branch Chain Amino acids are made up of 3 essential amino acids; leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They play a role in protein synthesis and glucose uptake in cells, which is definitely something I need because I do a lot of strength training. And because I workout fasted, these help me maintain my muscle.
Magnesium – Magnesium helps us in a lot of ways. Here’s a video I did on why I take it.
Supplements that you shouldn’t take:
Weight Loss/Performance Enhancers – These are a BIG NO-NO! They do not provide permanent healthy results, can be dangerous, and are not the way to go.
Diuretics/Juicing Cleanses – Diuretics decrease the amount of water in your system which dehydrate you. Juicing cleanses empties your body of any real food. So with both of these, you think you’ve lost weight, when in fact, you’ve only lost water.
Laxatives – Laxatives are much like diuretics, the only reason you lose weight is because it decreases your overall water weight. If you think you are absorbing less calories from your food because of them (which is a common myth,) – you’re not! Our body absorbs all the calories in our food before the laxatives have any effect.
Phew!! If you made it all the way through that article, thank you for hanging in there! I’m quite passionate about health and nutrition, and I love sharing what has worked for me.
I can help you get started down the right path! In my monthly Drop a Dress Size groups, you’ll learn proven lifestyle skills and solutions that will serve you forever. If you are tired of stopping and starting over and over again, I encourage you to join one of my Drop a Dress Size groups so I can support you on the path to success 🙂