How often have you heard someone ask you or perhaps say: I want to take a supplement to lose weight? I want to get faster so I need a supplement to help me? I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of marketing business surrounding the wraps, supplements, etc. (there is never a quick get fit solution. Unfortunately, I had someone tell me several months ago, I don’t want to do the work, I want what ever comes easy, preferably in pill form”)
Well here’s 3 quick questions to ask when considering taking a supplement:
- What’s in it? (one hint, if you can’t pronounce the words, probably not a good thing)
- Why are you taking it or want to take it?
- Who makes it?
Now I’m not suggesting all supplements are harmful, however, you truly need to get input from your healthcare provider because most supplements are not FDA approved. Not to mention, supplements do contain proprietary items. For example, if you’re allergic to shellfish, you order a burger from a restaurant, you give your server the heads up regarding the shellfish allergy. The chef makes your burger, in the meantime also making grilled shrimp. Then someone (perhaps not the chef) reaches for the spatula to turn the shrimp over, then uses that same spatula to flip the burger. The person receiving the burger is now exposed to shellfish cross contamination. Same goes for supplements. Not everything needs to be listed in the ingredients of those supplements. Last year, US Anti-Doping (USADA) Agency tested a little over 500 supplements (out of 63,000). Each supplement contained some type of banned substance. Last year, there were 53,000 side effects caused by supplements that were reported in the ER, 33% of those patients had traces of banned substances in their system caused by supplements. Now I’m not trying to put the fear in you, but ensure you take precautionary measures that are not going to cause side effects or contraindications with your prescribed medications.