Supplements are always a big topic in the health and fitness industry. Great speculation exists on both sides. Are they effective or just a waste of money? This post will get you to think differently on such a popular subject.

Dietary supplements. Variety pills. Vitamin capsules.

Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Association (FDA). Therefore, caution should also be exhibited when considering supplementing your healthy lifestyle and diet. They get their name because they were created to supplement a nutritious diet and active lifestyle, not take the place of. That’s critical to have that context as you read this post.

I want to narrow the focus for this post to multi-vitamins/multi-minerals specifically. I feel most are familiar with these and more than likely have taken one at some point in their life.

Vitamins vs. “Real” Food

Many people will gladly point out and tell you that vitamin supplements are nothing more but expensive urine and that it’s best to get your nutrients from “real” food. Although I agree with that statement, I find it quite humorous simultaneously.

These are the same people that will buy Little Debbie snack cakes, Little Ceasar’s Pizza with 3 1/2 feet of bacon on it, Krispy Kreme donuts, and any other man-made food created in the past 100 years. Talk about some expensive shit (pun intended and metabolically speaking). The trans fat that these contain is so much more harmful than a slight excess of vitamins, but nobody wants to talk about that. I mean obesity isn’t really a thing, is it?

I put “real” in quotations because people often sadly misuse this term. I’m not big on labels, but I think most would agree that real food is unable to sit on a shelf for 10 years. Real food doesn’t contain any man-made ingredients. Now, we do fortify foods with various things to make nutrients more available etc., etc., etc.

I’d prefer not to get into a real food debate here, as I’m sure I’ll have to cover it in it’s own post. The difference I wanted to point is that meats, eggs, fish, fibrous vegetables, etc. all grow and are alive at one point versus things that come in a box.

Now, don’t get me wrong. You can over do it on vitamins and this could cause serious problems. As always the “devil is in the dosage.” The Law of Diminishing returns is always in affect. Just because some is good, doesn’t mean more is better. Please, keep in mind that vitamin deficiencies also pose a real threat.

Perspective: Peace of Mind

It drives me crazy that people are so quick to belittle things that are beneficial. Perhaps, you don’t absorb all the vitamins and minerals from your multivitamin supplement. You don’t absorb everything form real food either. But, look at it this way. You know that your giving the body what it needs. It’s getting enough and disposing of the excess. No problem. That’s what your body is designed to do.

For me, it’s a peace of mind thing. I take a multi-vitamin to ensure that I fill in the nutritional gaps of where my diet for the day may be lacking. I work hard and push my body to the limits. I want to make sure that it has everything it needs to grow.

People that tell you not to waste your money on these things are the same people who eating from the fucking vending machine at work. Kiss my ass man. I’m sure your body can absorb all those hydrogenated vegetable oils in your twinkie and it’s gotta be chocked full of useful vitamins. Much more available than in a pill.

I’m begging you to open up your eyes for a bit and see this from a new perspective. Can we do that? I’ll take my expensive urine over your trans fat filled honey bun any day.

THE DATA

Dosages and Daily Recommended Intakes (DRI’s) are the minimum of what your body needs to be functional. To be considered a functioning human being. Very few of these numbers basis’ are devoted to helping the body thrive. Not just survive but thrive.

There is very little data out there to prove that multi-vitamins are either harmful or effective (in general). There is an abundance of research on vitamin intake in specific populations. For example, huge amounts of research have been done on Vitamin D. (Pretty solid vitamin to have in the diet).

My take is that they are beneficial. However, just like with your diet be mindful of what you are putting in your body. Read the label and see what all it has in there. There will be some pretty high percentages on there of your daily values, I can almost guarantee that. If you’re concerned about getting an overdose don’t take the recommended serving size. If it calls for 6 pills, take 2-3. If it calls for 2, take 1. If it’s a one-a-day, split it in half.

Another basic principle I constantly apply is supply and demand. Business 101. For somebody who has a sedentary lifestyle their nutritional requirements will be very different from someone who goes to the gym 6-7 days per week and trains with great intensity. The RDI’s are very generic on the bottle and likely don’t hit the needs of the majority of the population. They do change frequently, albeit not greatly. There is even talk about getting rid of them completely, if I’m not mistaken.

TAKE HOME POINTS

1. Use Multi-Vitamins along with healthy diet and active lifestyle.
Don’t be fat and lazy. And please for the love of all things holy, don’t live out of the vending machine.

2. Do Your Homework
Take dosages that are specific to your goals and needs.

Use supplements in proper doses and take them during your workout to see great results.

3. Don’t Drive Yourself Crazy
You’re nutrition is never going to be absolutely perfect. Be mindful of the nutrients that you put in your body. Eat well and give yourself peace of mind that your suppling it with what it needs to not just survive but thrive.

I dare not recommend a specific one to use. Everybody has different needs and there is an abundance of them out there that cater to specific needs. As with everything else, these are user specific. Take some responsibility for your life. Do your homework. Find out what you need. Get it done.

Ball’s in your court.

What’SUPPs do you use?

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