I realize that everyone has their own opinion on this topic, and that is fine by me! I figured I would explain a little more in detail about why I choose to take supplements.
Before I begin please note that all of these posts are 100% my personal opinion and are in no way meant to tell you what to do. This is what works for myself and my husband from our own experiences. I encourage you to find what works for you personally.
Filling “Gaps” in My Diet
The main argument against taking supplements is that you should be able to get them in the foods you eat.
Yes, this is 100% true. If you eat a completely well balanced diet 100% of the time, then you will get the vitamins and minerals you need and really have no need for taking supplements.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, i’m not perfect. I don’t have a 100% well balanced diet all the time and so to make sure I am getting the right vitamins and minerals for my body I also take supplements.
I am not saying that supplements can replace the health benefits of food in any way. Food should and will be my first focus for obtaining nutrients. Supplements will always be secondary and are a precautionary measure.
My first year after we moved to Erie, I became deficient in calcium and Vitamin D. This was mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t used to living somewhere without much sunlight. Ever since I have made sure to focus on always getting a:
- Vitamin D
- Folic Acid
Those are what I consider my “go to” supplements. Occasionally as I’ve mentioned in the past I do take other things such as glutamine to aid with recovery.
If I am getting proper vitamins and minerals in my diet then these supplements are basically going to waste, however, the risk of somehow being deficient in one of these to me isn’t worth it.
Exercise Increases Nutritional Needs
As someone who has always done more than the average amount of exercise per day it is important that I am properly replenishing the nutrients I lose during exercise.
If you are depleting energy reserves while exercising you are in return using more energy for production and recovery. This puts athletes (or those who do higher amounts of exercise like myself) at a higher risk for nutrient deficiency.
Again, it comes back to fueling and eating properly 100% of the time. Most days I do this but on the days when I have a long run and don’t eat a perfect diet, I want to make sure I am still getting all the proper vitamins and minerals.
Those are the two main reasons that I take supplements. They aren’t anything earth shattering, but it’s the truth.
Here are a few other arguments for supplementation:
Did you know that it is estimated that over half the US population suffers from low stomach acid? This can cause the body to not be able to properly obtain all the nutrients from food.
While the foods may obtain the necessary nutrients for your body, if you body is not processing them right you aren’t able to reap the benefits.
Certain ways we prepare our food can actually be removing the nutrients from the food. One of the biggest thief’s of nutrients is the microwave. It is often easy to find other ways or preparation, but not always avoidable.
When you go out to eat at a restaurant the food may look fresh and good for you, however many times unless you know the way they are preparing it you can’t be completely positive it has all the proper nutrients.
Again, comes back to being 100% sure you are getting everything you need from your diet.
Expense and Health Concerns
Sadly, it comes down to the fact that sometimes supplements are cheaper than proper foods. This is not my reason for taking supplements, but for some of America’s population it is.
Another sad but true reality is that we live in a stressful and toxic world. These can all play into us either eating less than stellar diets or needing nutrients we aren’t aware of.
It comes down to what works for you. I understand not all will agree with my thoughts on the topic, and that’s fine. These are my reasons for taking supplements as well as some other arguments. Do what works for you! It comes down to making sure you are taking care of yourself. That’s the most important aspect of all.
Do you take supplements? Which ones?